Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fresh Salsa

Mexican food...what isn't there to love?
Being a missionary in Africa, I'm not talking about the authentic stuff. I've never had that!
I'm talking about good ol' tacos, burritos, fajitas, and most importantly, chips and salsa!
I think the first ten pounds I gained after being married was all from chips and salsa {okay, maybe a little cheese dip, too}!
Fast forward a few years to Ghana.....not a tortilla chip or salsa in sight.
And then......
an ex-pat told me to try green plantain chips.
Were they exactly like tortilla chips?
Would they do the job?
Now what about that salsa???
I found this fresh salsa recipe in my Cooking with Spices for Dummies cookbook, and it's been a family favorite ever since!
4-5 medium tomatoes, chopped, about 2 cups
1 small red or yellow onion, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 plump clove garlic, minced (add more to your taste)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (bottled will do in a pinch)
2-4 jalapenos, serranos, or chili peppers, seeded and minced, or to your taste,
     or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, or to your taste
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cumin (add more to your taste)
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, or 1/8 c. dried parsley

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to mix. Check spices to taste. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes before using (in or out of refrigerator according to your preference).

Variation: Add 1/3 cup cooked black beans; or 1/2 cup diced, peeled cucumber; or 1/2 cup diced avocado.


David and Dee Dee Sterling said...

Funny to me to see this post since I was just looking all over for a good salsa recipe. I went with one finally but now I have to try this one! Thanks for posting!

Heather Gross said...

My family loves chips and salsa. I was afraid that there would be no tortilla chips in Sierra Leone. Thanks for the plantain tip and I'm definitely going to have to save this recipe!

Anonymous said...

Sounds yummy - thanks! Also, I live in Uganda and we have chapatis here (they are actually from India, but are so common to the Africans). They are like an extra thick tortilla. We like to spray or brush them with a little bit of oil, sprinkle with salt, cut them into triangles (with a pizza cutter is easiest), and then bake in a hot oven until nice and crisp! I hardly miss tortilla chips with these! If you have chapatis there, you might try it. Rebecca Lantz

MrsJohn said...

Heather - Going to Sierra Leone, they probably have something similar. We have both green (unripe) plantain chips and red (ripe) plantain chips. The green are savory and the red are sweet. Here in Ghana they cut them differently so you'll know what you're getting!
Rebecca - We don't have the heavy Indian influence here in Ghana...I love chapatis, but the only place I can get them is at the Indian restaurant in town!

Debbie Crawford said...

I love salsa! This looks so good! We can get tortilla chips here but they are expensive but sometimes I just got to have a bag.