Salsas and Guacamole!

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Here in Tucson, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) in true Mexican style, even though the holiday seems to be an American creation!  There are parties and restaurants have specials and basically, it is an excuse for indulging in Margaritas and Mexican food and all the fun, festive things that brings.  Bright colors and latin music and bringing family and friends together to eat and drink.  I look forward to it every year!

Salsa and guacamole is pretty much a must for our celebrations and here I have my ultra simple recipes that are crowd pleasers each and every time.  The first recipe is for a blended salsa that was given to me by a good Latina friend who was generous enough to share her easy recipe that everyone loved when she brought it to potlucks.  It has 4 ingredients (not counting salt) and they just get whisked up in the blender and that’s it!  Super easy, super simple.

The second recipe is for my pico de gallo which is a chopped salsa that has tomatoes, hot peppers (serrano or jalapeno, or both!), onion, lime juice and cilantro.  This one takes a bit more time due to the chopping, but is so worth it.  I make light work of chopping the onions, peppers and cilantro by using a vegetable chopper like this one.  I like to use grape or cherry tomatoes, that I quarter by hand,  because they hold their shape better and release less juice so my salsa isn”t too soupy.  But Roma tomatoes work as well.

And finally, I make the simplest guacamole, because that’s how we like it. You can always add a bit of salsa to it, if you want it fancier, but mine is just avocado, lime juice and salt.  Perfection. 

And then to top it off, a classic simple margarita: 

1 ounce orange liquor (like triple sec or Patron Citronage)

2 ounces of the best tequila you can afford (I use a reposada)

1 ounce fresh lime juice.  

Shake it up with some ice and then pour over ice into a salt-rimmed glass with a lime wedge.  If you like things sweet, you could add some agave nectar or simple syrup, but I find the orange liquor to be sweet enough. Your choice. 

Salsas and Guacamole

Two simple salsas and the easiest guacamole are all you need to make a party!
Author: Kiki Simpson, Healthy Sexy Kitchen

Ingredients

Blended Salsa

  • 2 14 ounce cans tomatoes I used fire-roasted
  • 3-4 serrano peppers rough chop, according to spice tolerance, you may want to use less or remove seeds and membranes
  • 5 scallions rough chop
  • 1 cup cilantro packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pico de Gallo

  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/3 cup onions chopped small
  • 1-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers chopped small, depending on your spice tolerance, you may want to use less or remove seeds and membranes to keep it milder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano Mexican, if you can find it
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin optional
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice or red wine vinegar optional

Guacamole

  • 2 large avocadoes
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Blended Salsa

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until desired consistency.
  • Taste and add more salt or lime juice, if desired

Pico de Gallo

  • Chop tomatoes, onion, peppers and cilantro into small pieces and combine with spices and lime juice or vinegar.  Reserve the salt until ready to serve.
  • Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Add salt just before serving and mix well. 

Guacamole

  • Scoop out flesh from avocadoes into a bowl and chop roughly. Add lime juice and salt and smash with a fork to desired consistency. Add more salt if needed.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

For the salsas, be sure to adjust the hot peppers according to your spice tolerance. These amounts are only a suggestion and make it a bit spicy. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it away!  
If you made it too spicy, just add more tomatoes to adjust. 

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