Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Simple Salsas (Guac, too!)

Delicious salsas are never out of season!

Salsa de Chile Chipotle

3 dried chipotle peppers or 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, rinsed, drained, seeded, and finely chopped

6 to 8 tomatillos or one 11- to 12-ounce can tomatillos, rinsed and drained

¼ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1. Cut open dried peppers; discard stems and seeds. Place peppers in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes to soften. Drain well. Cut peppers into tiny pieces.

2. Meanwhile, remove husks from fresh tomatillos; rinse. Finely chop the fresh or canned tomatillos (you should have about 2 cups). In a medium bowl, combine pepper pieces, chopped tomatillos, onion, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, and salt.

3. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve as a dip for chips or as a condiment for grilled meats, hot dogs, burgers, steaks, or poultry. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

4. Make-ahead directions: Spoon the salsa into a storage container. Cover and chill for up to 1 week.

Salsa De Mango

1 ½ cups chopped, peeled mango, papaya, peaches, plums, and/or pineapple

½ cup chopped red or green sweet pepper

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro or parsley

2 tablespoons lime juice or lemon juice

1 to 2 fresh jalapeño or Serrano peppers, seeded and finely chipped, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Anaheim peppers

1. In a medium bowl, stir together fruit, sweet pepper, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño peppers. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

2. Serve as a dip for chips or as a condiment for tacos, quesadillas, burgers, steaks, chicken, or fish. Makes about 2 cups.

3. Spoon the salsa into a storage container. Cover and chill for up to 2 days.


2 ripe medium avocados (about 12 ounces total), halved, seeded, and pulp scooped out and cut up

1 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice

½ cup chopped, seeded tomato (1 small)

½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

1 to 2 fresh Serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1/3 teaspoon salt

Chopped tomato (optional)

1. Place avocado pulp in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the pulp with the lime juice (mixture will be slightly chunky).

2. In a food processor or blender, combine tomato, onion, cilantro, and serrano pepper. Cover and process or blend until finely chopped.

3. Stir tomato mixture and salt into mashed avocados until combined. Spoon into a serving dish. Let stand about 30 minutes for flavors to blend. If desired, garnish with additional chopped tomato. Makes about 2 ½ cups.