Spicy Salsa

Tomato seeds were introduced to Europe in the 1600s. Tomatoes originated in the lower Andes which we know today as Ecuador and Bolivia. The leaves and stems are toxic, yet the tomato "fruit" is a safe member of the deadly nightshade family. Salsa means sauce and there is no substitute for the flavor of freshly made salsa. Cilantro is optional and is the flat jagged leaf of the coriander plant which also produces coriander seeds. Peppers should be roasted under the broiler until blackened. Unpeeled roasted peppers give this salsa a slightly smoky flavor.

    2 jalapeño peppers
    1 cup chopped yellow onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
    ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt
    Pinch ground cayenne
    1 (14 ½-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
    1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

    2 bags Tortilla Chips, for serving

1.  Wear food grade gloves and cut the ends off the peppers.
     Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds.

2.  Lay the pepper halves on a chopping board, slice horizontally
     into half moon slices. Place on a baking sheet and broil in the
     oven until blackened.

3.  In a glass bowl, mix the roasted peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar,
     lime juice, salt, cayenne, tomatoes, sauce and cilantro just
     until blended.

4.  Refrigerate until needed.

     Variation: You can also just use the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce,
     1 chopped onion and dried basil in place of the cilantro for a quick,
      easy salsa.

     Makes 6 individual servings