Friday, May 16, 2008

Homemade Salsa and Fresh Chips

Homemade Salsa and Fresh Chips

Everybody has an opinion about Mark Bittman. You may like him; you may hate him; you may not dig his style of cooking and eating because you're not sure you should dig him because, as far as you know, he has no formal training. Well, neither do I, and that makes me like him even more. He knows so much! And he's so willing to share what he knows! And he makes it so simple! So maybe I'm a cheering a bit too loudly for him, but I can't help it. He's really helped me learn things with his bible, How to Cook Everything.

But wait, you're saying. Isn't that salsa and chips up there? How much help do you need with salsa and chips?! Well, okay, maybe not much help, but when it comes to cooking I think you need the basics and from there you can expound. And Bittman taught me the basics of salsa. Sure, you can add cilantro (ew), corn, chunkier bits of tomato - you name it - but my salsa was bare bones because I was learning how to make it and how to make it right. And it was gooood, too. And, of course, those semi-homemade tortilla chips helped it go down even easier, but that's really beside the point today. I mean seriously, warm, golden, crispy tortilla chips would make any day brighter, wouldn't they?

Want to bake fish but aren't sure on the temperature? Check Bittman. Curious how to slice and serve a mango? Check Bittman. Trying to make seven-minute frosting for the first time? Check Bittman. It's all there - from the most simple things to some of the most difficult. It's a modern Joy of Cooking, I guess. Regardless of what you want to try today just try this salsa tonight (with some fresh chips, of course). I mean, it's Friday, right? Isn't it time for salsa and margaritas?

Homemade Salsa
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Printer-friendly version
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium tomatoes, cored, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon vinegar, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. In your food processor put the onion, tomatoes, paprika, garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar. Process to the consistency you prefer.
2. Pour into a bowl and taste salsa, then add more salt and paprika, if needed. Stir in lemon juice and taste. Add more vinegar if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


  1. ABBY! I'm so sad - you don't like cilantro?! It's the key/not-so-secret ingredient in my favorite guacamole. I know it's one of those, though - you either love it or hate it.

    BUT this salsa... yum! If our tomato plants produce, you can bet salsa will be in order!

  2. I LOVE Mark Bittman too. I love his simple approach to cooking. I don't LIKE him all the time... actually he can really get under my skin at times. BUT I really LOVE that cookbook too! What other cookbook do you know will openly discuss beans and farting? Yet, have the best chocolate cake recipe EVER. Try it. I made it gluten free and it's awesome!! Great post gal!!

  3. I LOVE Bittman. Love him, love him, love him. He's one of the four "main" characters in this documentary about Spanish cuisine on PBS this fall, along with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali. Check it out here:

  4. Hmm, I've never heard of Mark Bittman, but your write up tells me I need to check out this cookbook. Your salsa looks chipalicious!

  5. when isn't it time for salsa and margaritas? (okay, 7 in the morning may be pushing it...)

    lovely salsa, although i've got to have cilantro. i'll gladly take your allotted lifetime share of it, thank you very much. :)

  6. Abby, I will have to try this one. We are all about the salsas here South of the Border but I am always looking for one a little different with spices changing up the last batch & so on... I like the addition of Paprika. I can think of endless things we could have this one with. Wonderful photo too!

  7. Looks simple and delicious! Mark Bittman is a rockstar.

  8. I could always use a book like that one. Thanks for mentioning it!

  9. I will have to check Bittman from now on Abby.....would it be awful to say I don't know who he to Google him:D

  10. I love the minimalist too, I learned to make the no-knead bread with him and it is such a success. You don't like cilantro... have you tried using it dried instead of fresh?

  11. I'm glad you like Mark Bittman. It so happens to be that he is my cousin! He is a really great guy, really knows his food, and is fun to be around. I hope you enjoy his food and cookbook as much as my family does!


Like Thumper's mama told him: If you can't so something nice, don't say anything at all. Thanks, y'all.