Tag 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.

Sweet & Spicy Tomato Glaze

This is sweet & spicy condiment that is great brushed on pork , turkey or chicken .
It is a dual purpose sauce that can be used while roasting or served with the roasted meat.
Just separate a portion to use exclusively for glazing to avoid possible contamination with raw meat present the rest with the final dish  and.. voila! lots of flavor layering!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbls fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbls butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tps ground clove
  • 1/4 tps cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the ginger and the garlic, stir for one minute. Add the vinegar and cinnamon, cook for another minute. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat and let cook for 90 minutes. Let it cool, then remove the cinnamon stick. Serve the jam at room temperature.

    The glaze will keep for one week in the fridge, but we doubt there will be any leftover!

    Oven Dried Tomatoes

    We have no idea why, but this year we had the ugliest tomatoes ever! They tasted perfect, but the shape was a bit off. We also found a great deal on perfectly shaped Roma Tomatoes. Big or small. ugly or perfect , Oven drying is a great way to preserve tomatoes, and at around $4 for a 10 oz bag, they make a lot of money- saving sense!

    Best of all, they can be used to enhance flavor of salsas, stews, sauces and soups.  We’ve tried them in tapenade, sandwiches and salads. 

     

     

     

    2 lbs ripe roma (AKA plum) tomatoes tips off halved or any other meaty tomatoes
    2 tsp. salt
    2 Tbs. sugar
    4 Tbs. olive oil
    1 tsp. fresh thyme

    Place tomatoes on a baking rack skin side down, sprinkle the salt, sugar and fresh thyme.
    Drizzle on olive oil.
    Place rack in oven at low temperature (200 degrees). Let it cook for 4 hours, or till dried to your liking.

    Lemongrass Salsa



    Talk about fusion cuisine! Lemongrass is a wonderful herb ( technically a grass) ;  it  is typically used  to flavor dishes in South East Asian cuisine. So what is it doing in a Salsa?  Normally, I would use lime to brighten the dish; but one day, I made salsa and hadn’t a lime in sight! Low and behold there was fresh lemongrass in the fridge, so I gave it a try. To my surprise,  the lemongrass gave a wonderful citrusy flavor to the dish. The result was so unique and delicious it is now a favorite.

    Make it as chucky or as smooth as you like, but just make enough to use immidiately since the lemongrass will make the flavor of the salsa change once refrigerated.

    Try on chicken, salmon or turkey burgers for a real treat!  

    Ingredients: (for 1 cup salsa)

    3 Roma tomatoes, diced
    1/2 cup chopped red onions
    2 Tbls parsley, chopped
    1 Tbls fresh lemongrass, chopped
    juice of 1 lime
    2 Tbls olive oil
    1 chopped jalapeno pepper
    salt and ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients except the jalapeno, in a mixing bowl, mix enough jalapeno pepper to suite your taste.  Taste often adjusting for heat . Once you have the flavor just right , let rest for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

    Remember to just make the quantity you will need and not extra since the flavor will change.