A couple of years ago I was working as a cabinetmaker in a small shop. There were about six employees in all and we were very close with the owners. The husband worked side by side with us in the shop while the wife ran the office.
At some point during the summer our boss brought in some salsa and put it in the break room refrigerator. At the end of the day he told us all to take a jar home and enjoy it. At that point in time the only salsa that I had tried was store bought stuff (Pace, ect) and I thought the stuff was sickening.
One of the guys I used to work with told me to take a jar and give it a try, that it was nothing like the stuff I didn’t like. I took his advice and brought a jar home with me, picking up a bag of tostedos on the way.
Later that night I gave it a try and was blown away, the salsa was awesome. Majority of the ingredients came from the gardens of friends and family. Those in addition to a couple of store bought products made up the salsa.
The following day I thanked my boss for the salsa and asked how he made it. He kindly provided me with a rough list of ingredients and I was on my way. For years he had been making it without any formal recipe, he made it taste and added more, or less, of whatever it looked like the salsa needed.
Over the last couple of years I have been making my own during the summer months. Up until last year I was able to get just about all of my ingredients from the gardens of friends and family. Last year I had to head to the produce section of my grocery store and purchase everything. The end result was good, but didn’t compare to what I was making the year before.
These days when I want to make a down and dirty salsa that is simple, I use a variety of fresh vegetables and canned goods. I tend to go this route if I need to whip up salsa for a get together and don’t have the time to slice and dice a mountain of vegetables.
I’ve never written down my recipe, or even tried to make note of quantities. I’ve always done everything by sight and added things to taste. Below is more, or less, my down and dirty salsa. If you get some free time, give it a try sometime.
- 3 Tomatoes
- 3 Jalapeño Peppers
- 1 Green Pepper
- ½ Onion
- 1 Cup of Corn
- ½ Cup of Black Beans
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Can Petite Cut Tomatoes with Jalapeño
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
- Couple Cilantro Leaves
Once all ingredients are combined into a plastic bowl, I pop on a lid and place it into the refrigerator. I find that it doesn’t taste all that appealing at this stage. After a couple of hours in the refrigerator I open it up and mix it. I place it back in the refrigerator and mix again in a few hours. After it is mixed three or four times, I allow it to sit overnight.
The following day it will be ready to go. The time in the refrigerator seems to allow all of the ingredients to marry the flavors of one another. You should be able to tell fairly quickly what it needs more, or less, of for your next batch.
Depending on who will be eating this salsa, I change up the ingredients. If I know my wife will be easting it, I’ll leave it as is. If it will be for me and a couple of friends I generally add a couple more tomatoes, double the Jalapeños and add a couple of Habaneros.
After making a batch of extra hot salsa, with all fresh vegetables from the gardens of friends, I had a friend of the family tell me something that makes me laugh every time I think about it. After eating a small jar he told me “Boy that stuff was good but I paid the price. It felt like I was crapping lightning bolts”