Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pioneer Woman: Restaurant Style Salsa

Okay, so I finally went out to get the jalapeno and cilantro -- two things we very rarely have in this house -- to make the restaurant style salsa (which appears on the blog, but also in the new cookbook on page 92).  I got to Kroger right at noon, and as I pulled past the humongous church right across the street from Kroger I thought, "oh, nooooo."  Because I was thinking I had picked some awful timing to go to Kroger.  Turns out, I was pleasantly surprised -- church was still in session, so it was easy-in, easy-out!

(I did get turned down from buying a bottle of wine.  It was 12:17, but alcohol sales start at 12:30.  Whoops.  I can't even say I was embarrassed.  I mean, I was buying the newspaper and a bunch of ingredients to make salsa -- even though I was buying the wine to cook with later, it at least kind-of fit with the rest of the purchase!  And it was after 12 noon and all... )

Anyway, from Kroger I needed to run to CVS, and for whatever reason to go that particular way was insanely busy.  But that was fine because it gave me a chance to eat my Taco Bell on the way.  (Shoot.  Forgot to tell Mick about that little detour!)  Then I got to CVS and stood by the photo counter only to be ignored for a good five minutes, but I still wasn't in a bad mood.

Then I went to the treasure hunt store (yes, again, I know. but I am on a quest to find a picture frame I can do a project with, and I am determined to "salvage" one, if you will).  And despite losing three different parking spots to discarded shopping carts (People suck.  Really.  Is it that freaking hard to walk the cart to the door?, and then watching a lady walk a cart to the parking spot right in front of the door, carefully wedge it against the curb, but not bother to, I don't know, put it on the sidewalk), I was in a good mood (although, in fairness, my I-hate-people meter was clicked a little higher than I would have liked).  I was still in a good mood even after I sent five picture frames crashing to the ground, completely shattering one, and having to ask for help to clean up.  Yep, still in a good mood. 

And then when I left, I got cut off on my last run of my trip home, and the guy proceeded to do 5 mph less than the speed limit for the entire ten miles I had to follow him.

That, my friends?  THAT put me in a bad mood.

So I came home and I really, really, really wanted to hate this recipe.  Poor recipe, it wasn't its fault, but boy, oh boy, I was in a bad mood!

But then I started making this salsa and as I was going along, I realized, who was I kidding?!  I love salsa.  I love all salsa.  Sure, some is better than others, but it was going to be hard for me to not like this.

And that put me in a better mood.

Yikes. This post is supposed to be about PW Restaurant Style Salsa, and I took at least a page with a back story of why I wanted to hate this.

But I don't!

Pioneer Woman Restaurant Style Salsa

Verdict:  Good, but not particularly memorable.   
Cook it again:  Tough one.  It's good, but I'm still kind-of partial to our own recipe which involves absolutely no cans.  This doesn't really stand out to me as amazing enough to do instead of our recipe, but if we're in Maine in the middle of winter or somewhere else where we need quick, easy salsa, we might well go to this version.
Cost Factor:  Meh.  Jalapeno was $1.07, Tomatoes were another $2.50, and the cilantro another 79 cents ... plus the garlic and onion and lime.  But it makes an awful lot, so it's probably worth it.

It really is good, in the I'm-sitting-at-a-Mexican-restaurant type of way.  Not in an "oh-my-gosh-how-do-you-make-this" type of way.  We don't usually make salsa with jalapenos (we use serranos, which we learned at Christmastime are impossible to find in New York or New England, and that makes me so incredibly worried I can't even tell you), and we never make salsa with Ro-Tel, so I was skeptical.  And in truth, this really is a semi-homemade recipe, because of the canned tomatoes and Ro-Tel.  But it's simple, and it's quite good -- all you do is chop, open a few cans, blend, eat.

I only took cell phone photos for this one, but here is a shot of the canned whole tomatoes in the food processor, getting ready for the rest of its friends.

Sorry, all three photos are from my cell phone today ... not the best quality.

 Here are the chopped jalapeno, onion, and garlic.

And here is the final product!

The salsa on the right is our usual recipe.  We made it Friday.  It's now Sunday early afternoon, and as you can see, there was only barely enough left for us to do our taste comparison!
Ultimately, if you are craving salsa, this will hit the spot, and what is great about it is you can find the ingredients in any grocery store anywhere.  And for the cost, it makes a lot of salsa.


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