Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo

One of the greatest parts of being an expat is being surrounded by other expats from around the world.  I have friends from so many different countries here in China!  Out of those friends, there are several from our neighbors to the south... Mexico!  In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I am sharing with you the authentic, Mexican salsa recipe that one of my new friends has taught me.  Careful... this one is a bit picante!  It is a huge hit in our home!  Thanks to my friend Ileana, for allowing me to share her recipe with all of you!

- Tomatoes, 2 large or 4 small
- Large Red Chili Peppers, 2
- Large Green Chili Peppers, 3
- Small Chili Peppers, 3
- Cilantro (Coriander), fresh, about 1 cup
- Chicken Soup Powder, 2 Tbsp
- Salt
- Lime Juice, 1 tsp

1) Place the tomatoes, large red chili peppers, and small chili peppers (mine are green) in a large pot with water.  Cover and boil until the skin is easily pealed off of the tomatoes.

Note: To make this salsa a little LESS picante (that's fancy for hot), I removed the seeds from inside the small peppers.  They will pack the most heat, and the seeds are the strongest source.  Just be careful what you touch after handling the seeds!  Also, I cut the top off of my tomatoes before boiling so I don't have that yucky part chopped into my salsa.

2) Place your large green chilies on a flame until the skin is nice and charred.  I use a pair of tongs to flip them over until evenly blackened.

Once the peppers are nice and black, I wrap them in a large piece of plastic wrap so they can sweat off the skin.  My friend Ileana uses little plastic bags.  A sandwich bag would work as well.  Let the peppers rest until cool enough to handle.

3) When the skin is pealing off of your boiling tomatoes, they are ready!

Transfer the peppers and tomatoes from your boiling water to a bowl.  Make sure all skin is removed from the tomatoes, and cut the tops off of your peppers.

4) Clean the charred skin off of your green chili peppers.  Running the pepper under cold water makes the job a little less messy.  Don't forget to cut off the tops!


5) Add:
A handful of fresh cilantro...

2 Tablespoons of chicken soup flavoring... (please forgive the Chinese can... I am told you can buy this in the US)...

 A bit of salt... maybe 1/2 tsp...

and a squirt of lemon juice!

And blend!!  I have a handy mixer, but you could do this in a blender or using a food processor too.

Now... can you wait for it to cool?
Toss it in the fridge, and ENJOY!

 Yummy Salsa for Cinco de Mayo!
(or every day, as it is enjoyed in our home)

My daughter tells me "This is so good, I just can't stop eating it!"
She has her father's stomach!


I have made this salsa several times.  Each time it turns out a little different, as the peppers will be more or less "hot" each time.  I have also used more tomatoes, and even added garlic, and a roasted red bell pepper.  For a less spicy version, omit the small chili peppers, and be sure to remove the seeds if you use chili peppers at all.  This salsa never disappoints, and is fun to experiment with!

Thanks Ileana for letting me share this recipe!  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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