Margarita night at Burrito Loco is always a good time [not because of the excess of virgin (june birthday) raspberry margaritas I consume] but for the restaurant’s complimentary rolls-equivalent of the Mexican dining experience: salsa and chips! I’m pretty sure that if I went by myself I’d easily eat them alone and ask for seconds. So…since I can’t waltz in to the crazy burrito and sit down for free salsa and chips whenever I want, I learned how to make them myself, minus the chips. Tostitos scoops should work just fine. Now, the problem with writing down a recipe is that I never actually go by one, so all of these measurements are guesstimates but that just works in your favor. That way you can figure out what you like best anyways.
Salsa/Pico de Gallo Combination (?)
- 2 cups seeded chopped tomatoes
- 1 Habanero pepper finely chopped
- Half a yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- Kosher salt and pepper
- A few good drizzles, probably three or four tablespoons, of extra virgin olive oil
- Half cup of fresh Cilantro
If you have a food processor, this whole recipe will be much easier. But if you don’t, that’s fine. Just make sure you have a decent knife with a blade that can cut. To chop tomatoes, I always cut it like an apple, leaving the center core for the garbage. Then you just scoop out the seeds and roughly chop them or pulse them a few times in your processor.
Do the same for the onion, roughly chopping or throwing that into the processor as well. Adding the habanero chopped with the seeds and everything will make your salsa the equivalent to a hot salsa you’d buy in the store. Since I sweat if I put too much black pepper on my food, I take out the seeds and fleshy part and then chop it up, it’ll be about a mild to medium salsa. Add the garlic and other ingredients and process that (or mix it by hand).
As for the salt, I’m not Jewish. My choice of buying kosher salt is simply due to its superiority in every realm of cooking. It’s cheaper and is often used in “gourmet” cooking because presenting a dish with kosher salt sprinkled on top adds another dimension to a plate of food.
Cilantro is an herb that people love or hate. But if you like the salsa that you get at any Mexican restaurant that means you like it. I’m convinced they use cilantro as a base, not tomatoes. Enjoy!
P.S. It’s important to let the salsa sit in the fridge for a few hours before you eat it so that the flavors can “marry”. Otherwise the chip will taste more flavorful than the salsa.