The Sunday Recipe: Salsa

This recipe is adapted from one in an old copy of Country Woman magazine that my grandmother had kept. It was submitted by “Diana Murphy of Black Earth, Wisconsin” and printed in the November/December 1999 issue. I changed up the amount of onions, type of peppers, and reduced the amount of tomato paste.

Note: When chopping hot peppers, like jalapeno, it is wise to use gloves, but if your hands are in good shape, no cuts, and you can remember NOT to touch your face, you should be fine.

The first time I made this recipe, I left the seeds from ONE jalapeno in and it gave the salsa a nice heat that crept up on you. This time I seeded the peppers but didn’t worry if a few seeds got in, for a nice, mild, sweet, salsa.

Originally, I also used Poblano peppers instead of bell peppers. This time the grocery store only had the Italian equivalent so I used those. Substitutions are a good thing, especially when someone in the family is allergic to bell peppers.

This made me about 9 pints of salsa. A great recipe for gift giving!

Salsa

Ingredients

  • 18 cups quartered peeled fresh tomatoes (60 to 80 Roma tomatoes, depending on size.)
  • 4 Large onions, chopped
  • 4 good size Poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped.
  • 9 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 6 sweet banana peppers chopped
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can of tomato paste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large kettle and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring once every five minutes.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for two hours. Stir occasionally.
  3. Jar or cool and freeze.

The Sunday Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Salad

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Creamy Cucumber Salad

Our garden has produced a plethora of cucumbers this year and I just can’t keep up with it, but I’m not big on pickling. Here’s one way I use them up. Traditionally the cucumbers are salted fairly heavily and pressed to sweat the juice out before being mixed with the dressing, but I just use a little salt and a short sweat then drain and toss. I prefer the cucumbers a little more on the crisp side. The thickness of the cucumbers is also a matter of personal taste. If the seeds are too big in the cucumbers, I quarter them the long way and slice out the seeds. We’ve had some pretty gnarly looking cucumbers this year that taste just fine after they are peeled. Miracle Whip also works in place of the mayonnaise just as well. This goes particularly well with spiced grilled meats, such as Spiedies or Shawarma.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium cucumbers or 2 seedless cucumbers
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • A few pinches of sea salt
  • 1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, sliced thin. (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel the cucumbers.
  2. Seed, if desired.
  3. Slice cucumbers to desired thickness, ¼ inch or less.
  4. Layer in a bowl, sprinkling with a pinch of salt after each cucumber.
  5. Place a plate and something heavy on top. (I used the glass bowl I intended to store the cucumbers in for the weight.)
  6. Allow to sit for up to thirty minutes or just while you mix the dressing together.
  7. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl. (If you prefer a really creamy salad, you can double the dressing ingredients.)
  8. Drain the cucumbers.
  9. Stir the dressing into the cucumbers.
  10. If using the onion, stir that in too.
  11. Serve or chill until ready to serve. (A few hours to chill produces the best result.)
  12. Enjoy.

The Sunday Recipe: Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Melange

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Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Melange

I remember serving this to my father many years ago, it was one of his favorite things that I cooked. I was surprised and elated when my young daughter loved it. She was the one who dubbed it “Veggie Melange.” If you have the option, get a red bell pepper with four ‘lobes’ on the bottom, they are better for cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini squash or 2 small, chopped in about ½ inch chunks
  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt added, or leave out the salt below)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves of crushed garlic added in with the onions)
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Pinch of sugar

Directions

  1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and pour in the olive oil.
  2. Allow to heat on medium while you dice the onion.
  3. Saute onion while you core and chop the bell pepper.
  4. Add the bell pepper, give it a stir, and turn the heat down a little bit, medium low now.
  5. Dice the zucchini and add to the pan. Stir and cover.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir and cook another 3 minutes.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes and seasonings. Stir and recover.
  9. Simmer 5 minutes.
  10. Stir and simmer another 3 to 5 minutes.
  11. Add anything you would like from options below and enjoy!

Optional —  Add a cup or two of cooked pasta or tortellini, add some chopped up leftover meatloaf, some meatballs, or Italian sausage. Stir in some cheese. These days I tend to serve it with Italian sausage but my daughter likes to stir in some cottage cheese.