Hola! I've been working on a bunch of things that I plan to slowly reveal this year, and the first one began last week with my first youtube video! My channel is officially open and I'll be uploading videos of my recipes and other things every week, so if you haven't and feel curious about my "video skills" you can check them out:
I'm still working on a logo and some other things, but one step at a time. And maybe after a couple of videos I'll share some of the bloopers too since there are A TON. But so far so good, since I knew the basics, so I hope little by little they'll be prettier!
For this week's recipe, I wanted to share a very simple way to make salsa. After moving here about a year ago, I've been experimenting with local ingredients to try and replicate the recipes I grew up with. Luckily for me, Los Angeles has an amazing array of mexican imports available even in regular supermarkets, so I rarely have a hard time finding traditional ingredients. But I don't like to depend on specific things to make a dish, so I usually like finding adaptations and substitutions to incorporate local produce, or to cater to my friends with different dietary restrictions. This way it is never about following a specific recipe but more of trying to get out a familiar flavor out of different ingredient combinations.
That being said, my salsa recipe is made with a bit of my own invention, a bit of how I remember my mom making it, and a bit of a bunch of internet and book research. But mostly, it's super easy and it's perfect for cooking enchiladas, tinga (shredded chicken), or topping your favorite taco with.
- 5-6 tomatillos*
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 onion
- 1-2 chiles (any kind; canned, fresh or dried. I used jalapeños)
- 1 tomato (roma tomato)
- 2 limes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Pinch of pepper
*TOMATOES: if you can't find tomatillo, you can use green tomatoes. The flavor is different, but still makes a nice salsa. Or you can just use 3-4 roma tomatoes. Or any tomatoes, really.
- Remove paper-like skin from tomatillos while washing them. Chop onion into 4 pieces, chop tomato into about 8 pieces and chop chiles. Remove or keep the seeds from chiles depending on how mild or spicy you want the salsa. More seeds = spicier salsa.
- Place a pan over medium heat and place the tomatillo, onion, tomato and chiles. Let them roast for 2 minutes until the bottoms have browned, then flip them and let the tops brown for another 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and let it slowly cook for 10 minutes. The produce should soften and the aromas will intensify.
- Carefully add everything to a blender or food processor. Add the lemon juice, salt, paprika, pepper and cilantro. Mix well until everything is combined.
- Adjust taste and thickness (you can add more water to make it runnier), then transfer to a jar or serving recipient. Keep in the fridge.
I just love the smell my kitchen gets when slowly cooking the salsa, the roasted tomatillo smells amazing and you can see them bubbling and almost bursting with flavor and goodness. And if you are used to salsa from a bottle, please try and make this one; you'll be surprised by how much the flavors come through when the salsa is still fresh and warm, even if it is still really good when chilled, nothing beats pouring it while still steaming on top of a warm taco. Or quesadilla. Or steak. Or avocado. Just go and do it, trust me.