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David Ross

eG Cook-Off #85: Mexican Salsa

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5 minutes ago, David Ross said:

Fiesta Foods in Yakima is in the heart of Central, WA and the home to our greatest agricultural region.  These are a few more photos of Fiesta Foods when I made the trip down there.  And, it made me think of another topic for our Salsa discussion.  Has anyone ever used cactus in a Mexican salsa?

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I have never even thought about using cactus in salsa! Since I have a bag of frozen, chopped nopales that bought on impulse much too long ago,  I'm all ears to this idea. 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Just now, David Ross said:

That reminds me, our local market has fresh chicharron, which, if I really want to be indulgent, is what I serve with salsa.  

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Mine has the dippable ones and also the honking pieces with meat. The local black community swarms at the familiar from American South treat. Fun to watch the women (guys push the cart) point at EXACTLY the piece they would like

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

I see the Mexican workers cutting nopales from our hillsides. Never been close enough to ask what they do. I think they are slimy like okra and usually cooked before inclusion like the salad shown here https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/how-to-cook-cactus-paddles/

 

Oddly enough, tomatillo husks are used to get rid of the sliminess in nopales.   It seems the tomatillo is way more interesting according to this blog post.  Don't toss those husks.


Edited by lemniscate context (log)
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Now on to another tomatillo salsa, but this one includes toasted, dried chiles.  The recipe I use a few years bask as the base calls it Roasted Garlic Tomatillo Salsa with 

but I just call it a Tomatillo-Dried Chile Salsa.  For the tomatillos I used the same technique as the fresh tomatillo salsa, run them under the broiler to soften and get some char.  For this batch I used dried chiles I had on hand, Ancho, Mulato and Cascabel.  The heat factor would be considered in the mild range.  When I make red chile sauce, I cut out the stem and remove all the seeds from dried chiles.  For this salsa, I cut out the stem and the main seed pod with scissors, but left some of the seeds.  The chiles were toasted in a dry, hot cast-iron skillet until they puff up and get soft, then you catch a whiff of a wonderful smokey aroma.   I added about a tablespoon of water to thin the salsa just a bit, then processed with, a lot, (10 cloves), of toasted garlic cloves, Mexican oregano, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar and a few drops of liquid smoke and a bit of fresh cilantro from the garden. 

 

I've got some quail in the freezer so I think I might grill them and serve with the salsa.  Also thinking about serving this salsa with an egg dish for breakfast.

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14 minutes ago, David Ross said:

Now on to another tomatillo salsa, but this one includes toasted, dried chiles.  The recipe I use a few years bask as the base calls it Roasted Garlic Tomatillo Salsa with 

but I just call it a Tomatillo-Dried Chile Salsa.  For the tomatillos I used the same technique as the fresh tomatillo salsa, run them under the broiler to soften and get some char.  For this batch I used dried chiles I had on hand, Ancho, Mulato and Cascabel.  The heat factor would be considered in the mild range.  When I make red chile sauce, I cut out the stem and remove all the seeds from dried chiles.  For this salsa, I cut out the stem and the main seed pod with scissors, but left some of the seeds.  The chiles were toasted in a dry, hot cast-iron skillet until they puff up and get soft, then you catch a whiff of a wonderful smokey aroma.   I added about a tablespoon of water to thin the salsa just a bit, then processed with, a lot, (10 cloves), of toasted garlic cloves, Mexican oregano, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar and a few drops of liquid smoke and a bit of fresh cilantro from the garden. 

 

I've got some quail in the freezer so I think I might grill them and serve with the salsa.  Also thinking about serving this salsa with an egg dish for breakfast.

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It's a pretty thick and deep flavored salsa, so I'm re-thinking what is the best way to serve it

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@David Ross, your salsa looks really good. For the eggs, I'd just soft scramble them (with cheese) and scoop the salsa on top. Not sure about the quail. I'd be happy to have a small bowl of that on the side (i.e., don't need to "incorporate" that into your cooking).

 

You say it's "thick and deep flavored." If you want to mitigate that, maybe add some vinegar or lime juice. Or even a bit more oil.

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