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Beusho

Salsa: Which cookbook?

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Recently purchased a food processor mostly to start my own salsa mixes because I'm tired of subpar grocery store salsas. Anybody recommend a cookbook that has some good salsa recipes, I"m mostly looking for ones that utilize a food processor because the texture of chop and mix salsas is not ideal to me. Thanks for the help


Edited by Beusho (log)

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I've had Chris Schlesinger's Salsas, Sambals, Chutneys and Chow Chows -- since it was first published twenty years ago.

And I've bought a few others but I keep going back to this one.

You can look inside on the Amazon page for the reprint here.

But you can also find it on ebay

Or at ABE books. Where you can find a vendor close to you and one that offers free shipping.

For many years I subscribed to Chile Pepper Magazine - and I have several of Dave DeWitt's books.

Heat Wave is a collection of recipes from the magazine - many from chefs around the world and some from readers that were all TESTED by Dave and his crew.

There are a number of excellent salsas but also some recipes with unique and unusual ways of using them, all good.

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I have Rick Bayless's "Salsas that Cook" and I like it for my basic salsa methods and ratios.

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Beusho - I don't know where you are, or what you know about salsas, so if any of this is stating the obvious, and something you've known for years, forgive me...

But, the sort of salsas that you say you don't want ("because the texture of chop and mix salsas is not ideal to me") are primarily fresh, raw salsas. They're called things like "salsa cruda," "salsa fresca," "pico de gallo." Almost any salsa recipe that you find that requires the ingredients to be cooked is going to produce a smoother salsa with a much different texture than the raw crunchy ones you wish to avoid.

I've found that most of my Mexican cookbooks have excellent sections on salsas; in particular, those by Diana Kennedy. However, to begin with, you don't need to buy a book, unless you want to.

Right here on eGullet there are several excellent sources for wonderful information regarding these cooked, smooth salsas. Rancho Gordo is a salsa genius, and he's been kind and generous enough to share his expertise on this site, and on his own. I did a search for "salsa" posts by Rancho_Gordo, and got this result (I don't know if this search results link will work but, if not, you can do your own search):

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=search&section=search&do=search&fromsearch=1

There are even posts of Rancho Gordo's son demonstrating the proper use of a molcajete.

In addition, there are several threads here wherein we all discussed salsas. If you do a search for threads with "Salsa" in the title, you'll find more than a dozen.

Here's a Q&A salsa thread: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/39198-qa-mexican-table-salsas/?hl=%2Bsalsa%2A

Here's a thread discussing the Rick Bayless book recommended above: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/137348-cooking-from-salsas-that-cook-by-rick-bayless/?hl=%2Bsalsa

And finally, here is the recipe/method that I've been using for more than 30 years to make the salsa that our family prefers as a basic, all-purpose salsa. It's a cooked, tomato-based salsa. It calls for canned, stewed tomatoes (you can stew them yourself if you prefer), and chile peppers that you char and blister. You can pulverize it into a completely smooth sauce if you like, but I don't do that, because we do like a little texture. However, it is nothing like those crunchy raw salsas that you don't like.

I think it's a great place to start. It's so basic that, once you get the technique, proportions, etc., down, you can fiddle with it and adjust it ad infinitum. It's here:

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/133688-favorite-blender-recipes/?&p=1747723&hl=salsa&fromsearch=1entry1747723

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I forgot to add this link to my Green Chile Salsa, which has been on my blog for three years.

It was well received when I took it to an eG potluck several years ago.

Many years ago I started with one of the recipes in the Schlesinger book and gradually adapted it to my (and other folk's) taste.

It is a great basic sauce for cooking meats - I often roast pork or chickens, cut the meat into bite-size pieces then add to the salsa and heat thoroughly.

However it is terrific as a dip - even better if some sour cream is mixed in...

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