Salsa and Celebration

Chips and Salsa

Happy (Re-) Birthday to my blog! Em Hungry is a real website now with a registered domain name and everything, and it feels great! After 5 years of using blogger, which served me quite well, I decided to remodel and turn my hobby into a real site. I’m in the mood to celebrate, so I brought chips and salsa.

This salsa is just a slight variation on my aunt’s famous salsa recipe. She would bring big jars of it to girls camp, and a whole group of us would sit in a ring of camp chairs, soaking up the lazy afternoon sun and crunching down on salty tortilla chips piled with fresh, zingy salsa. It has a wonderfully bright flavor, and the recipe uses green onions, which are so much mellower than yellow or red onions, which can sometimes be bitter in fresh salsa. All I have added is a little freshly ground cumin for some earthy complexity, and chipotle Tabasco, a seasoning that I hope will someday be as ubiquitous in dining as pepper grinders.

Chips and Salsa

Fun Fact: Capsaicinoids, including capsaicin, are the family of chemical compounds that give chili peppers their heat. Because these compounds are hydrophobic, or water-repelling, washing your hands with oil may be a better way to clean your hands after chopping peppers than washing with water. If you’re using really spicy peppers, it’s best to use food-safe gloves.

Chips and Salsa

Salsa

adapted slightly from Aunt Barb

28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes (or 28 oz. blanched and peeled fresh tomatoes)*
1 bunch scallions (about 5-6 scallions)
3-4 yellow chili peppers (or about 1 cup chopped of any mild-medium chili pepper you prefer)
1 large handful cilantro
½ teaspoon ground cumin (toasted and freshly ground seeds are best)**
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco, plus more to taste, optional

Trim the scallions and chili peppers of stems, and roughly chop into whatever size pieces your blender can handle. Place all ingredients in blender or canister of immersion blender or food processor, and blend/process until mostly smooth but slightly chunky. Adjust seasonings as desired.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for 2-3 days.

* If using fresh tomatoes, bring a medium-large pot of water to simmer, cut a small “x” in the bottom of each tomato with a paring knife, and submerge the tomatoes in the simmering water for 60 seconds, or less if they’re getting too mushy. Let cool slightly, and then peel the skin away.

** If using whole cumin seeds, toast the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing/stirring occasionally until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat, and let cool before grinding into powder.

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