Summer Salsas 2017, No. 1


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There seems to be a number of recipes vying for supremacy this season, mostly from availability of stocks. They vary from fresh to cooked, though all here follow similar themes of using alternates to traditional ingredients like tomato or sugars.

Follow me as we see what materializes.

Jalapeno Mango Avocado Summer Salsa
Primavera Fresca – Medium hot as made

  • 1 LG Diced Cucumber, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 LG Diced Mango, diced
  • 1 MED Avocado, diced
  • 3 Fine chopped green onion
  • Healthy Handful of Cilantro
  • 2 Chopped Jalapenos, 1 Ancho Pepper chopped
  • 4 Minced, Peeled Garlic
  • TBSP Honey
  • TSP Fishsauce
  • 1/2 Lime Juiced
  • 1/2 TSP Soy Sauce
  • Sprinkle of Sesame seeds to finish
  • Dash Salt, Cumin
  • Stir well together
  • Let rest covered in refrigerator overnight for best flavor

The flavors are subtle, but I was not out to burn the house down with this anyway yet. With just 2 Jalapenos I thought it was a nice flavor enough.

My experience was much improved by letting it sit overnight. The hotness evened out, and the avocado dissolved largely. While the mixture did get a bit more watery, just remember to keep it stirred periodically and serve with spoon (or fork).

Enjoy as a condiment on chips, tacos, burritos or whatever.

Pictured above: Finished salsa with decorative strips of cucumber
Photo by Tom Gorman 2017

Tom’s Taco Ensembles

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Here we find not just one, but a collection of recipes from meat, to condiments for a healthy made-from-scratch meal to satisfy all.

Look at the options below and select your favorite meat, toppings, and have a great time!

MEAT

This can vary in selection due to audience or preference. Choose the meat you’d like to start with here, then move on to the guacamole and salsa sections for best results. Each result should open up in a new window or browser tab.

SIMPLE GUACAMOLE

Try out a relatively low fat yet rich topping for not only tacos, but burritos, nachos and more here. Not spicy by design, but you can always of course add more salsa!

SALSAS

Salsas add life to any dish, and certainly as much ‘fireworks’ as you can stand. Join in exploring the ‘threshold of excitement‘ with one of these recipes.

Enjoy any of these combinations in taco or burrito tortillas,
corn or flour, and LOTS of guac to counter-act that heat!

What ever your preference. Who says ‘food can’t be exciting?’ 

Have fun!

Tom’s Salsa Fresca

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I had thought that I already had written a recipe like this, being that my fascination with hot chilis started over 25 years ago, but oh well. When I first started making salsas, I made some toooo hot, but found adding sour cream made them edible. Here I have laid out a basic recipe that is a base for other concoctions. I have made more cooked salsas, but for something ready to go I’ve found this general formula very useful.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped med. Roma tomatoes (this variety better for flavour)
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 2 minced large jalapeno (or 4, if you like it hot)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice, or orange juice (not from concentrate!)
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

PREPARATION

  • Add all ingredients to glass or ceramic bowl
  • Cover with plastic wrap or other item, like a plate
  • Let sit in refrigerator for 4-6 hours for fullest flavour

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Part of ‘Tom’s Turkey Taco Ensemble’

Tom’s Jalapeno Salsa

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I like the pre-marinated flavour of cooked salsas often resulting from cooking forcing things to meld.

If this turns out too hot, you can always cool it down with sour cream or plain yogurt as I’ve found.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 minced large jalapeno diced
  • 8 chopped Roma tomatos
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper finely diced
  • 4 minced garlic cloves minced
  • 1 LG diced white onion diced
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSP chili powder
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice, or orange juice (not from concentrate!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

PREPARATION

  • Add TBSP olive oil to preheated skillet
  • Add all ingredients above and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring as needed
  • Cook another 10 – 15 minutes on reduced heat, adding olive oil as needed
  • Once reaching desired consistency, turn off heat and let cool to room temperature
  • Place in glass bowl once cool, cover and store in refrigerator overnight for best flavour

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Papaya Habanero Hot Sauce

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This is terribly hot as well as exciting for me! I claim no originality with this having read something like this in a few different places. All I know is that it makes me very happy, hopefully it will you to–if you like hot and sweet together.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 (4 if you like it blazing hot) habanero peppers, remove stems and retain seeds, minced fine
    [CAUTION: Use utensils or rubber gloves handling peppers. You will know pain if you don’t]
  • 1/2 to 2/3rds cup fresh papaya, mashed to a pulp
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TSP ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar (red wine vinegar also works in a pinch)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

PREPARATION

  • Heat sauté pan, and add 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Dump in all ingredients listed above
  • Stir regularly making sure that no burning takes place
  • After 5 minutes, reduce heat and let simmer an additional 3-5 minutes
  • Let cool to room temperature
  • Puree in blender or food processor
  • For best flavour, let sit in refrigerator overnight covered

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Tom’s Guacamole Fresca

Guac

I enjoy guac on many things, but mostly on tacos, nachos and burritos. Here is a simple recipe to hopefully satiate your desire for this wonderful food.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 small-medium avocados peeled and smashed with fork in bowl
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 2 plumb tomato, diced
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 2 minced large jalapeno
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/5th cup almond milk for liquidity
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice, or orange juice (not from concentrate!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

PREPARATION

  • Add all ingredients to glass or ceramic bowl
  • Stir together well to acheive even consistancy
  • Cover with plastic wrap or other item, like a plate
  • Let sit in refrigerator for 4-6 hours for fullest flavour

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Tom’s Simple Turkey Taco Meat

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I like simplicity when I eat. Yes I can get complicated when it comes to spices, but not when  I am working with some of my base ingredients. Here is a simple way to start off any winning taco night.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 LB ground turkey
  • 2 or 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TSP ground garlic (or 3 cloves peeled and minced, preferred)
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP ground cumin

PREPARATION

  • Warm medium sauté pan with 1 TBSP olive oil, adding more as needed later
  • Begin browning meat, then add garlic, then spices
  • Brown meat to desired brownness or crispiness and serve
  • That’s it! I said it was simple

Then serve in tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof starting point!

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

habaneros-499057_1920

This is terribly hot as well as exciting for me also! I claim no originality with this having read something like this in a few different places, I simply adapted to to circumstances.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 habanero peppers, remove stems and retain seeds, minced fine
    [CAUTION: Use utensils or rubber gloves handling peppers. You will know pain if you don’t]
  • 3 mangos mashed to a pulp
  • 1 cup minced carrots
  • 1 LG red onion minced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime or orange juice (or, not from concentrate)
  • Orange juice added as needed for texture
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar (red wine vinegar also works in a pinch)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 TSP salt

PREPARATION

  • Dump in all ingredients listed above
  • Puree in blender or food processor
  • Blend until fluid
  • Heat sauté pan, and add 1 TBSP olive oil and pre-heat
  • Add mixture to hot sauté pan
  • Stir regularly making sure that no burning takes place
  • After 5 minutes, reduce heat and let simmer an additional 3-5 minutes
  • Let cool to room temperature
  • For best flavour, let sit in refrigerator overnight covered

Then serve on tacos, burritos, with chips or eggs. An epic fool-proof topping.

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Enjoy!   Thomas Gorman – April 2017

Tom’s Turkey Chorizo Sausage

ChorizoPostCookA healthy alternative to traditional ground pork, this turkey variety is for those who love that chorizo flavor, but can live without the high cholesterol and fat. This chorizo needs no casing since you will typically enjoy it in tacos, burritos, eggs, and more.

You might like to scale up the recipe and freeze some for later- it sure seems to disappear at my house.

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 TBSP Paprika
  • 1 TSP chili powder
  • 1 TSP salt (more later if you like)
  • 2 TSP dried oregano
  • 1/2 TSP ground black pepper
  • 1/2 TSP ground cumin
  • 1/2 TSP ground coriander
  • 1/4TSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP ground cloves
  • 4 TBSP red wine vinegar

Cooking:ChorizoCookPost

  • Peel and mince garlic, place in a small container
  • Take all the dry spices, and pre-mix them in a small container, separate from the garlic
  • Take one TBSP olive oil and pour it into skillet
  • Add ground turkey to hot skillet, and break apart with utensil like a wooden spoon or spatula
  • As turkey is browning, add garlic and stir into mix
  • When turkey is nearly browned, dump in those dry spices you have set aside
  • Once well mixed, add the vinegar and stir in thoroughly
  • Don’t you love that smell? That lets you know you have all the ingredients right!
  • Add more olive oil as needed, as the spices will absorb a bit of moisture
  • Continue cooking until meat is well crumbled and brown

Enjoy!

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensemble

Photographs and recipe Thomas Gorman – February 2017

Tom’s Crispy Chicken Carnitas

Recipe for Tom’s Crispy Chicken Carnitas


CarnitasTacos
Traditionally, Carnitas are made with fried pork and spices. I recently discovered you can achieve a similar taste with just about any meat!

Last night I made it with a 3 pound rack of chicken legs in the interest of being a healthier alternative to pork.

Here’s what you need for this:

MEAT

Meats and sizes may vary. You can use most any sort of meat, but I have used chicken legs here. Use what sort of meat you like otherwise.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and lightly sprinkle the bottom of a cassarrole dish with olive oil
  • Cook chicken legs in cassarrole dish for about an hour and fifteen minutes, turning occasionally
  • Remove chicken legs from oven and let cool enough to handle
  • Take meat and remove any cartilage or bones, discarding them
  • Reheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
  • Add meat to casserole dish plus spices* listed below, with olive oil and a little orange juice (fresh or not-from-concentrate) to keep it from drying out too much, and cook to where meat and onions achieve a soft crispiness
  • Check meat every 5-10 minutes, tearing it apart with two forks (don’t burn the meat)


SPICES

*– Add below ingredients into the meat while secondarily cooking

  • Salt to taste
  • Chili powder (Teaspoon, or more if you like it hot!)
  • Cumin (1.5 teaspoons)
  • Medium Onion finely chopped
  • Cinnamon (Bit under a tablespoon)
  • Sweet curry powder (my own twist ‐ about a teaspoon full)
  • Plenty of garlic: 1 tablespoon powder, or 5 cloves fresh, minced
  • Bay leaf (be sure to remove prior to consumption)

CarnitasCookingAdd  orange juice  and/or olive oil, stir periodically until desired crispiness is achieved ‐not too dry, still a little moist.

  • Warm tortillas until SLIGHTLY crispy in oven, turning over at least once
  • Chop a small white raw onion and fresh cilantro for garnish and/or avocado if you like, with a slice of lime. Sliced cucumber, jalapenos, lettuce or spinach adds a nice touch too
  • Assemble tacos, and enjoy!

Explore. I love how the spices help the caramelization of the onions; that and just a bit of sweet curry brings it all together. Subtle changes yield different results.

Cheers! Enjoy- Tom Gorman

Part of Tom’s Taco Ensembles

Photos - Tom Gorman March 2017