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Salsa

By Bruce Zabov

When it comes to creating salsas, it’s a cook’s opportunity to let the imagination run free, and to be as imaginative and creative as you like. Let your own food preferences be a guide and you can’t make a bad choice!

For myself, I’m fond of the clear, light, clear taste of cold cucumbers, and the fresh brightness of ripe pineapples and mangoes and they often appear in salads here. And if you like certain fruits and vegetables in salads, you will probably enjoy them in a fresh salsa, too.

Our first recipe is for a basic tomato salsa, the one seen most often in grocery stores already made. Just take it home, chill and enjoy it as a dip for chips. A universally versatile and staple snack or garnish for many dishes and foods. If you enjoy the ready-made variety, just think how much more you’ll enjoy your own, freshly made and with your favorite flavor.

Tip: To chill foods quickly, put them in the freezer uncovered for 20 minutes.

With this basic tomato salsa recipe you can build on it to create other types of salsas simply by varying just one or two of the main basic ingredients.

Original Tomato Salsa
2-3 medium tomatoes, washed, cored and chopped coarsely, about 2-3 cups
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seed included for hotter flavor or removed for a milder taste
1 small cucumber, washed and diced
5 TBS fresh chopped cilantro leaves
3 TBS fresh lime juice
Salt ad plack pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients in a covered bowl, chill well before serving as a dip or garnish with meats, fish, poultry or vegetable dishes.

Variations:
Mango salsa is great on grilled or oven-fried chicken. Instead of tomatoes, peel and coarsely chop 2 fresh ripe mangoes.

Cucumber salsa goes well with grilled, broiled or simple baked fish such as congrio or tilapia. Add to the small cumcumber 1-2 medium, washed, peeled chopped cucumbers.

For pork chops or ribs, the pineapple salsa just about puts me in orbit. It’s a knockout! Substitute 2-3 cups chopped fresh pineapple for the tomatoes in the basic recipe.

Next month: Home-made Pizza


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