Tag Archives: salsa

Spicy Peach and Nectarine Salsa (for grilled chicken, fish or shrimp)

23 Jun

Between the World Cup, my son’s birthday, and all the crazy- end-of-school-year STUFF, I have not been blogging with my usual attention. And I have missed you! But in the last few days of entertaining and spectating, this peach and nectarine salsa (done quickly at half-time)  has been sparking up the fantastic grilled chicken my dad has been charring to perfection.

A combination of over-ripe and not-quite ripe peaches and nectarines make for a terrific salsa

A combination of over-ripe and not-quite ripe peaches and nectarines make for a terrific salsa

It is the result of buying a manager’s special of rejected peaches and nectarines on the cheap….You can substitute mango..in fact my mom thought it was mango! The important thing is the balance and excitement of sweet, citric, spicy and salty all at one go.  Nancy, this one is for you…

This is done in five minutes!

This is done in five minutes!

Peach/Nectarine Spicy Salsa (for grilled chicken or shrimp)

1 Cup peeled and chopped peaches and nectarines

1 tsp red onion, chopped fine

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp balsamic vinegar

1 pinch hot red pepper flakes

1 pinch salt

Mix together in a bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Serve with grilled chicken, shrimp or sturdy white fish.

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Mango Chimichurri Salsa (for grilled meats and seafood)

7 Jun

When it comes to camping food, go bold or go home is my motto. This is no time for subtlety.

Our delicious dinner

Our delicious dinner

So, when Pedro (my dad) showed up at the campsite with some steaks last week. I was all in. He simply sprinkled salt and pepper on the steaks and got to grilling. His hint for you today is that starting with defrosted steaks still a bit cold in the center helps to keep the rare in medium rare when things start moving quickly on the charcoal grill. A fair bit of marbling on a steak is desirable, because you want that fat to melt and season the steak as opposed to drying out a leaner cut.

I decide to surprise everyone with a different sort of dressing for the steak: a mango chimichurri salsa, a riff on the parsley-based Argentinean salsa for steeak. Continue reading

Grilled Pineapple Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

2 Sep

Grilled pineapple is one of the joys of summer grilling. Searing thick slices of juicy pineapple brings out their sweetness and gives them a more rounded flavor.And when you have leftovers, you can dice them and add them to salsa for a sweet-tart surprise that marries so well with smoky, spicy chipotle and bright red onion,(you can use fresh raw pineapple too).

This is what pineapple looks like off the grill.

This is what pineapple looks like off the grill.

I also like to add black beans and corn kernels — both of which tend to be around in our summer kitchen.

I made this a few weeks ago and forgot to take a picture until it was too late.

I made this a few weeks ago and forgot to take a picture until it was too late.

You can mix and match as you please and play with the proportions…this is basically a good way to use up an extra scoop of this and teaspoon of that. I will be experimenting with grilled peach salsa soon and will let you know!

This finished product. Delish!

This finished product. Delish!

Pineapple Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

¾ Cup diced fresh pineapple (grilled, if possible)

¼ Cup black beans, cook, and preferably seasoned

2 Tbs minced red onion

½ tsp sauce from chipotle in adobo

¼ Cup diced green pepper

salt

Mix all ingredients except salt in a bowl. Salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for Southwest style cooked meats.

Pan-Roast Your Way to Flavorful Fat-Free Tomatillo Salsa

2 Sep

Wanna get roasty flavor from your tomatillos and tomatoes without added oil or turning on the oven? Try pan-roasting, an old Mexican technique that I learned about from Reed Hearon’s La Parrilla: The Mexican Grill (Chronicle Books 1996).

Pretty all the way from start to finish

According to Hearon, Pan-roasting dates back to the times when Mexicans didn’t have enough natural fats available to fry or sauté. It is pretty easy and gives an added depth to those bursting-with-freshness summer flavors. Just cook whole vegetables at a low temperature till they brown thoroughly and Bob’s Your Uncle! Continue reading

Mango Tango Salsa!

16 Nov

It was almost too late for that poor mango, bought in a frenzy of nostalgia for the tree my grandmother planted in her backyard in Mayagüez, a Puerto Rican town celebrated for its delicious, juicy, juicy, sweet, meaty, fiber-free mangos. In June, those suckers drop out of the sky and plop heavily onto the ground where you have to get them before the other critters do. They fall in such quantities that I spent many mornings cutting, slicing, peeling and freezing – you can’t possibly eat them all as they ripen. Friends in San Juan used to love to see me arrive with freezer bags full of Mayagüez mangos; they’d have the blender, booze and ice ready for action before I could even lock my car and get to the front door.

No such welcoming committee for this mango, even after its long journey from Brazil or Mexico or somesuch warm place, after its boring days in a chilly supermarket produce aisle next to a basket of equally foreign avocados, after too many days in the pale fall light of my southern exposure window, defended from attackers by its only company: several very busy spiders and a valiant Venus Flytrap. No, this poor mango was in dire need of attention and accessorizing, as its best days were behind it.

So, Mango Salsa it was, quick and dirty. Good excuse to eat blue corn tortilla chips, which are a weakness of mine (Waterloo to any attempt to get bikini ready) and to further prove that the Spanish love for fruit and cheese is grounded in pure genius and has infinite possibilities. The salsa sweet-tartness and the tortilla crunch just beg to be completed with some salty squeaky cheese – Queso Blanco (the firm kind of Latin white cheese) and Monterey Jack are my choices, but salted mozzarella would likely work also.

So here it is – a one bowl operation, served up in a margarita glass, a neglected mango finally loved up the way it should be.

Mango Tango Salsa

1 cup mango, chopped into small chunks*

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded (or not) and chopped into small chunks

3 Tbs red onion, minced

1 Tbs mango-orange juice (or mango or orange)

2 tsp chipotle in adobo paste (spoon it off the chipotles, but don’t include the peppers themselves)

3 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 pinch salt

Put all ingredients into a small bowl. Mix thoroughly, add seasonings to taste, cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with sliced Caribbean white cheese, salted mozzarella or Monterey Jack and tortilla chips.

* To cut up a mango, hold it on its side lengthwise on a cutting board and choose a spot about a third of the way in. You want to slice down on either side of the seed so you have two bowls.  Score the flesh of each bowl like a checkerboard and turn it inside out (we call this a porcupine). Slice off the chunks and dice as needed. Yo can also cut flesh off the seed (or just eat the flesh off the seed yourself- you are the cook after all and deserve the treat!)

Party Snacks: Oven-Charred Tomatillo, Tomato and Hot Chile Salsa

22 Aug

If you are lucky enough to get a handful of tomatillos in your CSA share or find them in your grocery store, this recipe for a small amount will make your tastebuds very happy (or scream in agony if you overdo it on the hot peppers) and won’t take you very long at all.

There are very few commercially prepared salsas that I like; most are too sweet or too tomatoe-y or just boring, so making my own makes a lot of sense. Once you see how easy tomatillos are to char, you will probably become adventurous with your own flavor combinations.

Tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is indeed in the same family as the tomato, as well as the ground cherry (or cape gooseberry), which it actually resembles more, in looks, if not flavor. Native to Mexico, tomatillo has green or sometimes purple fruit, surrounded by a husk that gets papery as it ripens; it has always reminded me of a Japanese lantern.

When you buy, look for firm fruit with the husk still on (they will keep for a month in a paper bag). When you buy green ones, avoid any that are yellowish.  To prepare them for cooking, remove the husk and wash off the stickiness on the skin.

Although tomatillo is most often used for salsa verde (green sauce), I used purple ones in this recipe. I charred them under the broiler with red tomatoes and mixed them together for a deep and satisfying color.


Roasted Tomatillo, Tomato  and Chile Salsa

7-8 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half

Tomatoes of your choice, in an equal amount to the tomatillos, sliced in half (if using cherry-types) or chunked to the same size as the tomatillo halves

1 fresh hot chile pepper of your choice (I use jalapeño)

2 Tbs red onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs cilantro, chopped

1/8 tsp lime juice

1/8-1/4 tsp coarse salt

Place tomatillos, tomatoes and whole chile pepper on a baking sheet and broil, turning once (carefully!) with a spatula when the tops start to char (my sturdy, but not so high-powered toaster oven took 10 minutes on each side {!} but a stronger oven could do the job in half the time, so watch out!)

When the vegetables are charred, let them cool until you can peel them (over a bowl to catch the juices). Discard peels and add tomatillo and tomato to bowl. Also peel the pepper and BE WARNED: this is a small amount of salsa, so you don’t want to go overboard on the heat. I use only half a jalapeño and remove the seeds and it is still pretty searing on the tongue. So…add roasted chile at your discretion/peril.

I break my salsa up with a fork – unnecessary if you are going to use a blender at the end. Stir in remaining ingredients. For a smoother texture, pulse a few times in a food processor or blender (I prefer chunkier and I hate extra equipment to wash, so I skip it). Garnish with cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

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