Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Taste of a Place-Tomato Salsa

Is it strange that I consider chips and salsa as one of my favorite comfort foods?  Not pot roast, not a roasted chicken but salsa.  Tomatoey, flecked with garlic, onion and cilantro, spiced with jalapenos and scented with lime-I could eat chips and salsa for dinner alone and be quite content.

When my husband and I uprooted from Texas and moved to Idaho we found ourselves eating Mexican food at least once a week.  Our favorite and best Mexican food establishment in town did not serve chips and salsa and it killed me. We sometimes would settle for another restaurant (though not the best or our favorite) because they had chips and salsa.  And with one bite it sent me home.  In that moment I knew chips and salsa was one of my favorite foods of comfort.

The town or region in which one is born and raised has such an influence on what we find in a comforting meal.  I suppose you can call it "the taste of a place."  Growing up in east Texas, the taste of our place would be good southern fair, soul, Cajun and Creole cuisines, BBQ and Tex Mex.  Chicken and Dumplin's, crawfish boils, chili served with rice, briskets, ribs and a Tex Mex restaurant at every corner.

Now I'm back in Texas a stone's throw away from one of the best briskets I've ever laid lips upon (I'll introduce you to them in another post).  And even though I have four Mexican food restaurants within a five minute drive from my house I will always have a jar of salsa in the refrigerator waiting to comfort me at a moments notice.

Tomato Salsa
makes 4 1/2 cups
7 cloves of garlic
2 Serrano chiles, stemmed, halved and seeded
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, halved and seeded
4 medium roma tomatoes, cored and seeded
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups canned, drained, and diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
3 scallions
  1. In a food processor, chop garlic and chiles.  Add roma tomatoes and onion; pulse until chopped.  Add fire-roasted tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, and scallions; pulse until roughly chopped.  Season with salt.

1 comment:

The Brian's said...

I made this over the weekend, and it is soooo yummy! I did however omit the scallions since I failed to purchase them during my shopping trip! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

Did I miss the apron winner announcement?!? =)