I’ve been lucky enough to come from a family of wonderful cooks. I remember the days when extended family would descend on one of the grandmother’s or great aunt’s homes, grab a utensil or a pan, contributing what they could to the meal. Everyone would file through, filling their plates with meats, sauces, heirloom casseroles, fresh salads, and of course, delicious desserts.
Growing up, my Dad’s mom lived in the house below ours. (It's a super-rad duplex by the beach!) I loved having my Grandma so close and I consider myself lucky to have learned many things from her, including a few tips from her authentic style of Mexican cooking. On the occasional Sunday, she makes a big breakfast for anyone who can stop by. It always includes Menudo, (which I know I never gave a fair shot, but come on) chorizo, eggs, sometimes carne con chile, and always a fresh batch of her classic salsa.
This salsa is kind of a big deal. My best friend Amy has parents who grow their own chilies and make a fresh batch every day, but this is still her favorite salsa. My friend Bob is equally in love with it and his wife also comes from a family of amazing cooks. When my G-Ma knows that they are coming, she’ll make an extra batch. And we always eat it.
1 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes 2 pickled jalapenos (I use the Embasa brand) 2 teaspoons jalapeno pickling juice (that comes with the jalapenos) ¼ of a white onion, chopped 1 teaspoon coarse salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder Juice of a lemon Handful of cilantro, chopped
Cut the jalapenos into large chunks, discarding the stems. Toss them into a blender. Add the tomato juice, jalapeno juice, half of the lemon juice, and only one of the peeled tomatoes into the blender. Blend until the jalapeno is finely chopped. Add the rest of the tomatoes. Pulse the blender for just a second or two. You want the tomatoes chopped, but still chunky. Pour tomato mixture into a bowl. Add remaining lemon juice, salt, garlic, onion, and cilantro. Give it a good stir and enjoy.
Note: If you prefer more spice, simply add more jalapenos. I prefer mine on the mild side, so I find that two is the perfect amount for me.
Source: Taught to me by my Grandma Esther, additionally, learning by watching my Mom make her salsa the same way for most of my life.