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Randy's avatar

Do you have any secrets to making your own homemade salsa?

Asked by Randy (11214points) August 3rd, 2010

I recently started making my own tortilla chips and I was wondering if you cared to share your recipe for homemade salsa or any special ingredients to give it something special. Heat is not an issue as I like it very spicy. I’ll probably end up adding an extra habanero or jalapeno peppers anyways.

Also, What’s the difference in a blender and a food processor? Most recipes call for the processor but I only have a blender. Does it really matter?

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Blender will purée; you want your tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mangoes, etc. diced or chopped. A food processer will do that but so can you with a heavy, sharp, weighted chef’s knife and a wooden chopping block.

Pandora's avatar

A blender can pulverize your food and make it watery like a shake. A food processor can blend herbs and veg. in a way that can blend them without making them a watery substance. Like a salsa. You want something you can chew into. You can buy an elctric mini chopper. Most act like a food processor.
Sorry about the salsa. I don’t make mine I buys it. :)

Frenchfry's avatar

I just make it like tis roma tomatoes chopped, jalopenos one with seeds chopped. onions chopped. Some cilantro chopped, the juice from one lime .The end. Real good. I like mine chunky

Coloma's avatar

Drop your tomatos unpeeled into boiling water for about a minute…they will peel perfectly, if you do not like the skins on.


Mmmm..yes..the chunkier the better…who-le not mole. lol

marinelife's avatar

Fresh tomatoes, diced
Sweet onion, diced
Chiles (depending on how much heat you want: anaheim, mild; jalapeno, medium)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Lime juice and lime zest
Salt and pepper

SamIAm's avatar

fresh cilantro

marinelife's avatar

@Samantha_Rae Coriander and cilantro are the same thing.

SamIAm's avatar

@marinelife : isn’t cilantro more specifically the leaves of the plant?

dynamicduo's avatar

I just made my first batch of homemade homegrown salsa. Every ingredient (minus the corn) was grown in my own garden. I made my own recipe up based on what I had available on hand: a few ripe red tomatoes, green onions, fresh locally grown corn, italian parsley, cliantro, unripe spicy finger peppers, and lots of immature green tomatoes (I was out pruning the tomatoes a bit late and I wanted to use these instead of composting them).

Into my food processor went three finger peppers, herbs and green onion. This was pulsed until finely diced. In went the green tomatoes and it was pulsed until they were chunky yet minced. Dump this into a mixing bowl with the corn (taken off the cob previously), process the ripe tomatoes in the processor, and mix everything together. I then strained out some of the liquid and voila, a perfect but REALLY spicy salsa. I added a dash of lemon juice and salt and I should have added in lemon pepper too.

As for cilantro/coriander: usually coriander refers to coriander seeds, and cilantro refers to the fresh leaf herb. But in many cuisines such as Indian they use both interchangeably. Interestingly enough this year some of my cilantro plant formed coriander seeds! I’m saving them for a special dish in the winter.

Coloma's avatar

Hmmm…interesting, I thoguht Corriander were the seeds of the Cilantro plant?

dynamicduo's avatar

Oh and do share your tortilla chip recipe!!

SamIAm's avatar

@Coloma : ya I thought corriander was the stem… but cilantro is different either way.

Coloma's avatar


Yes..seeds and stems, or something like that, hahaha

I know I have some dried Corriander in the spice cupboard, I’ll have to look at it more closely.

marinelife's avatar

“Cilantro or coriander not only has two common names, but two entirely different identities and uses. Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, describes the first or vegetative stage of the plant’s life cycle. After the plant flowers and develops seeds, it is referred to as coriander.”

From What’s Cooking America

YARNLADY's avatar

@marinelife Thanks for the info and link

Coloma's avatar

Oooh.. flour tortilla chips!

Eeeee…this is a disciplined diet week for me, gotta go, gotta go…

Austinlad's avatar

Please excuse me from this thread so I can run out for some Mexican food.

Randy's avatar

Thanks you guys! Salsa sounds even easier than I though it was going to be and I was thinking it was going to be easy.

@gailcalled and @Pandora, I didn’t think about the blender basically liquifying the salsa. It makes sense though. I’ll be going to get a food processor tomorrow.

@dynamicduo, They’re pretty easy and I go all the way with actually making my own corn tortillas too.

2 cups of Maseca Corn Masa mix (A flour made from dried corn)
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water
1 fresh squeezed lemon
1 fresh squeezed lime

Mix all the ingredients together into a bowl. If the dough is a little crumbly, just add a little bit of water. Then separate the dough into about 16 equally sized pieces. Make them into “flat end spheres”. It’s easier to roll out that way. Next, place a floured (Maseca Corn Masa flour) plastic bag down on a flat surface, put a ball of dough on top, then top this with another floured plastic bag and roll the tortilla out. I make mine extra flat because I like thin chips. Next, pour about an inch of oil into a skillet. Heat to about 375. Cut up the dough tortillas and basically deep fry them for a few minutes. Don’t forget to salt them afterward!

Just use a little less oil, and slightly golden them for whole corn tortillas. I really like the lemon and lime juice mixed in. It gives them an extra flavor. Pretty tasty stuff.

Thanks again everyone. I’m excited to give all these salsas a try.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

You can use a blender, but it tends to turn the product into a paste-like consistency. The sharper blades in the food processor give you greater control. Or you can do as @gailcalled says; chop finely with a good sharp knife, saving the juices.

Here’s a fairly middle-of-the-road salsa recipe. Control the “heat” by using more or less Tabasco sauce:

(5) plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
(10) green onions
(2) jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 TBS fresh lime juice
2 TBS tabasco sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic, mashed and minced fine
1 tsp salt

Put the tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro and fresh garlic (if used) in blender or processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Place in bowl and mix in lime juice, tabasco sauce, black pepper, salt and garlic powder (if used). Serve immediately. 12–15 servings.

As a variation, you can add 1/8 cup each of black olives, sweet corn and/or garbanzo beans to the ingredients in the processor.

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