Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Salsa Recipes

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Aside from being my oldest nephew's birthday, Cinco de Mayo is probably one of the most common excuses to party we in the US use this time of year. The holiday is meant to celebrate the victory of the Mexican army over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but we in the US make a much bigger deal of it than the Mexicans do. While they have political speeches and battle re-enactments, we have margarita-making contests and a whole host of other Mexican-themed recipes. I won't tell you how to make the perfect margarita because I really don't know, but I will give you a couple of salsa recipes.

If you like your salsa with a 'kick', try this 2-pepper creation. This author is not responsible for any tongue-burning that may ensue.

Firehouse Salsa-serves 8
1 white onion, chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic, also chopped coarsely
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 serrano peppers, or to taste
2 jalapeno peppers, or to taste
1 tsp salt

On high, add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, poke some holes in the peppers and drop them in. Turn heat to medium and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. When it does, cut the stems off of the peppers. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and peppers to a blender or food processor and mix until you get to a consistency you like. Now, pour the mixture into a bowl and add the salt.

It's ready to go now, but some people put the covered bowl in the refrigerator for an hour to let the flavors blend a bit more. It's up to you.

Here's a recipe for a cool fruit salsa, along with yummy homemade cinnamon chips. It's a great way to get in your fruit servings for the day. It also helps to soothe burns from the previous salsa.

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips-serves 10.

10 flour tortillas, 10”
1 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 tbsp cinnamon, or to taste
Butter-flavored cooking spray

2 apples-cored, peeled and sliced
1 lb strawberries
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
8 oz. Raspberries
3 tbsp fruit preserves, any flavor
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar

For the chips (which are also great by themselves)-

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat one side of each tortilla with the cooking spray, cut into wedges and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and spray again. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. After baking, let them stand for about 15 minutes to cool.

For the salsa-basically mix the fruits and sugar, cover and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

I've seen people fry the cinnamon chips in a pan, although baking them is a great lower-fat option. If you'd like, you can add other types of fruit for variety. My personal suggestion is pineapple, but it's entirely up to you. For extra 'flair', serve them with a side of whipped topping.


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