Best Homemade Salsa Recipe
Salsa; by definition it is a spicy tomato sauce, often including onions and hot peppers. A good salsa complements many dishes. Whether you are serving it as a side dish with chips or making it the star snack item of your party, it is indeed a crowd-pleaser. It is common among Americans and is a must-have item during game day or any informal get-together for that matter.
Salsa literally translates to sauce in Spanish. Although we originally know it as a Mexican condiment, it was the Spaniards who introduced salsa to the world. It all started when they first encountered tomatoes during their conquest in Mexico. Following that, the Aztec created the original recipe of salsa by combining tomatoes with chili peppers and ground squash seeds.
Since then, as the odometer of salsa began to move, manufacturers started selling bottles and jars of this condiment. The first person to sell this condiment commercially had a couple of variations and was from New Orleans. Following that, soon many more sellers of this popular sauce began popping up.
A recipe that has such a rich history and dates back to hundreds of years is bound to evolve. Nowadays, salsa is very common globally and is being served at Mexican restaurants, fusion food shops and delis. There are several variations of the former recipe and many forms of salsa have appeared over the years. There is the uncooked Pico de Gallo, red Salsa Roja, green Salsa Verde and so on. Do not get intimidated by the names because these are just Mexican versions of the sauces we are very familiar with. Surely, you also have a favorite salsa recipe.
Different Types of Salsa
The following list shows ten basic types of salsa that every salsa lover must know:
This is an uncooked salsa and is often called salsa cruda or salsa fresca. The uniqueness of this salsa lies in the use of fresh ingredients, where they are chopped evenly and left that way to retain their flavor and shape. Every spoonful of this salsa is filled with freshness. It is served best topped on tacos or nachos, or as a replacement to your everyday salad.
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- Salsa Roja
You may recognize this one by the name “red sauce”. It is a thick, liquid salsa used as a dip and is served as a common condiment in Tex-Mex restaurants. It has a characteristic bright, red color that is derived by using ripe tomatoes in the making. This form of salsa is a common household staple and is available in jars throughout grocery stores.
- Salsa Verde
Having a titular name, salsa verde is green in color. It is unlike any typical salsa and uses tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Tomatillos are green tomatoes that have a raw taste and are draped with a green flesh. Many people assume that salsa verde gets its color from jalapenos and cilantro but this is what gives it that green color.
- Salsa Criolla
This one is a distant variation from the typical salsa recipes in the list. Salsa Criolla uses red onions as a base for the recipe instead of tomatoes. It uses a special pepper called Aji Amarillo pepper, which is a yellow pepper with a fruity punch originating in Peru.
- Salsa Tequera
This literally translates to taco sauce. Salsa Taquera was specially formulated to serve over tacos and it really sings well with the flavors of a taco. Other than that, you can also use it as a dip for chips given its smooth, liquid texture. It has a fiery taste and is made with dried arbol peppers and Roma tomatoes.
- Salsa Ranchera
This salsa has a smoky note to it because it uses roast tomatoes and is also hailed by the name salsa negra. This adds a smoky hit and depth of flavor. This sauce is mostly used in making huevos rancheros, which is a classic Mexican breakfast consisting of tortillas, beans, eggs and of course, salsa.
- Salsa Inglesa
A little twist to salsa ranchera brings about another salsa recipe known as Salsa Inglesa, or English sauce. The only difference is that umami taste with the addition of Worcestershire sauce. You can binge on this salsa with chips or crisps.
- Salsa Mexicana
This is a classic Mexican salsa, which is self-explanatory by the name. It uses minimal and traditional ingredients but contains bursts of savory flavors. Typically it uses serrano chilies for that spicy heat and has a tangy hint to it.
- Salsa de Aguacate
A modern version of the typical, familiar salsa recipes, this one is creamy and made with avocados. You might know it by the name avocado salsa. It is a smooth sauce that can be used to top steak, meat or carne asada. It sings fresh, herby flavors and does not use tomatoes in the recipe.
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- Habanero Salsa
Spiciest of them all, this one is not for the faint-hearted people. Habanero chilies are a crucial ingredient in preparing this salsa. They have a fruity taste but are very hot and fiery, where a little goes a long way.
Homemade Salsa Recipes
Although salsa originates in Mexico, one does not have to go to Mexico or the local Mexican restaurant in order to taste authentic salsa. Easy homemade salsa can be made right in your kitchen. With the perfect ratios and the correct blend of ingredients, you can cook this saucy delicacy by yourself. Whether you prefer it chunky or smooth, here are some mouthwatering recipes for the best homemade salsa.
Pico De Gallo
Total time: 10 minutes
Ingredients: Tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, onion and jalapeno.
Instructions: To make this salsa, wash and chop all the ingredients. Try to cut the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno evenly in a uniform consistency. Finely chop the cilantro and mix everything well. Lastly, squeeze in the lime juice for added zest.
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients: Tomatoes, onions, jalapeno and garlic
Instructions: Roast the tomatoes in the oven or on the stovetop, do not char them. Try to use tomatoes that are watery because they will lose moisture in the process. Cut the onions, garlic and jalapeno. In a mixer or food processor, finely process the ingredients.
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients: Tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic and cilantro
Instructions: Very similar to salsa roja, the only difference is it uses tomatillos. To prepare the tomatillos, peel the outer skin and rinse them thoroughly. Chop all the ingredients and throw them in the food processor. Mix them until it becomes a homogenous consistency.
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Ultimate tomato salsa – BBC Good Food