Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Favorite Salsa

I went to Atlanta when I was 14. It was the first time I had been to a major city where toilet seat covers weren't provided. It was also the first time I was in a major city that, quite frankly, was dirty (maybe it's changed since then). It was in Atlanta that I created my first theory of food (of which I now have many). My theory was: the cleaner the bathroom, the better the food. It proved to be true, and has held true since.

 I'm upgrading it to a Law of Dining.

 (Yes, some of my peppers were a little on the old side)

 The best meal we had was at Horseradish Grill (the cleanest bathrooms, and a nonsmoking restaurant in a city that permitted smoking. Yay!)

 The worst was a restaurant we went to after the CNN and Coca Cola factory tours. I have no idea what it was called, but I remember being terrified of the food, and I held my business until we got back to the hotel.

The next food theory I devised is in a similar vain. Always judge a Mexican restaurant by its salsa.

One of my very favorite Mexican restaurant has the standard tri-color chips (not the best), but the salsa is amazing. The food rivals is easily as good as what I ate when I went to Frontera.

Growing up in Southern California, I have eaten a lot of salsa. My favorite is not from a restaurant though. It is a recipe that I stole acquired from my friend Corey. I have a lot to thank Corey for: she made working for Disney fun, is the co-creator of the Pirates of the Caribbean drinking game, she makes this salsa, oh and she introduced me to my boyfriend. God bless this girl.

According to Corey, the recipe for this salsa is "the only good thing [she] ever got from her ex-boyfriend." That is enough of an endorsement for me. (The recipe is technically his mom's.)

The salsa is garlicky, and has a depth not found in most salsas (definitely found not in pico de gallo which I don't particularly care for). Sure, there are a few more steps than you might be used to, but it is worth it. And easy. I promise.

(Blurry and my battery died right after this picture)

My Favorite Salsa or "The only good thing Corey ever got from her ex-boyfriend" Salsa 
My salsa always ends green because I love cilantro and tend to go a little crazy with it. The recipe below calls for less than what I used. I also don't seed the peppers because I want the salsa to have some heat. If you're scared of it being too hot, seed some or all them. 

1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion (doesn't matter what variety. I usually use red or a sweet onion)
3 jalapenos
2 dried chilis de arbol
2 Santa Fe Grande chilis (also known as a guero chili)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 bunch cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Pour the olive oil over the garlic and seal in a foil pouch. Roast for 45 minutes, or until garlic is soft and sweet. When cool enough to handle, remove the garlic from the papery stuff.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over high heat (or under the broiler) blacken all of the chilis as well as the onion. Allow to cool, then remove the stems (and seeds if you want to).

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste (keep in mind how salty your chips are.) Serve with chips and a margarita and enjoy!


  1. Hehe wouldn't it be a great cookbook idea to put together a bunch of recipesl ike this aka "the best thing he ever gave me" cookbook! :P

  2. It totally would be. Even just a book "The Only Good Thing He Ever Gave Me..." pictures, recipes, etc. But it would have to be PG because some people have dirty dirty minds.

  3. That is great, Deanna. :-) I love the idea of the cookbook..."The Only Good Thing He Ever Gave Me..." I could definitely add a few recipes. ;-) I'm excited to try this salsa - love the gorgeous green color!

  4. This looks so good! I have to try this out, i always make my usual guacamole or tomato salsa.

  5. Oh, that's making hungry right now. Can't wait to give it a go!

  6. Congratulations! I just gave you an award.

  7. I love, love, love salsa verde! It's so delicious and far better than typical salsa, in my opinion. Looks fantastic!

  8. Crepes- It isn't a true salsa verde because there are no tomatillos. Its just green because I love cilantro and always use a ton.

  9. What an interesting salsa... very well done!!