Baldwin Basic Salsa
(Shared recipe submitted by Fred Fenlon.)
Fred writes: "I wrote this one a year ago or more, but it took me 6 months to get right. It is salsa (low cal), but cooked in a microwave. I have four more, Chili, Corn, French and Greek. All follow the same basic technique."
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, or 5 to 7 red ripe tomatoes, in season
- 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil (see notes below)
- 3 cloves garlic, blanched and minced (see notes below)
- 1 medium green or yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 medium to large onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 or 2 teaspoons cumin, to taste (see notes below)
- Lime juice from 1/2 lime
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoons white sugar
- 1,2 or 3 jalapeno peppers (1 is mild, 2 is medium hot, 3 is very hot)
Drain tomatoes with a strainer, reserve liquid, and then chop coarsely. Set chopped tomatoes aside in a bowl.
Chop peppers and onions. Mince the blanched garlic cloves. Remove all seeds and ribs from the jalapeno peppers and discard to reduce heat.
In a microwave safe casserole or some other plastic container add the olive oil, garlic, peppers, onions and cilantro. Mix with a wooden spoon to work in the olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Place container in your microwave and cook at high for 1-1/2 minutes (see notes below). Pull out casserole and mix again, recover with plastic wrap and return to microwave for 1-1/2 more minutes or so, on high.
Remove dish from microwave and add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and cumin. If the mixture appears too dry at this point add a few tablespoons of the tomato juice liquid until you get the desired consistency. Return to microwave, recover with plastic wrap and cook at high for 2 minutes.
Remove casserole from the microwave and add the lime juice, jalapeno peppers, salt and pepper to taste. At this point taste. More salt? More cumin? Adjust. Mix with a wooden spoon. If the mixture is too watery add a tablespoon or so of ketchup.
Allow salsa to completely cool. Now taste one more time. Adjust. Then refrigerate in a suitable container for 3 or 4 hours or better still overnight, which will allow the jalapeno peppers to reach full strength. Serve with tortilla chips.
Notes: Virgin olive oil is nice, but any good olive oil will due. Vegetable oil is okay in a pinch. Blanching means boiling garlic cloves in water for 2 minutes. For a stronger garlic taste do not blanch. Cumin loses its strength as it ages. Add more or less to suit your taste. Microwave cooking times can vary depending on wattage. Start with less time and add more as needed.
About Fred: I have really enjoyed reading Fred's recipes. They are well written and his instructions very thorough. Fred's e-mail address is FredFJ@comcast.net.