You’ve heard the question before: “If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Perhaps my Texas roots are to blame, but my answer has always been chips and salsa. It’s the best part of eating out at a Mexican joint, and the first thing I gravitate towards at a party.
This salsa recipe was developed almost ten years ago to meet a serious need….ahem…well, serious to a couple of twenty-two year olds living in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My college roommate and dear friend, Kristen, actually convinced this Texas-born/ Tennessee-raised girl to move to South Florida. We had just graduated from Florida State University, and, much to the dismay of our new neighbors, weren’t ready to give up our work-hard, play-harder lifestyle. Our little weekend get-togethers slowly grew into full-blown, noise-complaint-provoking parties almost every weekend (sorry, Mom).
It wasn’t long before we realized that we needed to provide food (duh). The only things I really knew how to make at that point were pasta bakes and quesadillas. Armed with our tiny four-cup food processor, I got to work developing what would become my most requested recipe…ever. While it’s still not as good as Zona Fresca’s in Lauderdale, it’s definitely better than anything you can buy in the grocery store, and as a bonus, it’s ridiculously easy to make.
As far as the name goes, well, I was twenty-two, and it had a nice ring to it. I didn’t think about the fact that one day I might want to share that recipe with people other than friends…you know, parents, in-laws, and such. Eh well, live and learn. The name has stuck, and there’s no going back.
Bridget's Bad-@** Salsa
(Updated 6/29/15 for clarity and also to reflect a few adjustments I've made over the years that I believe make a better salsa.)
about 1 quart
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
½ of a small yellow onion, cut into large chunks
handful of fresh cilantro, including stems
4 10 oz cans Rotel Mild (diced tomatoes and green chiles), drained (see tips)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Kosher salt (optional - Rotel already has a lot of sodium in it)
- Add onion, garlic, and cilantro to food processor, and pulse into finely minced.
- Add drained Rotel, juice from two limes, and tomato sauce.
- Pulse until just incorporated.
- Enjoy with your favorite chips, cerveza, and friends.
- This will keep in the fridge for about one week.
- To peel fresh garlic, smash each clove with the side of a chef’s knife. The paper skin will fall right off.
- When using cilantro, use the stems too; they are full of flavor as well.
- If you don’t own a citrus reamer, you can use a sturdy spoon to juice the limes.
- Even with the mild version of Rotel, this salsa has a kick. If you want to up the ante even more, substitute a couple of the cans with the original version.