fresh salsa in five minutes & lazy woman’s nachos
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.
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).