Thursday, October 25, 2007

A few fall colours

I'll be the first to admit that I have mixed feelings about living in Portland - and that I get miserably homesick for little ol' Albuquerque. Laugh if you like - I was so desperate to leave Albuquerque for so long, and now I can't wait to go home for a visit over Christmas....

Don't get me wrong - Portland has its moments.

Like that one. We've had a spell of dry days, recently - relatively clear skies, the weather cool but not freezing, the leaves beautiful and my first actual day off since classes began coming up on Saturday!

Also, I have a lovely new pair of pink plaid rainboots on their way to me right now - to help keep me dry when the rain returns. (According to the widget on Dashboard, it should be rearing its drippy head on Saturday - how ironic).

But when new rainboots and fall foliage aren't enough to keep me and Matt trudging through the grey... I make salsa.

And we eat it by the bowlful. On this particular night, what you see was what we got - chips and salsa for dinner. There were no complaints.

As usual, I don't really have a proper recipe for it. I've watched my folks make it for years, and I've made a few changes here and there to make it my own. On this particular occasion, I made a large batch and we used the rest in burritos the second night. This recipe will make enough to serve a group of people as an appetizer, or two as a major meal with leftovers.

Salsa for the Homesick

6-8 small tomatoes (I used romas, because that was what I found that day. Substitute any tastier, juicier variety you can get your hands on, though)
1/2 a large red onion
1 large anaheim pepper, seeds scraped out (it's mostly for flavour, rather than spice, but you needn't be too scrupulous about your scraping - a few seeds never hurt anyone)
2 serrano peppers, one with seeds in, one with seeds scraped out (change this up to adjust the spiciness to your liking)
large handful cilantro
2 limes
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste (plenty!)

Chop the tomatoes and red onion into small, fairly regular pieces, and toss into a large mixing bowl. You don't want to mush them up, but neither do you want to end up with huge pieces of tomato and onion on your tortilla chip. Open the anaheim pepper and scrap the seeds out before chopping the chile into very small pieces. Add to the tomatoes and onions in the bowl. Open one of the serranos, scrape the seeds out and mince finely, and then mince the second one - with the seeds still in. Add to mixing bowl.

At this point, you may want to stir to combine and see how your ratio of tomato to onion to chile looks. Add a little more of any of them if you like. Chop the cilantro and add to the bowl.

This is the point when I diverge from my dad's recipe. He adds a little lemon juice to his salsa. I'm more of a lime kind of girl.

Slice two limes in half, and using a reamer or the citrus juicing item of your choice, juice into the mixing bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and plenty of salt.

Stir to combine, and taste. Adjust salt, lime, chile or olive oil to your liking. Taste again. The tasting process is crucial at this point in the salsa making.

And lastly, if you haven't already, break open the bag of tortilla chips and dig in. 


Matt Dark said...


Max Jensen said...

Hey Shannon and Matt,
It's Max from Borders. Hearing you write about Portland, Shannon, makes me super nostalgic! I can't believe you have mixed feelings about it :P I miss Portland like hell. Thanks for all the pictures of PSU and whatnot on the most recent blog!

Take Care!