Sitzkrieg & Salsa
Chaos is the name of the game but there is nothing that is of burning importance. China is getting ready to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.
So I’m taking this relatively quiet time for two salsas, that I learned to make years ago in Mexico and through the years made my own and these are not traditional. They are a welcome addition to the fridge and last for say 3 days and can be used with literally anything – light but tasty. They are called Red Sauce and Green Sauce. In our house, this is our replacement for store-bought tomato sauce and if there is any left after 3 or so days, I use it in a stew or something similar.
Work it gently! In the end, you want a salsa that has texture and structure and is not smushed too smooth. Cook very lightly – all you want to do is to soften the ingredients but still maintain individual tastes. Preserve color. Cilantro is added at the end, without going into the pot .. this is what makes this fresh.
Salsa Verde (Green)
- 5 Tomatillos
- 1/4 – 1/2 bunch fresh Cilantro finely chopped
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/4 Onion
- Jalapenos 1-3 depending on how spicy you want it (I use only one)
- Salt to taste
- Olive Oil
- Saute the tomatillos, the onion, and the jalapenos in a preheated frying pan with some olive oil for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add the garlic cloves and continue cooking until the tomatillos are slightly browned. Careful, you don’t want to lose the green color.
- Remove from the heat and blend the ingredients with the cilantro and salt in a blender.
- Cool and refrigerate
Salsa Roja (Red)
- 4 to 6 tomatoes depending on size, roughly chopped
- 1 small white onion chopped
- 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers chopped – use Serrano peppers for a bit more heat
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Juice from half a lime or lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- Salt to taste
- Heat a large pot to medium heat and add olive oil. Add everything but not the cilantro or the lime or lemon sauce. Simmer until the ingredients are slightly soft,
- Season with a little more salt if needed and stir.
- Add to a food processor. Add fresh cilantro and lime or lemon. Process until small and chunky but not smooth.
- Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
For breakfast: Scrambled or fried eggs on 2 flatbreads or toast, and put a little green salsa on one, and a little red salsa on the other. In Mexico, they do this with tortillas and fried eggs and call it divorceados. With beans added, you have huevos rancheros.
For quick salad side: Couscous, with red or green salsa mixed as a salad dressing.
At times, I don’t cook the red sauce at all, but only process it until chunky as if it was done with mortar and pestle. The green tomatillos need to go into the pot and sauteed for a little bit.
These are two salsas that can be committed to memory and chopped while you do something else. If you want to make this a little spicy hot, heat it with more garlic or stir in a few drops of hot sauce. (I have a friend that likes her food hot and for her, I just hand her the bottle of hot sauce!) If you have nothing to offer a guest or nothing for lunch, serve with a style of chips that can be dipped or a plate of veggies cut into dipping strips. Versatile and quick and light.