Thursday, February 7, 2013


So I have a problem, nay, an OBSESSION with salsa. I'm not talking that store bought bullshit that has more vinegar in it than an easter egg... I'm talking pure homemade/restaurant delish that makes you devour an entire bag/basket of tortilla chips before you can even breath.

Give me this salsa bull-shit and I will puke on your shoes.

My favorite tex-mex restaurant from back home recently closed it's doors... and I was devastated... not because of their tasty margaritas or because of the amazing re-fried beans (because they were actually disgusting), but because their salsa was a salsa that the heavens sing about.

Heavens or the radio.... at one point in time they had a commercial with some catchy lyrics, "I'm going to Chula Vista cause I'm a hot sauce head. I ordered up a meal, prepared just right. I could eat a Chula Vista all day and at night!" And I could. All day. Errry day.

But in the despair that wracked my heart from their recent closing, I realized I will never again be able to just pick up a pint when I visit my parents... Instead I'm going to have to figure out what made it so tasty... and make it.

Now, full disclosure, I've been trying to replicate this salsa recipe for over 6 years (ever since I came up here for college back in 2006). Unfortunately none of them turn out how I want them to, but everyone else seems to suck them down.

All of my salsa recipes are semi-homemade. Sometimes I dice the chiles, the tomatos, but it's always a mixture of fresh and canned, because I have a feeling that Chula Vista wasn't making it fresh either.

Salsa Attempt #1

1 can Rotel
1/2 small onion diced
1 small can Hunt's tomato sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp TexJoy Steak Seasoning (if you have it... if you don't get it... if you don't want to you can leave it out)

1. Dice the onion. Fill a small bowl with enough water to cover the chopped onions, then toss the onions into the bowl. (This is to make them in my opinion "less pungent." I want none of their sulfur dioxide or whatever it is mixing with my tasty salsa).

2. Open the can of Rotel.  Puree the tomato/chile tastiness in a medium sized bowl (I used an immersion blender, I'm sure you could do the same thing with a food processor or an actual blender).

3. Add the Hunts tomato sauce. (Why Hunts you ask? Because I like it. I've tried a bundle of other brands/non-brands and I always come back to Hunts.... and it's my recipe!)

4. Fill the Hunts tomato sauce can 1/2 full of water, pour into bowl. Stir the two tomato-y-nesses together.

5. Add the onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and TexJoy Steak Seasoning (if you don't, sucks for you).

6. Stir.

7. Strain the onions from the water then add the onion to the bowl of red. Stir.


This makes quite a hefty batch to be honest, a lil more than I was expecting, however, a couple days after making I used it as a base and simmered a few chicken breasts in about a cup of this, and used it for really really tasty enchiladas. SO GOOD.

This one isn't quite Chula Vista's it's a little too Rotelly, but still tasty.  I also was missing scallions, but I'll add/tweak the next recipe to see how close I can get it. Keep your eyes peeled!

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