Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Salsa Rookie February 8, 2010

Filed under: appetizers,condiments — freerangenurse @ 4:03 pm

As I mentioned in the last post, I received a number of recipe requests when I solicited suggestions on facebook.  One that intrigued me was red salsa.  What is so intriguing about red salsa?  The fact that I’d never made it, never tried to make it, never thought about making it, but absolutely could eat it by the gallon!  How had I managed to never try to put together my own?  Honestly, I didn’t really know where to begin.  Then, along came Ree, aka, the Pioneer Woman.  Just a few short days after I received the suggestion, she posted a recipe for salsa that looked like what I’d like, so I used it as a jumping off point.

First, I made it exactly as she said.  Oh, it was tasty, but far too mild for me and not exactly what I was looking for, but so close in many ways.  I decided to play around with it and made a few changes until I got just what I was looking for.  A slightly smoky flavor, more spice, more heat and a little tequila never killed anyone (it just nearly did).  I took my salsa up to work, where honestly, you have to pretty much throw food items on the table and quickly move your hand because, seriously, those people will bite your hand on the way to the food!  I asked a few of my friends to sample it, and give me honest opinions about the flavor, the amount of spice and not to spare my feelings, because it was a learning process.  Overwhelmingly, the salsa got rave reviews.  Thanks to Ree (for more than just this recipe, you really have a great blog) and thanks to the guinea pigs (and I use the word ‘pigs’ in the most literal, yet loving way possible) for giving me your opinions and agreeing to try rookie salsa.

Here you go, folks!  Rookie Salsa.  I can’t wait to try it with fresh tomatoes this summer.


  • one 28 ounce can Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes, including juice (I’ll be fire roasting my own, come summer)
  • two 14.5 ounce cans Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes with green chile (or Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chile), juices drained
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (leaves only)
  • juice from one medium lime
  • 1 chipotle in adobo (as in, one pepper from the can, not the whole can)
  • 1 serrano pepper with seeds, chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños with seeds (depends on heat of jalapeño)
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin (adds a smokiness to the flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • large pinch of kosher salt (don’t add too much, the chips will have plenty)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Place all items into a blender or food processor and pulse until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.

Texture should be moderately thick and there shouldn’t be any large pieces.  Taste it and adjust seasoning.  You can add another pepper or two depending on how spicy you like your salsa.  This recipe and the jalapeños I used that day made a medium spicy salsa.  The tequila is optional.  I just like saying it is in there, the flavor is very subtle, if even detectable.


6 Responses to “Salsa Rookie”

  1. Diane Says:

    Thanks for clearing that up about the one chipotle! This looks and sounds very similar to what I do (but with fresh tomatoes in summer)…so I will for sure be trying this with the canned babies since I always keep those fire-roasted tomatoes on the shelf. Thanks again for another tasty and easy recipe!!

  2. Mama Says:

    Oh Mija,
    Your papa wants me to make this one for sure for his ranchero eggs. What happened to “his favorite” one I make. It’s been replaced by my wonderful daughter’s recipes. You go girl!
    Love you,

  3. Val Says:

    We devoured ours! It was everything I look for in a salsa – hearty without being too big for the chip! 🙂

  4. Janet Says:

    Now these jars of salsa look delicious! Did you actually can them? Or just put them in the fridge? I often make my own salsa, and will have to try your recipe. But sometimes I just don’t want to go to the trouble, and it would be great to be able to pull a jar of homemade off the shelf and be good to go.

    • I didn’t can them, but you could. You would go through normal canning procedures (sterilizing, heating, etc). I am not sure how heat would affect the flavor as I have never “cooked” the salsa. The good thing is it is very easy to throw together, five or ten minutes, tops. It does make a lot of salsa, but we go through it pretty fast around here. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Leigh Says:

    Oh yum.

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