Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kymberz Infamous and Sorta' Mediterranean Salsa - Version #1

I do a number of variations when it comes to salsa - sometimes my salsa leans to the Mexican side (full of chilies and garlic and we dump it on organic corn chips fresh out of the oven and smothered in cheese) - sometimes it leans to the Mediterranean side (less chilies, still tons of garlic but with a ton of citrus and fruit thrown in!).

This salsa is one of mine and my hubbies favourites - it is as cool and refreshing on a hot day as a glass of fresh-made lemonade (and I have an awesome recipe for lemonade coming up so stay tuned!)

Anyway - here is the list of ingredients (be warned - I am not an "exact" kind of person - I measure in "pinches" and "maybe a little more"):

And remember, whenever you follow someone else's recipes to adjust the ingredients to the way you would like it - if you are a garlic lover - add a few extra garlic than the recipe calls for - if you don't like a certain ingredient - leave it out or substitute it with another ingredient!

My Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
4-6 tomatoes
3-5 sweet onions
a bunch of parsley
a bunch of cilantro
2-3 teaspoons of pineapple juice
1 small orange (juice, pulp and rind will be used)
1 small lemon (juice and rind will be used)
1 small lime (juice will be used)
1 can of chopped green chilies
6-8 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
1 well-ripened mango
1 gorgeous husband in matching boxer shorts and t-shirt for sous-chef duties as needed

**Extra Tip: chop everything as fine as possible...the more fine everything is chopped, the better your salsa will be!**

I always start my salsa with a "base" - or at least what I call a base. Get yourself a big mixing bowl and add the olive oil...I don't measure it, I just dump 6-8 swirls around the bottom of the bowl. Sqeeze in the juice of half of the lime and add the pineapple juice. Like this:

Next, chop up the rind of the lemon and this:

and add it to your base:

Next, remove all of the white stringy stuff from the inside of your orange and chop it up and add it to your base. At this point, I throw in some salt and pepper.

Next - chop up your chilies (I use about 3/4 of a small can) and add it to your base.

(Note: when chopping up all of the ingredients, I use the same plastic cutting board and knife for all of the ingredients. Each ingredient you add to the cutting board, soaks up and catches all of the previous ingredients and ensures that you get all of the ingredients into the bowl. DO NOT do this when using recipes that call for meat ingredients!)

As you can see - the base is coming along nicely now.

Next up is garlic. MMMM - garlic is sooo good for you! I normally use regular garlic (and at the end of the summer use my own home-grown garlic!) but for this specific day - my hubby's friend from work brought us a bunch of wild garlic so I used it. (Wild garlic is a little like a cross between garlic and a green onion...and wild garlic is a little milder than regular garlic.) Anyway, I used 5 delicious bulbs - chop off the tops and bottoms, put them in your garlic press and add it to the base.

Next up is an ingredient that probably made you go "Huh?!?!" when reading the ingredients list - but let me assure you that no Kymberz Infamous and Sorta' Mediterranean Salsa can be without - Mango!!!

This one is a little bruised and has seen better days - but the pulp inside is very, very sweet and will add an amazing flavour to the salsa - come on - shake it off - Yes - we are going to put mango into the salsa - I promise you will be floored when you eat this!

So chop up your mango like this:

and add it to your base:

The base is sure starting to look good now eh? At this point, I stick my finger in the base and decide if it needs more chilies, garlic, lime, or salt and pepper...

Now get yourself a nice bunch of cilantro:

And chop it up:

And add it to your base:

Woops - fergot to mention that while you are preparing the base, the awesome-gorgeous husband (wearing matching boxer shorts and t-shirt with hole in it) is busy at another counter chopping the tomatoes and onions....

(I looove him soooo freaking much!!!)

Now - on to the parsley - follow same instructions as cilantro -

Chop it up:

And add it to the base - now is a good time for another taste test as the flavours should be starting to blend nicely:

Back to the gorgeous husband chopping tomatoes - set the tomatoes in a colander on top of a bowl or pot so that the tomatoe water/juice runs out into the bowl or pot...if you don't strain the tomatoes your salsa will be very watery! And don't forget to drink the bowl/pot of juice after the tomatoes have strained!

Here's some onions ready to go into the salsa now:

Add the tomatoes and onions to your base:

Mix it all up together and - MMMM - this is some really refreshing salsa!

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours to give all of the flavours a chance to blend...

Serve it up with your favourite chips (Organic White Corn Chips are pictured) and enjoy! Trust me - after a hot day spent weeding in the garden - this is a refreshing and zesty lunch! Or its a great snack on a hot evening, sitting on your patio, waiting for the steaks to cook on the BBQ.

Welcome to My Recipe(ez) Blog

Hello everyone and welcome to my recipe(ez) blog.

I love to cook. And since quitting my job almost 2 years ago and becoming a stay-at-home wife - I love to cook even more. When you work 8 hours a day (I was actually working more like 10 hours a day - and working on weekends too!) and throw in another hour for travel to and from work, cooking delicious meals when you get home seems like a horrible, tiring chore. It is not fun at all. To all working Mothers out there who somehow manage to work a full day, come home and cook wonderful meals for their families - I salute you! But even though it was only my husband and myself (it still is - we were DINKS - now I guess we are SINKS) - coming home from work and starting to make cabbage rolls or spaghetti and meatballs for 3-4 hours did not seem like much fun at all. I tried to prepare delicious meals on the weekend - but as I already noted - for the last several years of my job - I was working weekends too!

But now, having tightened our belts, learning to cut down on unnecessary expenses and starting to grow a large amount of our own food - I have had the absolute joy of being able to stay home from my job and focus on keeping our household together and COOK! Have I mentioned that I love to cook? The only thing I love more than cooking is feeling completely satisfied with being a stay-at-home wife. I love my husband and we love our life - we are very fortunate and very grateful to be able to live this life.

Anyway...over the past 2 years I have tried and learned a bunch of new, and sometimes, exotic recipes. Don't get fooled by the word exotic - I come from the east coast of Canada where we eat fish or meat, potatoes and veg at every single meal. I love my down-home comfort foods as much as any exotic dish - but like I said - since staying home I have had more time to learn and try exotic foods.

And although I am very organized in some ways - in other ways I am a tiny bit of a slob. One of those ways is my recipe's pretty horrific. Don't believe me? Here's a couple of pics...

Yes, my recipe book is your average standard black and ugly 3-ring binder. And yes, the front of it is covered in "spills".

And although my wonderful husband went out and got me a 3-hole punch specifically for my recipe binder, as you can see below...I very rarely use it. No, if I find a recipe that I like on the Internet - I print it off and just shove the loose pages in my binder. You can even see a handwritten recipe that a friend gave me in the pic below. I have several handwritten recipes shoved loosely throughout the binder.

However, as seen in the next pic, some of the recipes have been hole-punched and are sitting properly in the binder - but as can be seen in the last pic - even the ones that have been hole-punched are a mess from me constantly rummaging through loose pages and pulling out ones that actually are in the binder!!!

Hence, my need for this blog. I have promised myself that each time I put up a new recipe, I will print it, hole-punch it and put it in a nicer binder with reinforcements around the holes. I am promising this to myself and fully intend to keep my promise (I hope - haha!).

As well...when I first started scouring the internet for various recipes...I found several blogs that contained recipes and I found these very helpful. So now I feel it is time for me to "pay it forward" if you will...and share some of my favourite recipes. I hope that someone, somewhere will find this blog interesting, helpful or useful. But if not, it will at least be my attempt at keeping my recipes all in one spot and trying to share with others.

And one last thing - we try to be as organic as possible - it's really easy when you are growing your own food from heirloom seeds and use ABSOLUTELY NO PESTICIDES OR CHEMICALS - it's also really easy when you have an amazing farmer's market AND Farmboy Store located only 3 blocks from your house.

So anyway, welcome to my Recipe(ez) Blog!