Monday, June 13, 2011

Hot or Sweet - what is your preference?

It depends, you say? I agree!

One of my favorite things to make (and eat!) is fresh salsa. I love to experiment with new variations. There's a flavor and heat intensity (or sweetness) to go with everything. And in my opinion, salsa goes with just about everything!

My garden is overflowing with juicy red tomatoes, hot jalapenos and crunchy anaheim chili's, as well as a plethera of fragrant herbs.Yesterday, as I walked into the kitchen with a large bowl of fresh pickins the creative bug hit. So here are two new salsa recipes and one of my all-time favorites. 

I will also give you some substitution tricks so that if you have at least one or two of the ingredients you can almost always make a salsa with things you have on hand in the kitchen.

If you love mango's but hate peeling and cutting them, check out this post for step by step instructions on How To Peel A Mango In Less Than 90 Seconds! It is super simple, once you see how to do it.

Mango Salsa  (my all-time favorite sweet salsa)

2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled pitted and chopped
1 Large Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (if use english cuc don't have to seed)
3 Scallions (green onions), trimmed and sliced thinly (including green stems)
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/3 C Cilantro Leaves, minced
Juice of 1/2 Lime
Salt, to taste (pinch or two)

Combine all ingredients in bowl Season to taste with salt.
I can eat this salsa by itself as salad, or in lettuce wraps...sooooo good!
Add two pounds medium shrimp (cleaned and cooked) for a great brunch salad. 

Substitution tricks: 1/4 purple onion for scallions, jicama for cucumber, lemon juice for lime juice and 1 Tbsp (heaping) dried cilantro for fresh cilantro 

Sweet with Heat Mango Salsa

1 Ripe Mango, peeled and seeded and chopped
4 Medium Plum Tomatoes (or 2 large regular tomatoes), peeled and finely chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, minced
3 Scallions (green onions), trimmed and sliced thinly (including green stems)
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced (leave seeds in if you like it hotter)
Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro
1 Tbsp Honey or Agave
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in bowl. 

Substitution tricks: 2 cups fresh peaches (peeled, seeded and chopped) for mango,1/4 purple onion for scallions, lemon juice for lime juice, 2 Tbsp dried cilantro for fresh cilantro, yellow or orange pepper for red pepper.

BIG note on Mango Salsas: If the mango isn't ripe your salsa may have a sour after taste. 

Fast & Fresh Tomato Salsa

2 Large Ripe Tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 Large Purple Onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno, finely diced (no seeds for medium heat, leave seeds for hot)
Juice of 1 Lime
1/3 C Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Pinch or two of Salt and Pepper (to taste)

If you like a drier salsa, remove seeds from tomato before chopping (I personally leave the seeds in)
Add  an anaheim green chili for crunch and flavor without heat
Add a second jalapeno for 'super hot' salsa 

Substitutions: lemon juice for lime juice,  3-4 scallions (green onions) for purple onion, 1 (heaping) Tbsp dried cilantro for fresh. If salsa is too hot when finishes, add more chopped tomato.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, let me know.
Do you have a favorite salsa recipe? If so, share it in comments, I'd love to try it!!

For more Excellent Recipes Click Here.

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