Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chips and Salsa

Growing up in New Mexico means learning to love spicy food, and what better way to train your palate than with tasty salsa? You know how Italian restaurants usually start out with olive oil and bread on the table? Well, New Mexican restaurants are notorious for providing little bowls of chips and salsa for customers to enjoy before their meal. Salsa is, by far, my favorite condement. There's nothing like walking into any New Mexican grocery store and seeing an entire aisle filled—from top to bottom—with jars of salsa.

My Tia Anna makes the most unbelievable homemade salsa. It's so good that I used to show up at our family functions early just to pour some of her salsa in my own to-go container (okay, it was usually a plastic cup) so I could be sure to have some when I went home. She quickly caught on to my scheme and started bringing me my very own container of salsa.

But that wasn't enough. One day I finally asked her how she made it so I could make it at home. Then she said the one phrase every person who fears the kitchen is afraid of hearing: "Oh, I don't measure anything; I just put a little of this and a little of that in there." Drats. Luckily, she wrote everything down the next time she made it.

This is my version of her salsa, and it's so simple to make. I should note that everything here can be modified. My husband doesn't like cilantro, so I usually put in a little less. And if you don't have green chile, just use jalapenos. The same goes for the texture: if you like chunky salsa, don't puree it as much. Do you have fresh tomatoes on hand? Go for it! A couple other things to keep in mind: taste as you go, but keep in mind that the flavors will mingle together more in the fridge; and try not to oversalt, because most ot the time you'll be scooping this salsa up with a salty chip (recipe below)!

from The Tale of Two Kitchens

2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons green chile (or jalapenos, to taste)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup cilantro, chopped

Stir all ingredients together. Mix to preferred texture in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Tortilla Chips
from The Tale of Two Kitchens

6-inch corn or flour tortillas, cut into triangles
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheets with foil. Spray or brush both sides of tortilla triangles with oil. Place triangles on baking sheet not touching. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.


  1. Good job Jess! It looks soooooo good!

  2. Yum! This looks a lot like my salsa recipe, except I don't use any cilantro (I hate it!) and I add a squeeze of lime :)

  3. YUM! I am making this over the weekend!

  4. Can this recipe be replicated with fresh tomatoes? I am not a fan of canned tomatoes so if there is a hint - let me know!

    Also, baked chips sound so much healthier - I always fry mine up in my dutch oven :)

  5. Hannah, I don't see why not! I've always wanted to use fresh, but never had enough on hand to make them. I'm hoping to try it this summer. If you try it with fresh, report back on how it is! I'd suggest using roma tomatoes and having about two cups worth?

  6. I love chips and salsa!!! It must be all the years spent in El Paso, TX. I'm a sucker for anything Mexican...which is probably why I married me a MexiRican (half Mexican, half Puerto Rican). ;-)


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