Cinco de Mayo may be passed…

Cinco de Mayo may have come and gone for this year but the dishes I created to share with friends will definitely last all year long, especially as we come into this season tremendous tomato volume!  One of the best ways to use up those tomatoes is to whip up batches of salsa.  Some people lightly cook there’s but I prefer mine fresh.  With the help of a food processor you can actually put it together very quickly and I think it has the perfect texture then. 

I had the misfortune of my food processor burning up just before I started my homemade salsa making process.  I always make it at least one day before I am planning on using it or serving it.  I think the flavors meld into each other in the perfect way when they are allowed to set over night.  Because a batch is best done in large quantities (my personal opinion lol), I have come up with alternative uses for the basic salsa to be used after the dipping and munching are done.  I love it mixed with a package of tuna fish and eaten over salad.  It is also absolutely delicious added to boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been cooked for 4-6 minutes on each side in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.  I add at least one cup of salsa per chicken breast and 3/4 cup cooking wine to the pan and cover until cooked all the way through.  I am crazy about the salsa chicken served over cous cous that has been made with half organic chicken stock and water and then had fresh cilantro stirred in about 2 minutes before serving.  Also remember, salsa can be canned and then available off season.  I encourage this since I personally only eat organic and try to always buy local.

Follows is my salsa recipe.  Like anything else, I encourage you to experiment, adapt and make it your own.  I personally put a rather large quantity of cilantro in because I love the flavor it has.  I also typically don’t make it very hot, since I serve it to others and want all to enjoy it.  I have often added Serrano peppers as a way to increase the heat.

I made several other really tasty dishes for the Cinco de Mayo celebration.  They are quite easy for serving a decent size group of people.  If you have any interest, I am more than happy to share.

Homemade Salsa

2 1/2 lbs plum or roma tomatoes (If you have a choice)

1 medium red onion

1 large jalapeno

5 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup lime juice

1 1/2 cup of cilantro

salt & pepper

Chop all of the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand, as small as you desire.  (I prefer a fairly smooth texture in a food processor and as small as I can muster when hand chopping.) Then add lime juice and chopped cilantro, stir.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Refrigerate over night.  Some final touches could be needed the next day, so adjust to your taste.  The flavor will be different after 24 hours so follow base recipe and wait to make additions until then.

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