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Salsa Del Norte

January 25, 2011

Last Saturday was Girls’ Night at my friends house in Delaware, so I knew I had to plan some sort of appropriate munchie that would be low key enough to go with an evening of sangria, pizza, and gossip-but also something that would travel well. A few months ago I’d come across this Salsa Del Norte recipe on Use Real Butter and I’m so glad I bookmarked it, because I knew that was going to be the perfect treat!

A little bit about this authentic, restaurant-style salsa.
If you’re from Philly you’d have to be living under a (sad, hungry and sober) rock if you haven’t heard of or been to Cantina. I’m so lucky to live a mere 5 minute walk away from their South Philly location, because its one of my favorite spots to enjoy mojitos and endless chips and salsa (they also have the best nachos I’ve ever eaten. True story.)!  They give every table two salsas, both delish: a salsa verde and a smoky red one. I haven’t been able to decide which I like better, but I was so excited to have found a recipe that measures up to their red salsa. Its not a chunky salsa which I tend to prefer, but the flavors in this are just so mouthwatering that I can easily down more chips than my waistline would prefer just to scoop up all the fire-roasted goodness!

A few tips on preparing this very easy and quick recipe: It instructs you to roast only the tomatoes in the broiler, but I threw in the jalapenos and garlic cloves as well- why the hell not? Yumazing. Also, be careful with the jalapenos. Because of past salsas-turned-firey hotsauce, I made sure to only add one pepper first and then taste for preferred heat level. Peppers can vary in heat, and even though I have a higher tolerance for spice than most people I know- for this recipe, one pepper turned out to be enough! So enough chit-chat from me- onto the recipe!

Salsa del Norte
from The Border Cookbook

  • 1 1/2 lbs. whole Roma or Italian plum tomatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/2 medium onion, chunked
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 2-3 tbsps vinegar, cider or cane
  • pinch of sugar (optional)

Heat broiler. Place tomatoes (and peppers and garlic if preferred) on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Broil 15-18 minutes, turning a couple of times until soft and skins split. There should be some dark spots. Let the tomatoes cool a bit. Put the whole tomatoes in a blender with the rest of the ingredients (one pepper at a time) and purée. Serve warm or refrigerate for later use.

Buen provecho!

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