I hate grocery store and chain restaurant salsa, with its chunks of tomato and green pepper swimming in tomato-flavored water. Here in Tucson a local restaurant called El Charro makes its own salsa, thick, smooth, and … even though the main ingredient is tomato … not tomatoey. I love it and have been attempting to duplicate it at home. This is the closest I’ve come to date. I think it’s very, very close.
1 jalapeño, diced (include seeds for extra heat, remove seeds for less)
2 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp powdered cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the salsa is smooth and thick, as in the photo. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate.
I included the liquid from the tomato and chile cans, and the salsa is plenty thick. You can drain the liquid from the cans first if you like it thicker. I seeded the jalapeño in deference to Ditalini’s tastes; you can leave the seeds in for a hotter salsa. The pinch of red pepper flakes is optional (I put them in when Ditalini wasn’t looking). I used regular old McCormack chili powder for this batch, but next time I may try chipotle chili powder instead for a smokier flavor.