Inspiration for me to cook comes from lots of sources, but my favorite is the inspiration I get from my kids. Like today, we were at the store and I asked my son what we should have for dinner. His answer was chips and salsa. That’s it. Just chips and salsa. Salsa and chips. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to win any Mom of the Year awards for making just chips and salsa for dinner, but I’m ok with that.
To start you need some whole tomatoes, cumin, fresh cilantro, a green pepper, a red onion, a lime, garlic, a jalapeño (these were really small so I used two), and some salt.
Now I know it’s tomato season, and by all means use fresh tomatoes if you want to. But I make salsa all year round and I like the consistency of using canned tomatoes because it tastes the same whether I’m making this in August or February. But if you have a bunch of fresh tomatoes from your garden or farmer’s market or even just the grocery store, go ahead and use ‘em!
Add your tomatoes to a food processor. A blender works too if you don’t have a food processor.
Then add half a chopped red onion.
A chopped green pepper. You’ll notice you don’t have to finely chop any of this. Coarse chunks are fine because the food processor will do most of the chopping for you.
Peel two ginormous cloves of garlic…or three regular ones.
Cut the lime in half.
I always chop the jalapeño last so there’s less chance I’ll touch my eyes or face and be in pain. Remove the stems and seeds (but save them for later) and just chop the rest. And then wash your hands!
Add the onion, green pepper, jalapeño, and garlic to the tomatoes that are already in the food processor.
Then add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
And a handful of fresh cilantro.
Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and this is also when you want to add salt. I start with about 1/2 a teaspoon and add more later if I think I need to.
Now put a lid on the food processor and blend everything together until it’s the consistency you like. I like mine kind of medium. Not totally pureed, but not super chunky either.
Now at this point your salsa is ready for chips or whatever else you want to use it for. But in the interest of keeping the rest of my heat-loving family happy, I divide the batch in half and leave half mild (for me). The other half goes back in the food processor with the jalapeño seeds. If my husband was home I also would’ve added another whole jalapeño.
You can make the salsa well in advance. I think it’s best when the flavors have at least 24 hours to hang out and get to know each other in the refrigerator. But today we were impatient. I made the salsa and got right to work on the tortilla chips.
See these? This is what happens when you’re standing in line and realize you forgot the tortillas, and you send your son off in search of some. This is what he brought me and so this is what I used. But you can use any kind of flour or corn tortillas to make your chips.
You’ll also need some olive oil. I found this spray version earlier this week and thought it was pretty nifty! But regular olive oil works too.
Take one tortilla at a time. Spray (or brush with a pastry brush) both sides of the tortilla with olive oil. Then sprinkle with salt.
Make a little stack of tortillas and then cut them into wedges with a pizza cutter.
Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the chips are golden.
- FOR SALSA:
- 28oz Can Whole Tomatoes
- ½ Medium Red Onion, Chopped
- Green Pepper, Chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled
- 1-2 Jalapeño Peppers, chopped with seeds reserved
- Handful Fresh Cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cumin
- Salt to taste
- FOR TORTILLA CHIPS:
- 6 10″ Tortillas (flour or corn)
- Olive Oil
- FOR SALSA:
- Place canned tomatoes in a food processor.
- Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper, peeled garlic, chopped jalapeño, cumin, salt, and cilantro to food processor.
- Squeeze in fresh lime juice.
- Pulse until salsa reaches desired consistency.
- Remove two cups of salsa from food processor. This will be mild.
- Add jalapeño seeds and another whole jalapeño (if desired) to the food processor. This will be medium/hot.
- Be sure to label which is mild and which is medium/hot.
- For best results refrigerate for 24 hours.
- FOR TORTILLA CHIPS:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush both sides of tortillas with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Stack on top of each other.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut the tortillas into quarters.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.