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06/21/2012

~ Sweet Corn, Grape Tomato, Black Bean & Vidalia Onion Salsa (It's Great On or In Fajitas or Wraps) ~

PICT0005One of my favorite things about the Summertime is making fresh salsa.  Unfortunately, even at the end of June in Central Pennsylvania, it is a few weeks too early in the season for me to rely upon fresh produce from our backyard garden (cilantro, green and red bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc.) or locally grown sweet corn.  That being said, when Joe came home from the grocery store with a bag of unseasonably awesome sweet corn this past weekend, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to make salsa with the leftovers!

PICT0001A bit about salsa:  "Salsa" is the Spanish word for "sauce", which comes from the Latin words "salsa", which means "salty", and, "sal", which means "salt".  While the word can refer to any type of sauce, it's mostly associated with spicy, tomato-based, soupy condiments typical of Mexican cuisine.  Mexican salsas, which have been around for over a thousand years, were traditionally made from raw ingredients which were pulverized using a mortar and pestle and served in small bowls as a dip or drizzled over food.  Pulverized, uncooked, drizzly/soupy salsas made with raw, seasonal vegetables (crudite, kroo-dee-tay)  are called salsa cruda.  

PICT0004Salsa manufacturing, due to long-distance transport and the need for a long shelf life, involves some degree of product cooking, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Salsa manufacturing started in Texas in 1947 when David and Margaret Pace began marketing picante sauce.  In 1952, La Victoria Foods introduced the first commercial taco sauce. Picante sauce is slightly soupier in consistency than its chunkier counterpart, which is marketed as salsa.  On the other hand, taco sauce is smoothly blended, having the consistency of thin ketchup and is made from tomato paste. Nowadays, fresh salsa is availabe in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores too.  Salsa has come a long way baby... In 1991, it outsold ketchup to become the #1 condiment in the USA!

PICT0003With temperatures hovering over the 90 degree mark in PA this week, I'm going to find all sorts of uses for my refreshing corn salsa over the next day or two.  It is wonderful on top of chicken or steak fajitas (both pictured here for our dinner tonight), and, I love it in an omelette for breakfast too.  It's also a great side-dish to serve with spare ribs, or... make a big batch of cheesy nachos and enjoy every last scoop!    

PICT0003For the fresh vegetables:

4  cups previously cooked or roasted and "shaved" (removed from the cob) sweet corn

2  cups quartered grape tomatoes

1  15-16-ounce can black beans, rinsed and well-drained

1  cup diced vidalia onion (red onion may be substituted)

1  cup diced green bell pepper

2-3  tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper

1  cup minced, fresh cilantro leaves

PICT0010For the marinade:

1/4  cup fresh lime juice

2  teaspoons chipotle hot sauce, more or less, to taste, your favorite brand

1  teaspoon ground coriander

1  teaspoon ground cumin

1/2  teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2  teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2-1  teaspoon sugar, more or less, to taste

1/4-1/2  teaspoon sea salt, more or less, to taste

PICT0007 PICT0003~ Step 1. Prep and place all vegetables in a large bowl as you work.  Using a large rubber spatula toss to combine.  Note:  There is no need to break the large chunks of corn into smaller pieces.  When the salsa is tossed with the marinade they will break apart on their own.

PICT0008

PICT0016~ Step 2.  In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade.  Add the marinade to the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 3-4 hours or overnight.

Note:  If you have the time, remove the salsa from the refrigerator every hour or so.  Using the rubber spatula, give it a quick toss, to recoat the vegetables in the marinade.

PICT0018

 

Sweet Corn, Grape Tomato, Black Bean & Vidalia Onion Salsa (It's Great On or In Fajitas or Wraps):  Recipe yields 8 cups of chunky salsa.

Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; large rubber spatula; whisk

6a0120a8551282970b014e8960cdd8970d-800wi PICT0038Cook's Note: For two more salsas, you can find ~ My Sweet 'n Spicy, Summer Tropical Fruit Salsa ~, and, ~ Pineapple, Avocado, Tomato and Onion Salsa ~ in Categories 1, 4, 8, 10, 13 or 14!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

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