Week 12: Salsa, the Summertime Staple
As the Labor Day holiday draws near, summer vacations come to an end and schools go back in session. But this isn't a time to be sad and reminiscing about the beach! Late summer at Moutoux Orchard provides amazing foods and continues to gives us those summer flavors. Each week you'll notice the food offerings changing as we inch forward to the fall equinox on September 23.
This week we are diving right into Salsa, the Summertime Staple. There is nothing better than a homemade salsa with farm fresh ingredients. Store bought salsas don't hold a candle to homemade but they can give you ideas on how to create your own recipes at home! We love making salsas because they can be whipped up in a blender or food processor in no time. Mild, medium, hot, roasted, raw, or fermented... the options are endless! Salsas can also be canned (following a safe canning recipe, of course), frozen, or stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Favorite uses for salsas:
Chips and dip
Stirred into guacamole
Topping for scrambled eggs, tacos, nachos, baked potatoes
Added to pots of chili, burritos, quesadillas, and/or pizzas
Tossed in with pulled chicken or pulled pork
The best thing about homemade salsas is that they are rarely ever the same! If you aren't canning, you have endless flexibility to use more or less of any ingredient. GO.MAKE.SALSA
CHUNKY TOMATILLO SALSA
4 lbs of tomatillos, husked, washed, and finely chopped
1 cup medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 jalapenos, minced (seeds removed for a milder salsa)
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP ground cumin
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup bottled lime juice
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapenos, and garlic in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Add the cumin, sea salt, lime juice, and cilantro. If you prefer a smoother salsa, you can use an immersion blender to break down some of the salsa at this time.
Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Taste the salsa and add more salt, cumin, or lime juice if necessary.
Notes: Recipe courtesy of Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan. This recipe is safe to water bath can as written (process pints for 15 minutes); makes 3 pints. If eating fresh or freezing, feel free to sub other peppers for the jalapenos, use fresh lime juice, and/or roast the tomatillos, jalapenos, onion, and garlic rather than boiling them.
HOMEMADE SALSA FRESCA
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 white/yellow onion, finely minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (you can leave the seeds in if you want a hotter flavor)
1 lime, juiced
2 big pinches of salt
Mix everything together in a glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving, but half an hour is even better.
Store leftovers (if there are any) in a glass canning jar.
ROASTED CORN SALSA
8 ears fresh corn, shucked with silks removed
5 cups chopped tomatoes (~3 pounds)
1 cup chopped poblano (~2 large peppers)
1 cup chopped red onion (1 small)
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bottled lime juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coriander seed
Preheat broiler to high. Place corn on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil the corn, turning, until the kernels are lightly browned on all sides, about 3-5 minutes for each side. If you prefer, this roasting can also be done outside on a grill.
When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs with a large, sharp knife. You should have ~3 cups of kernels.
Combine the corn kernels, tomatoes, peppers, onion, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and coriander in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced. Taste and adjust he spices as needed.
Notes: Recipe courtesy of Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan. This recipe is safe to water bath can as written (process pints for 15 minutes); makes 4 pints. If eating fresh or freezing, feel free to play around with the ratios and ingredients.
BASIC PICO DE GALLO STARTER
10 jalapenos or a combination of chiles
1 bunch of cilantro
6-8 cloves of garlic
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dice and mince the onions, poblano, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and lime zest by hand or pulse in a food processor to achieve a chunky fresh-salsa consistency. Mix in the lime juice, salt, and pepper.
Pack the mixure into a jar, pressing out any air pockets as you go. Press a ziplock bag against the surface of the ferment, fill the bag with water, and zip it closed.
Place the jar in a corner of the kitchen to ferment. if you see air pockets, remove the bag, press the ferment back down with a clean utensil, rinse the bag, and replace.
Allow to ferment 7-14 days. You will know it is ready when the colors have muted and the flavor has an acidic lemon-like or pickle-y flavor.
Place a clean small round of plastic or parchment paper directly on top of the paste. Screw on the lid, then store in the fridge, where this ferment will keep for up to 12 months.
To make salsa, add 1/2 cup of starter to 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes (or whatever fresh ingredients you dream up).
Notes: Recipe courtesy of Fiery Ferments by Kirsten K. Shockey & Christopher Shockey. Use this starter throughout the winter to create fun, lively salsas by just adding a few fresh ingredients - avodados, tomatoes, mangos, black beans, sweet corn, or even crabmeat. Once you add the fresh ingredients, the salsa will taste good for 1-2 weeks before it will begin to take on some of the fizz and funk of the ferment.