Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Saaal'sa

Cowtown Pattie, who knows how the west was won, has requested my saaal'sa recipe. It's like taking coals to Newcastle but I will comply. I mean, a Texan asking a Virginian, transplanted from Baltimore, transplanted from Florida for a saaal'sa recipe?

With much of the things I cook, it's either what I have on hand or what sounds good. I got the whatever I have on hand method from my Grandmother Mast who could make a six course meal from the contents of an empty refrigerator.

The other thing is unless it concerns a concoction of flour and yeast I don't measure much. So feel free to add or subtract according to taste.

I put two large cans of diced tomatoes, a sweet onion, about four large cloves of garlic, about a half cup of cilantro, maybe a quarter cup of vinegar in a large bowl. The onion, garlic and cilantro were finely chopped. I used two large jalapinos, seeded and finely chopped. Please remember improper handling of jalapinos can be a very stimulating experience. Handling being the operative word. All of this chopping creates the right texture of crunchy little elements instead of the blended stuff I sometimes find at the local Mexican restaurants.

I wanted to add mango. I know mangos. When I was a kid growing up in Florida mango season was a glorious time. There were several different varieties all sure to send rivulets of sticky, sweet juice cascading down the arm of any pre-adolescent boy. It was all the excuse needed to jump in the cooling bay to get un-stickyed. Until they fell victims of several freezes Mango trees proliferated under the Florida sun. Everyone's favorite was the pineapple mango which needless to say had a pineapple flavor and did not develop a stringiness as did some other varieties. The mangos at Food Lion were not good so I added only a little for color.

I had done my shopping at Food Lion and the fresh tomatoes they had were overpriced, pink and hard. That sounds almost pornographic but then it adequately describes those love apples. Some of you long time readers may remember that the Food Lion in Hillsville was where they put the pork chops in with the sugar and tissue and the former leaked pig blood all over the latter and the latter had to be discarded and I have not been fond of Food Lion since. (Got you again, Food Lion). But I must say the Food Lion in Floyd is better. Those Floydian hippies would protest were it not. As I passed Slaughters Market their sign advertised, "ripe tomatoes, 79 cents a lb." , a quick u-turn on the Floyd Pike and I was soon basking in tomato happiness.

I blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped three of these ripe beauties and threw them in the mix. There seemed to be a lot of juice so the whole thing went into the colander to be drained. Once drained I added a couple more garlic cloves, and a little salt. Since it was available, for sweetness, I put in about a cup of peach syrup love of my life had made last summer.

That's about it. The lady that made the saaal'sa from the not good mangos and oranges was the winner at church. But that was just because she lobbied for the win which was alright with me. It was the doing that was the fun and it did raise a few bucks for the Sunday school and besides we know whose saaal'sa was best.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kasia said...

I have never eaten salsa:( But now I will try to prepare it. thank you.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

Actually, Mac... the sad thing is that they DO take coals to Newcastle now. The pits are all pretty much shut down.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Cowtown Pattie said...

NEVER EATEN SALSA?

Good gravy...

Thanks for your recipe, Mac!

I like mango in my salsa sometimes, too. (Shhhh) And occasionally I add niblets of fresh corn right off the ear that have been boiled to tender crisp.

Summer sweet fresh tomatoes are the best when making homemade, but in a pinch you use what's available.

When they are in season, I also use hatch chiles instead of jalapenos. Poblanos have good flavor, but they can be tough.

Do you use cumin?

9:11 PM  

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