Tuesday, August 30, 2011

bomb-ass snack

Hello, children!

Today we makin' salsa!

Kids, for me salsa is a very seasonal snack, the reason being that I live in an area of the world [Kentucky] where there are distinct seasons. Unless it's between late June and early September, a good tomato is hard to come by in these parts. I am convinced that all the people out there who claim not to like tomatoes (you'd be surprised) just haven't had the opportunity to behold a really ripe one. It's entirely plausible. Real live people out there go years of their lives where their only tomato exposure happens by accident at Taco Bell. Come on. Orange cubes? And they're chewy? You're not fooling us, trucking industry. These are not tomatoes. Which makes the tomato season (yes, we're re-naming "summer" now) all the more magical and precious.

As an infant, I was lucky enough to live in the custody of a mom who grew live tomato plants from scratch in the backyard.

To me, there is still no sight more beautiful than a big heirloom tomato ripening on the vine-- warm, soft and alive to the touch, on the verge of splitting open from the weight of all the wonderful red juice inside it.
Ew. Good thing I don't write porn, right?
No better smell than those hairy green leaves, seeping oil from their pores that contains the aromatic essence of a tomato.
Ugh, seriously?

Let's make some salsa!

So, first, you want to gather your ingredients.
I'm no moral philosopher, but I highly recommend buying as many of them as you can from farmers' markets, local sources, etc.

Because you read a Michael Pollan book?

No, fool!
Because they'll taste better.

...and because people in your community made it their livelihood to ensure that their vegetables taste good during their respectively appropriate seasons, it's best to support localized sustainable economic interests, wah wah wah.
Whatever. Believe what you want, just taste my salsa and you'll know the f'ing difference, arrite?

Here are the ingredients:
4 ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
1 bunch green onions
1 Anaheim pepper
1 jalapeño or serrano chili
1 clove garlic
1 lime
1 handful cilantro
1 Tbsp kosher salt

1. First 4 ingredients, dice into 1/4" pieces.
2. Next 2 ingredients mince really tiny, because they can burn you.
3. Sprinkle last 3 to taste.

This is literally the most brainless recipe since Ellie Krieger's Dark Chocolate As a Snack. (Which has since been deleted from the Food Network site, undoubtedly out of shame, so thank you foodnetworkhumor.com for preserving its glory.)

You just put everything into the same washed-out yogurt container and stir it around, preferably with a chip.
The only catch is that chopping everything up gets to be really time consuming.
just trust me, it's worth it.

That, and the onions can be really sad!
Tears of joy that I'm going to be eating salsa soon!

Now, let me share with you guys my world-class secret of salsa making.
I'm shaking my head. Posting this is going to cost me millions of dollars someday. Are you ready for this?

Scoot in close.


What makes my salsa so delicious is that I mince up some of the lime peel and add it in. Shhh! Now that I told you, just try it at home but keep it a secret, all right? The tiny bit of added lime peel adds an unexpected spicy/sour/bitterness that only pops up every fifth bite, that makes people go, "Humm. She really is a good cook. I have no idea what that flavor is, but I kind of like it."
Don't tell, I swear to god! Just try it.

Now, let's make the chips, shall we?

Yep, you heard me. I mean, store-bought shit rules. I am the Frito bandito.
... But, hypothetically, and for the sake of doing things the hard way, what would it be like if we all made our own tortilla chips?

This person knows. (Always go where there are good reviews.)
My version has not only Kosher salt, but a sprinkle of lime juice before baking. I am a fiend.
Oh, and you also absolutely have to use corn tortillas.

Yom. Corn chips and salsa from scritchy scratch? A little bit more work, but yes-ma'am, these puppies are worth it.

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