Years ago, some friends of mine from Detroit were entering a “salsa contest” (yes, they actually have fun events in Detroit that do not relate to cars or music). They called and wanted to know if I had a really, really, really great back pocket salsa recipies.
“Funny you should ask”, I said. “I just so happen to have a unique, simple and easy, great tasting, cool and spicy salsa recipe that I created when I had my television cooking show in Phoenix.”
Back before using fruit instead of tomatoes was really popular amongst foodies, mixing together the flavors of “fruit and spice” always intrigued me. Plus I wanted to use fruit salsas not just with chips, but on top of fish and poultry as well.
One of my first salsa mixology recipes was for Mango Salsa. That was the recipe I gave to my friends to enter in the Detroit Salsa Contest, which ended up winning the contest for my friends, two years in a row!
Another favorite is Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa. It doesn’t take very much watermelon to make this recipe, so if you have some watermelon left over from a summer party, put it to good use with this recipe.
MANGO BASIL SALSA
Diced mango 6 Cups
Shallot fine dice 4 Tbsp
Fresh basil, chopped ¾ Cup
Red bell pepper, chopped ¾ Cup
Canola oil 6 Tbsp
Rice vinegar 4 Tbsp
Honey 4 Tbsp
1 Chopped Jalapeno (optional)
Cumin (optional) ½-1 Tsp
Mix ingredients in bowl to incorporate well. Serve chilled with Tortilla chips. Or use on top of grilled chicken breasts or fish.
Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa
In this recipe, tomatoes are replaced by iced cold watermelon. Can be used on top of chicken or fish – or served with Tortilla chips.
4 cups cold watermelon, rind removed and chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onions or scallions, white and green
1 whole jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno and garlic. Mix well and serve chilled