Spicy Garlic Salsa & Homemade Tortilla Chips

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A few years back I wanted salsa but I didn’t want to go to the store. So I started to look up how to make salsa and found what I am pretty sure was a pico de gallo recipe and got to making. I loved it. The flavors were more intense than any store bought salsa you can have and all it took to make was a few simple ingredients that we tend to stock in the fridge.

Fast forward to the present, I started to really get into salsa making because of work. The photographer and I were shooting images for company’s first blog post the required 5 different salsas and guacamole. So on a Saturday evening, I stayed in to make the five different salsas that required more work than pico de gallo does. By the time I was done my hands were on fire from all of the cutting and deseeding of hot peppers. I was in pain for over a day and I had to constantly remind myself not to rub my eyes. Lesson learned: wear gloves when handling hot peppers and use a spoon to scrape out seeds.

Although the other recipe required a little more effort than simply chopping and mixing the ingredients, it was still fairly easy. Now I am converted to only eating homemade salsa, I could never go back to eating salsa from a store. Even when I go to my parents’ house and they have a jar in the fridge, I quickly whip some up. Once you have homemade salsa you can never go back.

Making my own tortilla chips is something I recently got into. Once a month I will make a batch of healthy tacos for me to have for lunch. I like using corn tortillas but I only use them for tacos so I end up throwing the remaining ones away once I start to see mold. I also like to make salsa complement my tacos and will tend to buy a bag of chips that end up getting stale since I don’t eat them all in one sitting. Being that I live on my own and I can’t afford to waste, I have to cut corners when I can. So instead of buying a bag of tortilla chips and corn tortilla wraps, I make tortilla chips out of the wraps. I also like that I get to have complete control over the seasonings of the chips, sometimes they are just too salty.

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Yields 4 servings

1 hour

Spicy Garlic Salsa

Ingredients

  • 8 plum tomatoes
  • 6 green chili pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, skin removed
  • ½ red onion chopped (when shooting this recipe I used red pearl onions to get rid of them)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Coarse salt to taste

Directions

Heat a large cast iron skillet on the stovetop, medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan but not too much, we’re not frying here.

Once the oil is shimmering the pan is hot and ready to go! Add the tomatoes, green chili peppers, garlic, and red onion to the pan. Use the remaining olive oil to coat the other side of the ingredients with a pastry brush. I prefer to add my seasonings to my food while I am cooking it. If you do too sprinkle the paprika and a pinch of salt before turning the ingredients.

Allow the ingredients to cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, then turn the stovetop off and remove the skillet from the heat to allow ingredients to cool.

After about six minutes add the ingredients to a blender or food processor. If you didn’t add the paprika and salt before do so now. You may want to add about ½ a tablespoon of water to the mixture to help blend the ingredients together.

Use the pulse setting on your blender and pulse the ingredients about 5-7 times or until it has a smooth consistency. With a teaspoon, taste the salsa to see if it needs any additional salt if so add it while the salsa is in the blender so you can easily blend it together. Pour it into a serving bowl and set aside.

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Tortilla Chips

Ingredients 

  • 8 corn tortilla

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • Fine table salt to taste

Directions

The best way to cut the corn tortilla into little wedges is to make two stacks of 4 tortillas and cut it vertically and horizontally; giving the perfect little triangle.

Heat the same cast iron skillet on medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Add the tortilla wedges to the pan and allow them to cook on each side for about a minute total. Once the chips have a beautiful golden brown exterior remove them from the heat and allow them to cool before dipping.

Dip your homemade (or store bought) chip in and enjoy. Saúde!

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