Crazy Salsa Recipe
September 13, 2016 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Do you have any odd BUT GOOD salsa recipes that you'd like to share?

We have a salsa contest at work each year with three prizes - Hottest, Most Unique, and Best in Show. Hottest, I'm just not interested in, Best in Show should probably go to someone who actually works at this sort of thing, but Most Unique? I feel like I have a real shot at this thing.

My fallback plan, such as it is, is to just go buy some random crap and mix it with tomatoes, peppers and garlic, but if you have suggestions that you stand by I'd love to hear them.

Bonus points for integrating zeitgiesty name suggestions.
posted by dirtdirt to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Define crazy? I love mango salsa but I'm not sure that qualifies as crazy.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:43 AM on September 13, 2016

I like pineapple habanero
posted by rmless at 9:46 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Inspired by the various sorts of fruit-incorporating salsas, I tried mixing canned lychee in with a pedestrian salsa from a jar and liked it. (Though, I particularly like lychee.) I think it could be really great if made entirely from fresh stuff, with maybe a black bean component or something like that to balance the sweetness of the lychee.
posted by XMLicious at 9:46 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Do you have access to a grill? Smoking corn in the husks for 30-40 minutes creates a pretty amazing flavor that can serve as the basis for all kinds of outrageous salsas. Heck, you could toss it with some dried cranberries, some smoked turkey and some pickled green beans and make a Thanksgiving Dinner salsa.
posted by saladin at 9:52 AM on September 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

There's a restaurant in San Francisco, Papalote, that makes a very delicious salsa. I want to say it's a very delicious no frills salsa, but it's got its special uniqueness, too. Mostly because it's very oily, and when blended it takes on a sort of milky, creamy appearance. It's delicious, obviously, but we've been making our home versions of it that tone down the straight-up cup-o-oil aspect by using nuts and seeds instead. Here's a chowhound recipe aimed at doing this exact thing, using pumpkin seeds, and it's friggin' wonderful. We make this with almonds all the time, and even plain old peanuts make an awesomely rich final product. Do you have any favorite nuts/seeds, ones that are easily available where you live or otherwise indigenous to your area? Try them.

We also just had a salsa fresca that our neighbor made with heaps of basil and a few hyssop leaves. It was interesting and tasty, in that almost-licorice-but-not-quite way.

And something we make at home, but would be hard to scale up, is tomato water: dice tomatoes, toss in a bowl with a teaspoon of salt, let the tomatoes seep out their juices for half an hour. Drain off the liquid at the end (and use the diced tomatoes in something else). The leftover tomato water is like the essence of summer and tomatoes. Chop some (raw, or roasted, or stewed, or what have you) onion and garlic and chiles into it and toss with a couple fistfuls of thick tortilla chips. Voila, a barely-there salsa that's loaded with flavor (but you have to eat as you make, like chilaquiles, because the tortillas get soggy).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:01 AM on September 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Diced chicken, cauliflower and small crumbles of a cheese of medium firmness would go good inside of a tomato salsa with Italian herbs in it.
posted by soelo at 10:27 AM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

This Guajillo salsa is addictive.
posted by Diablevert at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I want to amend the above to say that, now that I've given it a moment's thought, I think it should be a fresh, citrusy cranberry sauce rather than just dried fruits, and the pickled green beans should be spicy as hell, either from chilis or horseradish or both. Holy shit I'm gonna make this this weekend.
posted by saladin at 11:05 AM on September 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

Roasted salted peanuts, a little serrano chile or a lot if you like, a fair amount of garlic, cilantro, lime juice, a little water. Chop in a food processor just a little, until the garlic is in small enough pieces not to garlic-bomb your mouth. If your peanuts are very lightly salted, you might need to add salt to taste, but you probably won't.
posted by clavicle at 12:40 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Or: basically like the above, but fresh cranberries instead of peanuts. With less garlic, more lime juice, no water, add salt and also sugar. For both of these, use plenty of cilantro stems for maximum fresh flavor.
posted by clavicle at 12:48 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just had this at a friend's house last night, and it was delicious:


posted by poppunkcat at 12:59 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

At Taco Deli in Austin they serve a green salsa that is common at Jalisco style places. The call it "salsa doña" and that name has stuck with my family.
It is a creamy green salsa. It is great with chips or on tacos and whatnot.
The beautiful thing is that it takes advantage of the natural emulsifying effect of chiles and the flavor is dependent upon the type of chile used. This is traditionally made with jalapeños, but can be made with almost any chile. My family stocks away 50 lbs. of NM chile just for this.

Creamy Salsa Verde
1 lb chiles
1/4 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil
3 - 10 cloves of garlic
1 - 2 tsp salt

Wash chiles and put them in a pot with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until they change color and soften. You want them well cooked, maybe 20 minutes.

Remove the stems and chop the boiled chiles. Put them in the blender with the garlic and enough of the cooking liquid to get the blender to turn this into a slurry [about 1/4 cup].

While blending, slowly drizzle in the oil until it turns smooth and creamy. Season with salt and adjust thickness with more of the cooking liquid.

This will seize up if chilled, so it is best served fresh. It's still good when it congeals but be warned. The thinner you make it to begin with, the less like pudding it will be when chilled.

This recipe will make just shy of a quart.
The chiles can be frozen after cooking and used after defrosting.
posted by Seamus at 1:24 PM on September 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

corn avocado onion tomato lime juice deliciousness!. It is AMAZING!
posted by bluesky43 at 7:39 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I dunno how crazy it is, but I've made an atypical salsa that people go wild for. Chop equal weights heirloom tomatoes and ripe peaches, and then add very finely chopped red onion (or shallot, if you're fancy) and roasted poblano. Toss all that together, salt it lightly, and then drizzle with olive oil and a mild vinegar (like white balsamic, cider, or rice). Just before serving, mix in a bunch of julienned basil and some crumbled feta. It sounds kinda improbable, but is, I promise, really good.
posted by mishafletch at 8:22 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

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