The one or two choices in the store ain't worth puttin on a chip , but this stuff is dang good - yeehaw!

Recently I mentioned that I was given a “rough draft” recipe for some homemade salsa by Elaine, and I made a batch that was good, but found it still needed some tweaking for my palate.  Well, I did my second revision batch a few weeks ago and I do believe I have got my recipe down!  I was just focusing on putting together the right balance of ingredients and ended up making much more than I thought.  I filled every spare jar I had around (about 7 of various sizes) and still put the last bit in a glass bowl with a lid.  So obviously if a smaller batch is desired, you can cut the recipe in half.  Here’s what I did:

– 20 small to medium tomatoes (about the size of a racquet ball)
– 2 small onions (white or purple)
– 2 small to medium green bell peppers
– 1 full bulb garlic (pressed)
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 1 small package (100g) tomato paste
– 1/4 cup vinegar
– 1/4 cup lime juice
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Chop/dice all vegetables and cilantro.  Combine all ingredients in a large cooking pot and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (I add half the cilantro at the beginning and the other half 15 minutes after).  Cool slightly, then pour into jars with sealing lids.  Serve chilled next day and beyond.

I know from being born and raised in Texas, that salsa comes in all kinds of varieties and is definitely an individualized taste.  But I do believe this batch can stand toe-to-toe with some of the best of them – it certainly has finally satisfied my taste buds for chips and salsa.  And I asked my fellow Texan/professional chef friend, Samantha, to give her honest “needs a little more of this/little less of that” critique and her exact words were, “It’s perfect!”  So move over Pace – this stuff may be “hecho en Ecuador” but it is dang good!

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