Saturday, August 28, 2010
Twisted Kick It Salsa
Our lastest CSA food basket from Roots and Shoots Farm came with a Salsa Making Kit and 'fast' instructions:
"In order to enjoy your tomatoes to the utmost, we have assembled a Salsa Making Kit just for you all! It includes tomatoes, peppers, onions, a hot pepper, and cilantro. Throw the whole thing in the food processor for a great salsa fix, minus the plastic bag of course. You might want to give the onions a wash too!"
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."? Well that was me going blindly into salsa time. We were headed to a fun, fancy, food party in the early evening and I just wanted to get my kit into production before it was time to go. Paying no mind to what a balanced salsa might actually contain, I literally followed the instructions, plus a jalapeno pepper we had laying about, and minus the CSA cilantro as I had no idea where it was.
The food processor did a great job but I had pretty much an onion salsa that was high up on the Scoville scale of peppery heat. Perhaps this could be fixed. Right beside me was 4 non-CSA vine-ripe tomatoes on my counter. I beefed up the concoction using every single one of them. Now it was a bit closer to a tomato salsa but still big on onion. The thing with an onion salsa is that you could never find anything like that for sale at the grocery store because absolutely nobody would have any good reason to buy it. Feeling pretty defeated, I headed to the internet to see if there was something I could do with this 'soup', besides use it in soup! No luck. Time was running out. I stewed for an hour or so and then sent the mister to Produce Depot for rescue tomatoes and a bunch of cilantro. "You're just throwing good money after bad." He amused me though and headed out.
6 more tomatoes, 2 minced garlic cloves, a splash of lime juice and a half bunch of cilantro and we appeared to be in business. In business in the sense that I had a ridiculous quantity of salsa now. Far beyond the eating capacity of this home. But at least I had an edible product. The 10 extra tomatoes and the cilantro pulled the Scoville heat in check as well. An appropriate seasoning with sea salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper brought it to a proper finish. A bit runny but not bad.
Since taste seemed to be there, finally, I decided to begin perfecting this creation. Time to make it less 'wet'. I strained off a fair bit of the juice. This will go well in soups or sauces and headed right to the freezer.
I filled container after container with this reasonably awesome salsa. What a roller-coaster ride. I went from 'cockily slapping together a quick salsa' to 'in the depths of despair with a conspicuous quantity of inedible, high heat onion salsa' to 'stiff upper lip, we're not quitters, let's just fix this' to 'well I'll be darned, this stuff is pretty good and maybe we could actually sell this'. The mister just smiled and watched the hurricane move, knowing that eventually like all good hurricanes, they do end and calm returns.
We made it to that fun, fancy food party in good time and the teenager was left behind with all the salsa he could handle for his meal called supper. I tossed him a parting suggestion, "Invite some friends in. Invite them all in."