Skip to main content

Salsa... And a Story of a Forgotten Cookbook

Will and I are both team leaders at our school.  He represents 5th grade- I represent 8th.  Because these meetings are held after school on Mondays, last year I suggested we have them off campus- somewhere we could be comfortable, away from school... and most importantly, have a snack.  These meetings now happen in our home.  I can't lie- I love it.  Will isn't as happy about it as I am, but I think he has accepted his fate.  I love having people over and feeding them.  This is a genetic thing, I'm pretty sure.  When I was little, family gatherings almost always happened at our house.  Both my parents are fiercely good cooks who don't know how to cook for anything less than an army.

As a result of holding these meetings every other week at our house, I've learned to stock my pantry so I can put out a spread at a moment's notice.  I always have at least 3 kinds of cheese- usually a brie, a cheddar and a gouda.  Olives and pickles make frequent appearances.  But chips and salsa are the one constant.  Up until now I've always purchased deli salsa.  I know- shocking.  When it comes to feeding Will and I, homemade is always the preference.  I guess I just get caught up in the convenience thing.

Well that's all about to change.  At our meeting tomorrow, I will have a much better alternative.

Periodically, I take an inventory of my cookbook collection.  Yesterday was one of those times.  I found a cookbook that used to be out on my counter all the time when we lived in Alamosa.  It's called The Rancho de Chimayo Cookbook.  It was written by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.  The book is not only a phenomenal resource for New Mexico cooking, it's also a chronicle of the Jaramillo family and their restaurant in Chimayo, New Mexico.  I heard about the restaurant from one of the ladies I taught with in Alamosa.  I never made it to the restaurant before we moved to Rifle, but I did track down the cookbook.  It was published in 1991, but I don't think it's in print anymore.  I found it on www.half.com and snapped up the only copy they had at the time.  In Alamosa, I could readily find most of the ingredients needed to make the spicy dishes.  In Rifle, some of them are a bit of a challenge.  I suppose that's why it ended up forgotten on the top row of the cookbook shelf.

I dropped the book on the counter and it fell open to my favorite recipe.  The pages are stained with tomato juice.  The recipe is for the salsa the restaurant serves to all guests.  It's simple and spicy.

Here's all you need:

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (sometimes I use fire roasted diced)
2 teaspoons minced white onion (I use more)
3 rough chopped jalapenos (I remove seeds and membranes)
1 teaspoon ground chile de arbol or cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instead of doing all the fussy chopping, I usually dump everything in my blender and let it do the work.  This makes quite a bit.  I have enough for the meeting tomorrow, and to freeze for at least a month!  If you heated it in a saucepan, you could probably even can it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Carrot Cake!!!!!!

I made my very first ever from scratch homemade cake at 7,500 feet above sea level today. I have made many homemade cakes before, but that was back home in Savannah, which is practically 2 feet below sea level.

After many dismal failures (including box mixes) I have finally made a cake from scratch that turned out decent. No- better than decent. I think this is the best cake I've ever made. No joke.

It all started when my fried Emmy posted on her blog about receiving as a gift from her hubby, a copy of "The Joy of Cooking." By the way, you should go read her blog. She is nauseatingly multi-talented. She cooks and knits beautifully, as well as a bunch of other stuff I learn about every freakin' time I read her blog. So go over to her blog right now.

Anyhoo...she read the high altitude instructions and cranked out a beautiful red velvet cake that made me drool. After reading that, I decided it was time to stop being a wuss about baking at high altitude and try a…

Sunday Love...

This is what Sunday morning looked like at our house. I was inspired by some beautiful strawberries I bought at the store yesterday, so I wanted to make a special breakfast.

What says "I Love You" more than a stack of hot, homemade buttermilk pancakes???



Well, I'll tell you what. A stack of hot, homemade buttermilk Strawberries Romanoff Pancakes with Brown Sugar-Sour Cream Sauce. That's what.



A very good friend of mine from back home in Savannah, Jared, sent me for an engagement gift a year subscription to "Southern Living" magazine. He explained that he didn't want me to "forget how to be Southern." Although it is doubtful that I will EVER not be Southern, it was a very sweet gift. And I must admit I was so excited the day it landed in our mailbox that I had to fight every instinct in my Southern body not to plop on the couch right then and there and read it cover to cover and commit it to memory.

In the April 2009 issue of "Southern L…

Gouda Mac and Cheese

IMG_1102, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Dev loves gouda cheese.
We had a hunk of it in our fridge.
So...I decided to make mac and cheese out of it.
Unfortunately, I wasn't going by a recipe, so I can't tell you exactly how I did it. I can give you a blow by blow, but that's about it.
I started by sauteeing an onion in olive oil and butter (if I had to guess at amounts, I'd say maybe a couple of tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil). Oh- and I started boiling the elbow pasta. I boiled about half a pound of pasta for 8 minutes, then drained it.
Back at the cheese sauce...
After the onions had softened (about maybe 5 minutes), I added flour. How much? I have no idea- maybe a quarter cup? I let it cook like a roux for about 5 minutes. I added a little salt and a few drops of hot sauce at this point. I had managed to eek 2 cups of dairy liquid out of my fridge- I had about 1/2 cup of 2% milk, about 1 cup of half and half and maybe 1/2 cup of white wine. …