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Salsa isn't just for dipping tortilla chips in. As a matter of fact salsa comes in a multitude of flavors from fruit salsa to the more common tomato salsa served up at most Mexican restaurants.
With the grilling season upon us I am sure may of you have purchased new grills or will soon. In addition to the hamburgers and hotdogs, throw on some chicken, sashimi grade tuna or a nice firm white fish. Then serve them up with a wonderful fruit salsa. Fruit salsas are particularly good with the `lighter' meats such as chicken and fish, and especially fresh tuna.
With fruit salsas you get sweet and hot flavors mixed together. Most call for a hot pepper of come kind and often onions. While the combination may sound odd, the result is excellent.
Now if tortilla chips and tomato salsa is more your style, I understand. But try a little variety. Try a tomatillo salsa. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes and they have a paper like skin on them in the grocery store. Or a salsa with beans as the main ingredient. You may be surprised at how good they are.
So invite your friends over this weekend for a barbecue and offer these great salsas as accompaniments to the meat and as pre-meal dippers. But be warned, you may have to do these salsas on a regular basis once everyone tastes them!
APRICOT OR PEACH SALSA
1 1/2 C. chopped fresh apricots or peeled peaches
3/4 C. chopped red or green sweet pepper
3/4 C. chopped, seeded cucumber
1/4 C. sliced green onion
1 to 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 T. honey
2 T. lime juice
1 T. snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
In a medium mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Cover; chill in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours, stirring once or twice. Serve with a slotted spoon. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
1 large ripe red tomato, finely diced
8 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped
1/4 C. minced red or yellow bell pepper
2 T. minced red or white onion
1 tsp. grated Mexican lime peel
1 T. Mexican lime juice
In a non-reactive bowl mix all ingredients. If not using immediately cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Makes 4 cups.
MANGO PINEAPPLE SALSA
1 mango or papaya, diced
1/2 C. finely chopped white onion
1 C. diced fresh pineapple
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
4 oz. diced green chiles
3 to 4 dashes hot pepper sauce
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate. This salsa will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
TROPICAL SUNRISE SALSA
1/2 ripe papaya (about 1/2 lb.), seeded,
skinned and cut into small dice
1/2 ripe mango, seeded, skinned, and cut into small dice
1/2 C. diced fresh pineapple (canned pineapple will do)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 to 4 T. finely chopped fresh basil or fresh mint
2 T. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Combine papaya, mango, pineapple, cucumber, jalapeños, green onions, basil or mint and lime juice in small glass bowl. Toss gently just to combine. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 hour.
If making further head of time, add papaya and pineapple just before serving, or they will make salsa watery. Makes about 21/2 cups.
SPICY BEAN SALSA
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can black-eyed
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel or
shoepeg corn, drained
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. finely chopped jalapeño peppers
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes,
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 (8 oz.) bottle Italian salad dressing
Tortilla chips (optional)
In large glass bowl, combine all ingredients except tortilla chips; mix well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Serve as a side dish or with tortilla chips as an appetizer.