Friday, August 30, 2013

A shirt tale (about salsa)

Doug's favorite salsa

My husband Doug’s shirt-fronts are frequently decorated with a drizzle of salsa. He loves the stuff. “The chips,” he says, “are merely a vehicle to transport the salsa to your mouth.”

I watch in amazement—and sometime, horror—as he breaks his chips into thirds, loading each third with as much salsa as is humanly possible before popping it into his mouth—splattering the menu, the tablecloth, and everything close-by in tomato residue. The better the salsa, it so happens, the more stained the shirt.

Fortunately for Doug, it’s currently salsa season. Tomatoes are plentiful, and our friends are generous with their bountiful crops. The farmers’ markets are also well-stocked with inexpensive seconds—perfect for salsa-making. This week I pulled out his favorite recipe, given to me by my amazing friend Linda Marshall, and made a double batch of it.

Salsa and tortilla chips are among those treats that folks with celiac disease can consume without fear. Most brands of tortilla chips are gluten-free and are clearly labeled accordingly. I’ve found that most restaurant chips are GF as well, unless they’re deep-fried in oil that is used for frying breaded appetizers. Ask before you indulge.

If you have extra tomatoes, try Linda’s recipe:


5-6 medium tomatoes, diced
6 oz. tomato paste
2 T. lime juice
¼ C. diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 T. fresh parsley or cilantro (add a little coriander, if using parsley)
1 T. fresh oregano
½ bell pepper, diced
½ tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil

If you want to can your salsa, Linda says, heat it until almost boiling. Pack in jars with ½ inch space. Use a hot water bath to process for 35 minutes. I never can mine—not even the double batches that I always make, because Doug gobbles it up immediately.

When I told Linda that I wanted to borrow her recipe for the blog, she sent me a recipe from her cousin that she calls Lazy Man’s Salsa. Here it is:

Lazy Man's Salsa

1 can tomatoes (Linda freezes 1lb. bags from her garden to use for this purpose)
1 can Rotel or similar
1/4 bunch cilantro
1 t garlic powder
1 t. salt
3/4 t cumin

Throw all in blender and pulse--that's it!

Linda testifies that Lazy Man’s Salsa is “surprisingly good.” I’ll make some for Doug, and we’ll give it the old shirt test. I’ll let you know how it comes out in the wash …