The first of two posts today: this one is the making of the actual salsa. As always, all measurements are approximate. Actually maybe even more approximate than usual – the first time I made this salsa I used about 4 times as much of everything because it was for a big party I was chef-ing at.

You’ll need:
-1 or 2 cans stewed tomatoes (2 to be safe)
-1 or 2 limes
-salt and pepper
-chili powder
-cayenne powder
-adobo powder
and mince the hell out of the following:
-1/4 small to medium yellow onion
-1 big stalk celery (or 2 smaller ones)
-1/4 cubanelle (hot/sweet italian) pepper
-several cloves of garlic. I actually can’t remember how much I used, but I don’t think it was less than 4.
-a good handful or two of fresh cilantro
-if desired, some hot peppers (jalapenos, anaheims) with seeds and ribs removed, diced fine.*

-drain tomato. start with 1 can for now. if you have a stick blender (and you should, they’re great!) plop the tomato in a good-sized bowl. if not, use a food processor or blender.
-add all that minced stuff.
-squeeze in the juice of at least 1 lime.
-blend the everliving crap out of it. if using the stick blender, just work the stick around until you’ve got a good consistency. if using a food processor or blender, work in pulses so you don’t end up with pureed soupy glop. scrape down the sides and give a little stir between pulses.(though i bet this would make a good gazpacho base)
-stop when you get the consistency you want.
-add salt and pepper and a few good shakes of adobo.
-add chili powder and cayenne, if desired. taste again.
-add shot of tequila, if desired. taste again.
-if you like a more wet/liquidy salsa, juice another lime.
-if you like a more tomato-ey salsa, blend in some more tomato.
-you can also drizzle in 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil (I only use extra virgin) during the mixing process, but I managed to forget that part and my salsa didn’t seem to suffer.

*I was rather broke and couldn’t afford to buy hot peppers other than the cubanelle, so I left that out of the base recipe and just added some spoonfuls of Dr Gonzo’s Peppermash for heat. The good doctor, he is my new best friend.

The salsa is great as soon as it’s mixed, but it gets even more awesome if it’s left to chill for a few hours and the flavors get all mixed up and happy. Enjoy!