Whole Lotta Salsa Goin' On

My oldest is a salsa hound. Up until recently, she was content to eat her way through a huge container of Pace every week or two. Then she started craving the salsa our nearest Mexican restaurant serves while you wait. Uh-oh.

It started so innocently.

Dad took charge of meals in October and November last year, when I had to be out of town. Sweet Pea kept asking him to pick up Mexican food. He was thinking Taco Bell. She wasn't. At last we deduced that it wasn't so much the camarones pacifico as the salsa that she was jonesing for. Whew! For a while we were glad. It was still kind of a big deal to order and pick up, but for under $6 we could get a quart of salsa and big bag of chips.

Then I saw two pins on Pinterest that made me wonder if I could manage a close-enough salsa here at home.

The first, a gorgeous roasted salsa roja, I'm saving for summer, when tomatoes are in season and plentiful and cheap. The second seemed just perfect for winter, since it relies on canned goods. Better yet,  it can be made in just a minute for that instant fix. (It works so well that I've started having to portion out the salsa in serving-size containers to remind her that she shouldn't consume an entire quart in one sitting.)

I started dumping things into the blender and got hung up on line 6. Um, honey? Though a teaspoon only adds about 6 grams of carbs to the whole amount, I skipped it. I get that adding sugar or honey cuts the bite in a tomato sauce, but I'm betting the bite is part of the point here.

The consensus on first attempt on Saturday was "pretty good," "pretty close," and "almost." Batch number (on Sunday) 2 involved more of everything but the tomatoes. Getting better by degrees.

That was Monday. That quart was gone by Tuesday. I made batch 3. Gone by Wednesday. The fourth attempt had a little less cumin, plus the other half of the small onion. At this point, everybody thinks we've matched Las Palmas' salsa to a T.

Thursday night we took our "baby" and his girlfriend out for his birthday dinner to the next-closest Mexican restaurant (the one he accuses us of hiding from him since his dad and I go there on "date night" alone) and we noticed that their salsa had the smoky undertone of chipotle peppers.

So Saturday's big double recipe included a frozen chunk of pepper and adobo*. Bingo. 

"That's perfect," Sweat Pea enthused. It must be.

It's all gone, again.

Smoky Chipotle Salsa Recipe from humofdelicious.com
If you don't have a scribd account, click here to reach a print-friendly recipe:
*You'll find chipotle peppers in adobo in a can in the ethnic foods section of Wal-mart. I can never use all of a can at once, so I freeze leftovers in a zipper bag. When I need it again, I just break off a piece. Can't tell the difference between that and fresh.
UPDATE: I stumbled across McCormick's chipotle chili powder at Winn-Dixie this week and bought some! I'll let you know how the salsa using it turns out!
Carb counts from ingredient packaging and this site.

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