My "Taste of Salsa" party was Saturday night. We had a few friends over to sample the salsas I made. My friend, Heidi, brought the salsa that she's been telling me about for a year. I was so glad to finally get to taste it!
Before my friends arrived, I poured a little of each salsa into a mini canning jar (half the size of jelly jars). I put a sticker on the bottom to identify each one. Then I set them out randomly (I didn't peek!!) along my counter, with a couple bowls of tortilla chips. I asked my friends to try them, making notes, and rating them from 1-5, with 5 being their favorite. I made sure to tell them not to hold back on their comments, that my feelings wouldn't be hurt, as even *I* didn't like them all! I also told them that I didn't make them all, as I snuck two store bought salsas in the mix: Herdez Salsa Casera & Safeway Select's Salsa Verde.
In the end it was fascinating (to me, at least) to see what people liked/didn't like. If you read my salsa notes from last month, I was not a fan of the sweet salsas. There were a couple sweet salsa recipes I found on the internet, from sites where people were raving about them. Thankfully, a couple of my friends ranked these as their top picks! COOL....I now had a good home for my sweet canned salsa!
Not surprisingly, my top tomato based salsa picks were Herdez Salsa Casera, & a Pico de Gallo that I made that day. Heidi's salsa was a close second for canned (not fresh) salsa. (Another friend, Margy, makes a lime salsa that is extremely good as well. I wish I'd had time to make it for the tasting. I know it would have received a high score from me!)
My favorite tomatillo based salsa was the one from Safeway, with San Francisco Encore's Tomatillo Sauce (scroll down for the recipe) running neck and neck with Safeway. Mixed together they were the perfect topping for the chicken enchiladas (scroll down a bit) I made for that dinner!
In the end I learned that we all have very different ideas of what a "good" salsa is. It was fun to talk about the flavors; what we liked and didn't. I also learned that after all the work that canning salsa involves, I'm probably going to stick to the store-bought jars! I will make an exception for a fresh Pico de Gallo...it was very quick and simple to make. The only two canning recipes I'm going to attempt again, are the ones from Margy and Heidi, as I really liked the flavors in their salsas.
Unfortunately we were so busy I forgot to snap some pictures of the salsa tasting or the enchiladas! Next time, I promise....
In the meantime, here is the Pico de Gallo recipe I made:
Pico de Gallo
Recipe from: Emeril Lagasse
Servings: About 2 cups
1 ½ cups Seeded, diced tomatoes
¼ cup Diced red onion
1 tablespoon Diced jalapenos
1 tablespoon Minced garlic
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons cilantro
Salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste