View Full Version : What ingredient(s) makes your salsa great?

Paul K
09-27-2007, 11:27 AM
At work we have an annual salsa competition. For 2 years running I've come in 2nd place, and things have got to change http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif! I'm looking for ideas to bump me up to the next level. I've done traditional red/tomato based salsas, tomatillo/green salsas, mango/papaya salsas...but they've never been quite good enough for 1st place. What do you consider critical for an outstanding salsa...of any kind. If your idea helps me win, you will get 50% of the winnings http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.



David Lohrentz
09-27-2007, 12:39 PM
More than unique ingredient combinations, how about focusing on the absolute highest quality ingredients you can acquire? For example, if you can get some locally-grown organic heirloom tomatoes from a local farmers' market or other source, that would make a big difference in flavor. Maybe you're already doing this, but that is the direction I would go for best quality salsa.

Phil R.
09-27-2007, 12:58 PM

Have you thought about trying some of the more "exotic" types of peppers to add a different flavor? Maybe fresh ajis amarillos or rocoto (rococo? sp). Or what about cactus...maybe grilled, chopped cactus in a salsa verde with all the usual suspects (tomatillos, peppers, etc.). Or, maybe adding cubed red tuna (the cactus, not the fish). I bet the color of that would blow the judges away, and it tastes good. For great ideas, go to a mexican market...the ones that no white people go to. They have some really cool fruits/veg at those places that would be totally new to a lot of people.

K Kruger
09-27-2007, 07:42 PM
I'm with David and Phil. So often if you can boost the quality--substantially; it makes a huge difference--it is as if you created the recipe anew. And/or-sometimes it is the 'special' ingredient--or two--that sets the salsa above the rest--nopales (the cactus Phil first mentions), jícama, piñones (toasted first!), ripe plantain--those sorts of things, that really work well. Fresh non-standard peppers are a great idea (rocotos would be great!--but hard to find), though you could use dried versions, reconstituted then pureed, as the base for the liquid portion of the salsa. Fun thinking about it...!

Paul K
09-28-2007, 04:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Or, maybe adding cubed red tuna </div></BLOCKQUOTE>....whew, you know what I was thinking until I read further http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif!

Thanks guys, I agree, fresh is the way to go. I'll start searching for some of the not-so-ordinary chiles.


Ron Lewen
09-28-2007, 06:24 AM
My salsa recipe is still on paper, but I'll try to dig it up and type it in. It uses chopped green olives and some of the liquid from the olives and also chopped avocados. The olives and juice add an interesting twist in flavor and the avocados add an interesting texture difference.

Chris Notarpole
09-28-2007, 06:31 AM
I guess my first question is what salsa are you going to try this time and then list the ingredients. Unless we kind of have a general idea of what it would probably taste like, imho it would hard to make suggested changes.

Paul K
09-28-2007, 07:49 AM

Not sure which version I'll go with this time around. I need to check and see what fresh chiles are out there (if any). There should be some hatch chiles still. If not fresh, then I'll pick some of the dried. Traditionally I'll do both a red and green salsa. The red having roasted red tomatoes, ancho and chipotle chiles, garlic, onion, etc. The green usually has tomatillos, seranos, hatch chiles, onions, etc. Sometimes I'll add a splash of vinegar to both recipes. When I get closer, I'll go ahead and post a proposed recipe.