Just for the purpose of messing with search engines, let me be clear… I ain’t the bare chef.
This post is inspired by one of my favorite blogger-type people, Pacheco, the writer of two blogs I adore…
One discusses her exploits in World of Warcraft, whilst the other showcases her passion for cooking and enjoying fine meals.
The two blogs are… wait for it…
With a name like Bacon Gravy, you know it’s going to be good. :)
Through her blogs, Pacheco has shared with us her passion, her spirit, her craftiness, and sometimes, when we’re lucky… her recipes.
In her honor, I will hereby share with you one of my personal, lovingly developed and ultra-specially secret recipes.
Now, I’m not a skilled chef, or any kind of chef for that matter. When I develop a recipe, it’s not with an eye towards culinary skill, cutting style, or fancy techniques. You can rest assured, what the Bear Chef brings to you, you can safely reproduce in your own kitchen at home.
I don’t aim for fancy, I don’t even aim for stylish. I aim for “Damn, that’s good. Got any more chips?”
This recipe I share with you now is my personal recipe for garden-fresh salsa… if your idea of garden fresh is, “I’ve got a decent grocery store down the street.” And I don’t mean Whole Foods, either. Yes, you could use the fresh produce from a farmers’ market, but you know… somehow, for my recipes, buying your stuff in the most easily accessible, laziest way possible actually helps enhance the flavor.
Try it! I’m not kidding.
The Bear Chef’s Salsa
- Blender or food processor with a pulse cut setting.
- Large, clean bowl with easily sealed top (plastic wrap is fine).
- Sharp knife and cutting board.
- Refrigerator or cooler with ice big enough for the very large bowl.
- 3 or 4 Jalapeno peppers, each around 3″ long
- 6 to 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion (white is fine, Vidalia provides a delicious enhanced sweetness when in season)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 12 to 14 Roma tomatoes
- 2 to 4 branches celery, sticks only
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1/4 cup red cooking wine
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 habanero (for more intense heat – see below)
- 4 peaches as an alternative to the red cooking wine (see below)
Clean and place the following ingredients in a blender or food processor:
- Garlic cloves, peeled.
- Cilantro leaves, chopped.
- 2 (two) Roma tomatoes.
- Red cooking wine
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
Pulse the blender to bring the contents to a finely minced state; about 1/16″ bits. Consistency should be kinda gloopy, but still have a bite. Place entire blender contents in the very large bowl.
Add ALL the rest of the ingredients as diced 1/4″ bits to the bowl as follows:
- Bell peppers – discard all inner seeds and stringy bits before dicing.
- Celery stalks.
- Remaining 10 to 12 Roma tomatoes.
- Jalapenos – Discard the seeds for milder salsa before dicing. Include seeds for a hint more heat. (For stepped up heat, add to blender section exactly one habanero without undermining flavor.)
- Onion – peel before dicing, do not use 1″ of core.
Stir all ingredients in bowl with a spoon very well, ensuring that all diced components get sauced up by the blender marinade. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for no less than one hour to chill. Liquid will settle in bottom; mix again after first 30 minutes and return to fridge.
After one hour, salsa is chilled and ready for eating. Remove bowl from refrigerator, DRAIN and discard excess liquid that has settled to the bottom, and set out with some serious snacking chips. If you’re slow getting that salsa eaten, liquid may accumulate in bottom again; drain if it gets too messy for you.
Alternative recipe change:
If you love salsa, but, like my very good Mormon friends, do not drink or use alcohol, there is a variation I’ve tried that has worked well.
From the list of ingredients, remove the 1/4 cup red cooking wine. In it’s place, get 4 fresh peaches. Peel and remove the seeds from all peaches. Use one peach as a replacement for the red cooking wine in the blender section of the recipe. Take the three remaining peaches, dice into 1/4″ bits and add to the bowl with the other ingredients.
There you have it!
This recipe has served me very well. Salsa is one of those foods that, much like pizza and BBQ sauce, can be totally different depending on where you go. I have never really cared for the salsa you get in stores that is a boiled ketchup sauce style paste. I love chunky, chilled garden fresh salsa chopped fine enough to really pile a lot of different flavors onto one chip.
I hope you take the time to make a batch, and let me know how you like it!
This is the Bear Chef, saying… Allez cuisine!