• Coleen Merk

Texas Sweet & Spicy Salsa

We are in the middle of August, some call the dog days of summer!

Here in Texas, that means extreme HEAT!  100 degrees plus and an even higher heat index is not uncommon...

I was in a rut fixing the same 'ol recipes that would go down and not curdle in the stomach. My husband works outside so I have to be careful not to go too heavy with certain foods.

I had a craving for salty chips, pretzels and CHOCOLATE! And don’t forget the chilled wine too!

I digress.

Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. I had forgotten my salsa recipe. It is a combination of vegetables, fruit and heat. The fruit provides the sweetness (and helps with that chocolate craving) the vegetables give it the crunchy taste and if you use fresh corn (I have a slight obsession with corn) that is sweet as well, then add a little bit of heat (Jalapenos) then finish it off with lime juice and salt.

I like to use fruit and vegetables that are still firm, if you use real ripe fruit, it will likely not last too long. When you add the salt, it will soften up the fruit and vegetables and combine the juices from both. Then you get that sweet and sour flavor all in one bite.

There are no set ingredients for this recipe. I simply pick what is  fresh at the time. But here are a few ideas to get you prepared:

1. Fruit

I love tropical fruit like papaya, mango & pineapple. If you choose a papaya, keep in mind they are pretty large. So if it is just one person eating this, that might be too much so go with a mango or kiwi fruit. I used firm peaches and plums for this recipe. You can also use strawberries, grapes and apples.

2. Vegetables

I like to use peppers, and you can pick red, orange, yellow or green. Take fresh corn and steam it for about five minutes, cool and then cut off the cobb. Or you can use a can of sweet corn. I love to use cilantro and I chop it up finely and sprinkle that in. I prefer green onions, but you can also use white or red onion.

3. Heat

I am talking about jalapeno peppers, but you can use any kind you'd like. I used two jalapeno peppers for this recipe, and it was not too hot but still had a little bite. I usually take the seeds out. For the first time I bought two tomatillos and cut them up in this salsa. They added a nice crunchy herb-like flavor and texture.

4. Lime juice and salt

I used the juice of one lime and sea salt to taste. If it gets too tart you can add a little bit of sugar or honey. You might want to let the salsa sit a little bit before you add any sweetener.

This recipe truly gets better after sitting a few hours.

Tools to make this salsa:

Cutting board

Sharp knife - I like my fruit and vegetable and hot pepper cut in small cube pieces. It is a lot of chopping and cutting, so a sharp knife makes it go faster!

Large mixing bowl

Rubber gloves (if you don’t want the heat from your hands to burn your eyes when you cut up the hot peppers. My eyes have had way too many episodes!) Now the trick is not cut the tips of your fingers off as you try to grab the pepper and keep your glove away from the blade of the knife.

Band-Aids (optional, but I usually need them when I forget how sharp my knives are.)

Enjoy! Be sure to post pics of your own salsa and tag my page so I can see!

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