Sunday, November 30, 2008


Our family uses salsa like others use ketchup. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or just snacking, you will usually find a big bowl of salsa and tortilla chips on the table. Ninety percent of restaurants in El Paso will have the same offering of chips and salsa where in other cities you will find breadsticks.

The one person in our family whose meal is not complete without a “fresh” bowl of salsa is my brother Mando. Of course, there’s no problem there. He just makes his own. Since I’ve written about my other brother, Jose, I thought I’d give my brother Mando equal time.

My brothers are so special to me. With all of us getting on in years, I feel a need to strengthen our bond. My sadness for Gloria, when she recently lost her beloved brother, made me realize how quickly life can pass us by. We must take the time we have to acknowledge our love and caring for each other. No, we don’t always get along. We each have our own distinct personalities. But that’s what makes us special in each other’s eyes. So folks, here is my other brother, Mando. I think his bald head is so cute!

This is my brother's recipe for his salsa. I believe it was inspired by my mom's recipe, but he's managed to adapt it by adding his own flair.

Mando's Salsa

Armando (my brother), was born and raised in El Paso, in El Segundo Barrio. Graduate of "La Tech." Musician, printer, and computer technician, worked for El Paso Times and Digital Corp. for thirteen years. Now works for the Albuquerque Independent School System in their Multi-integrated Computer systems department. He is married and has ten (!!) kids. "Consejos (advice) came from my grandmother (mi Chita), my mom, and my brother. They are the ones I have to thank for the successes in life. Words of wisdom came from mi Chita; words of courage came from Mom."

Makes approximately 4 cups
2 pounds jalapeños
2 tablespoons oil
Garlic salt, to taste
½ large onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

Rinse the jalapeños. Remove the stems. Boil in 4 quarts of water with the oil. Add garlic salt to taste. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours. Periodically check to make sure the water level in the pot remains full. Drain the chiles, reserving some of the juice, and set aside. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, mash the jalapeños with a potato masher or even a pastry cutter. Make sure all the jalapeños are completely broken up. Cool slightly. Add the onion, tomatoes, and cilantro. Add reserved chile juice to achieve desired consistency. Cover bowl and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Other salsa recipes.

Tequila Salsa

This salsa can be used as a marinade on chicken and turkey as well.
½ cup olive oil
½ cup lime juice
½ cup tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 can ( 4 ounces ) diced green chiles, undrained

Combine all ingredients. If using as a salsa, serve chilled. Makes 2 cups.

Salsa for a Crowd

3 cans ( 28 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 can ( 15 ounce) tomato sauce
3 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
3 bunches green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon canned, chopped jalapeños
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 can ( 7 ounce) chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix well and store in glass jars in refrigerator for up to a week. Makes 6 cups.

Pico de Gallo 1

4 medium tomatoes, chopped
6 green onions, chopped with some of the tops
2 to 3 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Blend all ingredients and stir well. Chill before serving. Makes 2 cups.

Pico de Gallo 2

8 long green chiles, roasted, peeled, deveined and chopped
2 small yellow chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
5 green onions, chopped (including tops)
5 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons salad oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients; chill. Will keep at least 2 weeks in refrigerator. Serve with tostada chips for an appetizer. Makes 2 cups.

Pico de Gallo 3

2 tomatoes, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of ½ lime
¼ teaspoon salt
Dash of hot pepper sauce, optional

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and hot pepper sauce. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend together. Makes about 3 cups.

Jalapeño Salsa

4 small fresh jalapeño chiles, chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, minced
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. This is delicious served with crackers or as a chile sauce for tacos. Also good with meat. Makes 1 cup.

Pineapple-Orange Salsa

1 orange
2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Grate 1 tablespoon orange peel; set aside. Peel orange and chop coarsely. Combine grated orange peel, chopped orange and remaining salsa ingredients, except cilantro, in medium bowl. Cover and Refrigerate 24 hours. Before serving, stir cilantro into salsa. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Peach Salsa

2 peaches, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fresh jalapeños
½ cup onion, diced
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon cumin

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate several hours. Makes 1 cup.

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons canned jalapeños, diced
½ cup onion, diced
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
¼ teaspoon dried cumin

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate several hours. Excellent with fish. Makes 1 cup.


Reeni said...

How sweet you are! I love a good salsa and am sad to say I have never made my own. Thanks for sharing your brother's delicious recipe and the other ones, too. The fruit ones sound interesting, peach salsa? YUM!

anudivya said...

Oh yeah! I make salsa pretty often too. Just love the thing. More jalapenos the better!

ARLENE said...

Larry balked at turkey last night, so we went out for Mexican. I'm sure he'd have liked your salsa much better. I eat salsa if it isn't too hot. I'm sure I'd love the tequila and the fruit salsas. Mando sounds charming; 10 ninos!!!

Esi said...

These are great salsa recipes! Chips and salsa is among my favorite snacks. I could eat it all day.

Ivy said...

I have never made salsa before. Thanks for sharing your brother's recipe and the others. They all look yummy.

Gloria Chadwick said...

Teresa, Thanks so much for all your emotional support over the past month. I miss my brother terribly and still cry every time I think of him--which is practically all the time.
I like all your salsas. I've yet to walk into a restaurant here in San Antonio that didn't have salsa and chips on the table.
My daughter, Jaime, makes a really mean tomatilla salsa--the recipe is in my cookbook, but maybe I'll share it on my blog.
BTW, are you going to make chili this month for the cook-off? I've got a Christmas chili planned.

BanginFood said...

Oh my gosh we looove salsa! I've never made it myself either. We like chips a bowl of warm queso and salsa. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I have a question. If one is using tomotillos in salsa, and can't find fresh, is canned ok?

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

To Anonymous,
Of couse you can use canned tomatillos. Fresh is always better becuase you know it's fresh, but there is nothing that says you can't use canned. Just taste test and make sure you season it to your liking and enjoy the salsa. Thanks for stopping by.

Kelly said...

I love all of the variations. Pineapple orange sounds amazing. I bet that would be lovely on some flaky light fish.

Karen said...

I love all kinds of salsas and Mando's sounds spicy hot just like I like it! I'm writing this recipe down and will give it a try!