Category Archives: Salsas & Other Condiments

Fresh Salsa

Summer and roadside produce stands seems to hand in hand. Local farmers have plentiful bounties and are always willing to sell straight to the customer ! We all love the idea of a bargain, but when I read the sign ” all local organic produce” , “fresh herbs”  and “plum tomatoes” I had to stop!

For days  I’d been thinking on how to vamp up the flavor of our grilled chicken breast  without the use of a grilling sauce  and there it was: fresh tomatoes, herbs, fresh peppers  and spring (green onions). Mix up, serve as a dipping side and yum, yum, yum!

The man had harvested the goods that same morning. Oh what a treat it was… the freshest, truest flavor of salsa I’ve ever had. It’s simple, has 4 ingredients and is chock full of flavor. Careful handling the Jalapeno  , it could irritate sensitive skins! The actual heat of the pepper is concentrated in the seeds and  white stuffs inside the pepper, so discard if you like less heat, or leave it all in for a fiesta in your mouth. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 red plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeno pepper, finely chopped ( leave seeds and white out for less heat)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix the tomatoes and shallots in a bowl, toss in the cilantro and salt. Mix in jalapeno to taste. Serve immediately. This salsa can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Guacamole

guac

How we love guacamole! But how do we not love the store-bought weird grey- looking stuff! Our quest for the perfect guacamole started a couple of years ago thanks to the generosity ( and overstock) of a neighbors guacamole tree. Although avocados might have a bad rap or being fatty,  they contain 0 trans fats and do contain 20 vitamins a a cargo load of minerals such as potassium.  In our search for the perfect flavor we discovered a couple of useful facts: you MUST use lime, lemons an guacamole do not jive, and second: you must use fresh peppers. Use serrano peppers if you prefer mild, use jalapenos is you prefer a bit more spice.  ENJOY!

 

Ingredients: (for 2 cups)

2 large ripe avocados
3 firm medium tomatoes, diced
3 jalapenos or Serrano peppers, finely chopped
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 green onion with the stalk, chopped
the juice of 1/2 or 1 lime
salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seeds. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix. Place the diced tomatoes and onions into the bowl, mix well and add jalapenos and salt to taste, depending on the desired spiciness. Toss all the ingredients together evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend. Taste for salt and spiciness. As with all salsas, if too mild add more peppers; if too spicy, add more tomatoes

Use as a dip or as a condiment for fajitas and grilled meats.

No-Cook Tomato Pasta Sauce

Having Pasta? No time for sauce? “Farmer Lopez” provided these lovely tomatoes and suggests a way of cooking without cooking: a raw tomato sauce. This works beautifully with freshly harvested tomatoes. The delicate flavors are preserved an become a shinning component of the dish.  Add Blue cheese or Gorgonzola and ENJOY!
Note: if serving to persons with allergies to penicillin , use feta or goat cheese just to be on the safe side

Ingredients:

1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked “al-dente”
2 cups plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 Tbsp blue cheese

In a bowl, mix the hot pasta with the garlic, add the tomatoes, the oil and the blue cheese. Mix well. Serve at once.
This recipe can also be topped with sautéed shrimp.

California Fresh Salsa


What to spice it up without adding mega-calories? This salsa will definitely do it! If you never made salsa, don’t worry :it’s quick and easy and has very few ingredients. Take your time to make your own salsa it is really worth it, The flavors exude to compliment the best of fire-roasted chicken, steak or mahi-mahi

This Recipe was given to us by “MasterChef RoD” the definite king  of spicy chiles.  Thank you oh great master of spice for showing us the right way to spice!

Ingredients:( for one cup of salsa)
2 tomatoes, peeled
1 jalapeno with seeds
1 green onion white and green parts
4 or 5 stalks cilantro
1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic ( the fresher the better)
1 pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp lime juice

Chop all ingredients into 1/4 inch bits. Mix in a large bowl and let cool in refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Serve at once, since it is not recommended to save. Those who like it hot, add two Thai-Sri Lanka peppers per tomato. Serve with salt free blue corn chips or as a compliment to fire roasted meats. Enjoy!

Roasted Peppers

roasted-peppers

 

Want to add something delicious , elegant and easy to make to your table? Then roast your own  peppers!
Roasted peppers are used as condiments to meats, can me chopped and used in salads, to top pizza, can be served as a tapas or easy appetizer , and are a must to roasted pepper and gorgonzola panini! 
Choose large, unblemished sweet peppers for roasting.  They can be roasted on a grill, in the oven or simply on the stovetop.  Any color of sweet pepper will do, we found that the red, yellow and orange ones seamed a lot more appealing roasted than the green or purple varieties.  Fell free to add a poblano  pepper to the mix if you want some zing.

Ingredients: ( for 1 cup of roasted peppers)

4 whole sweet peppers intact , washed   
1  plastic zip-top  bag
salt and pepper to taste 
drizzle of olive oil

OVEN METHOD:

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place whole peppers  ( yes with stem and all) on one side on a baking tray . Cook for 15 minutes or till you see skin turning slightly black. Use a pair of cooking tongs to carefully remove from oven and place in the bag. Close the bag and let stand for 30 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Place peppers in a bowl and peel skin off with your fingers capturing  the juices coming from the peppers in the bowl. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Add salt pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. ENJOY!

Grill/ Stovetop method:

Set stovetop to medium high. With the aid of cooking tongs, carefully place peppers , one at a time , on your stovetop. If you have electric coils, place pepper sideways  directly on the coils. Let cook till that side turns slightly black and turn . Repeat for the other side. Remove from heat  and place in the bag. Close the bag and let stand for 30 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Place peppers in a bowl and peel skin off with your fingers capturing  the juices coming from the peppers in the bowl. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Add salt pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. ENJOY!
 

 

The peppers will keep in their juices in a fridge for a week.