Is there a person on this earth that doesn’t like tacos? Probably, but f*ck that guy.
For most of us, tacos are awesome. Tacos are a way of life. Tacos are the ray of sunshine that cuts through the storm to make a rainbow. You ever see anyone frown with a taco? No. And they’re so versatile- every culture has a “taco.” It’s like a sandwich, but more fun. You only need one hand- which means more room for activities.
You can make anything into a taco, I bet my life on it. This is serious, tacos are SERIOUS. They need serious salsas. I’ve got a few recipes for my favorites gathered here. As usual I’m playing fast and loose with the quantities; just go with it.
Hot tip: Salsa is something you can’t get wrong- make adjustments here and there, sub and switch ingredients, make it your own. It’s the spirit of the salsa that matters.
Yellow Cherry Tomato Pico
Ingredients: 1 container yellow or mixed-color cherry tomatoes, half a purple onion, one clove of garlic, one lime (or lemon) worth of juice, and a handful of cilantro.
Directions: Rough chop cherry tomatoes and onion, finely chop garlic and cilantro. Combine together with a squeeze of citrus and a little s&p. Boom, beautiful pico.
Classic Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
Ingredients: 1 container of cherry tomatoes, a few vine ripe tomatoes, beef tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes; dealer’s choice. A whole small white onion, 1-2 garlic cloves, lime juice, and cilantro.
You know what to do: chop it up and stir. Adjust, stir, there you have it.
Eloté inspired* corn relish
Ingredients: 1 bag of steam fresh sweet corn- cooked and cooled. (Or 2-3 ears of corn, roasted and sliced off of cob) Half purple onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1-2 jalapeños- all diced finely. 1/2 cup or so sour cream, 1/4 cup or less mayo, a squeeze of citrus. Chopped cilantro and parsley
Directions: Mix mayo, sour cream, lime squeeze together. Add diced veg and corn, mix everything together. Add a sprinkle of cotija cheese (Parmesan will do for a sub in most Caucasian households) Tajin or other favorite chili lime spice to taste on top.
This one is great on tacos, salads, or by itself!
I don’t have many pictures for these next sauces and sides, but I never make them quite the same way each time anyway. So, bear with me. You got this. We got this.
Green Chile Crema
2 cans of green chiles (diced whole or chopped- they’re getting puréed with some garlic cloves anyway) add in sour cream, a lime squeeze, and there you have it. Put it on everything. Pizza, eggs, tacos, ramen- the world is yours.
2 avocados, 2 cloves of garlic, seeded (or not) jalepeño, a lime squeeze, 1 handful of cilantro, 1/4 cup of sour cream, and a spoon of mayo. Blend (as in purée). This one is great for fish tacos!
Ingredients: English cucumber, cherry tomatoes, garlic, purple onion, parsley, Greek seasoning, lemon squeeze. At this point you know what to do.
Hot tip: english cucumbers have less moisture content and a thinner skin, so they are better for relishes and spreads. If you only have regular ones, jut peel the skin a bit, and remove the center most squishy parts. It will work the same!
So, you’re a saucey salsa pro now. How does it feel? These dishes are just the tip of the salsa iceberg, but weekly staples in our house. Honestly, there’s so many more kinds of salsa and sauces- but it’s late and I want to finish binging “The Crown” on Netflix.
Hot tip: If you want an authentic cultural cuisine experience, I recommend driving around until most of the signs are in a different language- then take your chances at the nearest restaurant or truck. When you’ve come with curiosity and respect, people will be patient with the language barrier.
Go forth, my child- and Olé.