Courtney Creator and author of No Dinner Before Dessert. Collector of delicious recipes. Wife of the luckiest husband in the world (at least that's what he tells me).

Salsa Battle

Salsa Battle

I wanted to recreate a salsa I had tried - a neighbor girl was selling salsa in the neighborhood but she was leaving so I had to find a replacement. I looked online for similar looking salsas and decided to test them all side by side.

I tried four salsa recipes and made a few alterations to them for a total of seven salsa recipes. Here are the links to the originals:

Cooking Classy -cumin sugar->honey
Slow Roasted Italian
Spending with Pennies
Chunky Chef -cumin

Alterations: Slow Roasted Italian: -cilantro, Fire Roasted -> Plain Diced
Slow Roasted Italian: fire roasted ->Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes
Spending W/ Pennies: 28 oz petite dice strained, jalapeno->bell pepper -cumin

I needed help to determine the best of the batch but also which was closest to the goal. Taking chips and seven containers of salsa around to family members and getting their feedback yielded varied results:

We all decided that the Cooking Classy recipe using fresh tomatoes was out. It was the first one people tried since it was first in line (I tried to stay consistent in the order so I could keep them straight). It was good but then as soon as anyone tried the others it wasn’t anymore, or rather, the others were too obviously better.
The other original recipes all had fans while my variations were not so good. Even the brother-in-law who hates cilantro didn’t go for the cilantro free option, and my jalapeno hating husband didn’t pick the jalapeno free version as the best. The vote for the closest to the goal was the Spending with Pennies recipe. That and the Slow Roasted Italian were definitely my favorite overall too. The fire roasted tomatoes in the later added a little something different but quite tasty.

So what did I do with all the salsa?
Even with taking them around to lots of people to test and vote, I would have needed a couple more bags of chips and that many more mouths to finish off all that salsa. So I found recipes that would use a good bit. I added cilantro to the one without it and mixed the salsas together to get the amounts needed to make a batch of each of these:

Stuffed Peppers

This was my first time making stuffed peppers and in classic me style I didn’t read the recipe so I had to improvise on the whole cooking them in the crock pot part. I found instructions from another recipe to bake them. I also decided to use some of the strained off tomato juice from the salsa recipes to make my own Spanish rice for these!

Salsa chicken

This was my first time trying a salsa chicken. I thought it was good but I had to eat the leftovers so my husband maybe didn’t care for it…?

Freezer Burritos

This one allowed me to put off eating the rest of the salsa til later. As of today, there are still a couple left in the freezer (but only because I’m always making too much new food to eat the frozen stuff). They’re good and so easy to take to work for lunch when needed. They microwave pretty well though the ends of the tortilla can get a little hard if they go for too long.