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fresh salsa in five minutes & lazy woman’s nachos

February 2, 2011

Our cooking extravaganzas follow a somewhat predictable pattern.  The dishes vary, but we consistently have a couple of main dishes and usually a vegetable side of some sort.  We always have a scone recipe to make, and we always make something to snack on while we cook.

This past cooking extravaganza, we made fresh salsa.  It was delicious, stayed fresh the whole time we were cooking, kept well in the fridge, and the best part is that it was ready in less than five minutes.

If you can’t find a jalapeno, use one of those 4 oz. cans of green chilies instead.  I did when I made another batch of this stuff and I liked the results, although I missed that vaguely tangy jalapeno taste.

Fresh Salsa

Adapted (barely) from Pioneer Woman

  • 1 24 oz. can of whole tomatoes in their juice (note: canned plum tomatoes don’t work as well)
  • 2 10 oz. cans of Ro-Tel (original or, if you want a pretty spicy salsa, the Hot kind)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno, sliced and quartered
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro (about half of the bunch we had) or 1/2 cup if you don’t love cilantro as much as us
  • juice of a small lime (half of a large lime), or 1 TBSP prepared lime juice
  • scant 1/4 tsp sugar
  • rounded 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

Chop the vegetables that need chopping – you’ll have leftover onion, wrap it in some plastic wrap and refrigerate it, or go ahead and chop it and put it in a Ziploc bag so you can easily use it in a recipe another day soon.  Open all the canned stuff and discard the lids.  Don’t drain the liquid from anything, unless you’re a total wimp about spicy stuff, in which case you can drain the liquid from the Ro-tel.

Put all ingredients in a food processor and process for about 20-30 seconds or until it reaches that half-smooth, half-chunky texture of restaurant-style salsa.   You could probably also use an immersion blender – although perhaps it’d be prohibitively messy.

Warning: this filled my food processor to capacity and there was some leakage, as you can tell.  For the second batch I made, I tried to fix this problem by processing the tomatoes first, then everything else, and then mixing them.  I didn’t like the resulting flavor as much as I liked the fully mixed-in-a-food-processor kind, and it was still pretty messy because liquid-y tomatoes are messy.  So embrace the mess and just clean it up later!

Serving Suggestion: This tastes delicious on its own, and maintains its freshness for at least several days.  But the beloved carnivore was in town, and I wanted to get a little fancier when I served him the chips and salsa, and also I know how deep his love of cheese runs. So I paired this with lazy woman’s nachos, which are made the following way.

Lay out a bunch of chips.  Cover with pieces of cheese, preferably Kraft Singles.  Other cheeses are delicious for this purpose, but Kraft Singles embody the lazy angle best because you don’t even have to cut the cheese, just unwrap it.

Mmm, doesn’t that all look processed, unnatural, and DELICIOUS?   Actually I have no idea what the ingredients of Kraft Singles are – they could well be natural, but I think ignorance is bliss and willfully ignore the ingredients list.

Now, put that plate in the microwave for 15 seconds – maybe 20 if your microwave is less than 1000 watts.  Check on the nachos, and if the cheese hasn’t fully melted, keep microwaving it, checking every 5 seconds if you’ve used the American cheese and 10 seconds if you’ve used a sturdier, less easily melting cheese.   You want the cheese to be just-melted, but not so melted that it’s basically evaporated.

Now, dip each nacho in the salsa and enjoy!

(don’t worry, the salsa jar was actually more secure than just sittin’ on the couch without me holding it, but I had to take a picture and that required both hands).



9 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink*
    February 2, 2011 9:48 am

    This salsa is delicious. I love every bite of it.

    I won’t tell you the ingredients of kraft singles, but I feel compelled to say that they’re not legally allowed to call themselves cheese. And they make me gag. I think this is one of those moments where we celebrate our differences. 😉

    • February 2, 2011 9:52 am

      I love a good brie as much as the next cheese-fiend, but I still embrace the “food” of my childhood 😉 Also I was trying to make sure Kraft didn’t ever sue us, but so much for that . . .

      • Amanda permalink*
        February 2, 2011 10:02 am

        I so didn’t mean to make that comment while accidentally still logged in as “us” and thereby imply that “we” both embrace Kraft . . . lol.

  2. Barbara Stoops permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:09 am

    Whew..this entry shows a true behind-the-scenes look at the deep differences that run between Em and Am. Look for the full story in this week’s edition of the National Enquirer.

    • Emily permalink*
      February 2, 2011 10:26 am

      Word, it’s not Kraft that Amanda has to worry about a lawsuit from. That would be me, seeing as how she’s misrepresenting my cheese alliances. Cheddar is where it’s at. I once traveled 5 miles in the snow (uphill only one way) to get real cheddar for an expat shindig I was throwing. Brie is good too. I would suggest making a baked brie, but that would probably be dangerous to share among two people in one sitting.

      • Amanda permalink*
        February 2, 2011 10:39 am

        Bridal shower? I’ll play a lot of dumb games in order to eat baked brie.

  3. Sarah permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:39 am

    I’m amused there are regulations for what is and is not cheese. Thanks government!

  4. Emily permalink*
    February 2, 2011 11:39 am

    Just wait until you see some of the things we have planned for the bridal shower. Actually just one in particular, but I’m sure we’ll come up with more. So excited! It’s killing me not to be able to share the ideas with my fellow food-obsessed friend.

  5. Aunt Jo permalink
    February 3, 2011 2:32 am

    Amanda – your Uncle Bobby or Silly Bobby as you used to call him would be horrified. In his book there only was one nacho cheese: Extra Sharp Kraft Cheddar – sliced thin and placed on wholeTostitos – never broken ones. And never, ever piled up in a mess like some people do. Oven baked with 1/4 of a jalapeño on top, not microwaved so the cheese cooks not just melts. He always served them with the exclamation, “These were made with LOVE.”. Of course, he would have loved your homemade salsa!

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