It is common to be offered a small bowl of salsa with some chips when you are seated at a Mexican restaurant. Here in the United States, some of the restaurants use canned tomatoes to make it, but using fresh tomatoes will always render the best salsa. My mom would almost always have this salsa ready, as it can be used for many things, like the famous Huevos Rancheros, scrambled eggs with salsa, entomatadas, or to add to the many typical Mexican meals we call “antojitos”.
When we talk about salsas, the combinations are endless: they could be as simple as the raw serrano salsa, or a little more complex with more flavor like a Piquin Salsa. A few tomatoes (or tomatillos), onion, garlic, and peppers are the soul of a salsa, but not all of them are hot, spicy salsas. Sometimes, we use a salsa to add some heat to a meal, while other times it constitutes an actual part of the dish, like with the Dried Shrimp Patties in Guajillo sauce. Salsas are in our everyday life, and almost always you will find a homemade salsa at every Mexican dining table. Which brings me to this last note: we also call them “Salsas de Mesa”, or “table sauces”, since they are placed on the table when the meal is served.
What is your favorite Salsa?
MAKES ABOUT 1-1/4 CUP
- 2 medium size tomatoes
- 2 serrano peppers*
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ of a medium size white onion
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt to season
- If Serrano peppers are not available, use 1 jalapeño pepper.
- Some cooks add cilantro. If you want to add it, use about ¼ cup of chopped cilantro and add to the rest of the ingredients in the blender.
1. Roughly chop tomatoes, serranos, garlic clove, and onion.
2. Place in your blender with ¼ cup of water, and process until smooth (or slightly coarse, if you prefer).
3. Heat the oil in a medium size frying pan at medium-high heat, and pour in the salsa and stir.
4. Once the salsa starts boiling, reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 13-15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until all the ingredients are well cooked. If it needs it, add more water; this will depend on how juicy the tomatoes are.
5. Once done, season with salt and serve. This sauce will keep well for about 3 days in your refrigerator.