Monday, July 13, 2009

therapy salsa

the picture's fuzzy, not the salsa.

when i'm anxious (and i have been quite a bit lately) there's something about chopping vegetables that brings me peace. not quite sure what it's all about. maybe it's the satisfaction that comes with lining them up like little French aristocrats and guillotining them all at once.


oh, the power. i am SICK with the power.

whatever it is, it helps.

last night, The Cute came home from a long weekend away bachelor-partying (my anxiety having nothing to do with him, i should note). he sat on the couch recovering while i had a little therapy session in the kitchen, beheading and de-limbing wee legumes for my favorite salsa -

Juliet's Confetti Salsa

or, what i also affectionately refer to as Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Salsa

but what i will henceforth refer to as Therapy Salsa.

not only is it cheaper than therapy, it has a lot more fiber.

my friend Juliet Hicks first made this for me back in the summer of 1997 when we were both working together at Diamond Circle Melodrama in Durango, Colorado. i’ve made it every summer since. i like it with Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips, but it’s also divine with pita chips, grilled fish, chicken, pork, burgers, baked potatoes, polenta, etc. i like it best in a bowl, with a spoon, on a porch, in a rocking chair, with an icy, lime-laced Corona nestled between my knees.

happy summer, y'all.

Therapy Salsa

keep in mind that the amounts are estimates. you should add or subtract according to your very own tastebuds.

5-6 ripe, but firm tomatoes; seeded (scoop all the goo out) and cut into ½-inch size pieces

1½ cups fresh, raw corn, cut from the cob this is the best, but if you don’t have fresh, substitute thawed, frozen corn. don’t thaw it in the microwave. just let it thaw in the sink in a colander. you can run some cold water over it, but you don’t want it mushy. in a pinch, you can use canned, rinsed corn.

1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped or pineapple or papaya or peaches or nectarines or apricots; the ripeness is what matters

1 red onion, peeled and chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch of scallions i like the dark green parts too, but if you don’t, just use up to the light green

1 generous handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped if you like it spicy, and i do, leave a few seeds in

1 can black beans, rinsed

the juice of 1-2 limes

1 packet of original taco seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

toss everything (except the taco seasoning) into a large bowl. mix to combine, then season to taste with the taco seasoning. i usually only need ¼-½ a packet because this stuff is super-salty and flavorful. season with salt and pepper to taste.

i like to let the salsa “rest” for a little while (20 minutes or so at room temp) covered with plastic wrap so the flavors can marry. this also allows the salt to release some juice from the tomatoes. at this point, stir it up, and if the salsa is a little dry, you can add more lime juice.

weep and enjoy.

is there a particular dish you like to make when you're feeling crabby? or blue?


Micaela said...

I like to make pizza. There's something about kneading and rolling out the dough that really helps get frustrations out.

margrocks said...

ohhhh, good idea, micaela! that sounds lovely. POUND, POUND, POUND that dough. the yummy benefits aren't bad either!

Christie @ Quit Your Diet said...

I love spending hours in the kitchen, chopping, stirring, tasting. It is one of my favorite stress relievers!

My newest obsession is making homemade ice cream :D

margrocks said...

i saw that, christie! summer is all about ice cream for me. i have an ice cream maker, i just have to chisel the bowl out of my freezer. it's been stuck in there since '07!

margrocks said...

in the event that anyone here is in the need of a little chopping therapy:

hope505 said..., not so much. My anti-therapy therapy is shredding paper! *hahaha!* I love to shred! Goodbye to useless mail, old papers, outdated coupons, receipts, and whatever else I feel like destroying that will fit into the paper slot...
* ; )

Anonymous said...

i used to bake when i was upset. unfortunately i ate most of what i would bake. lol. now i use arts and crafts to calm myself. that salsa looks fantastic!

margrocks said...

i can see how the paper shredding would be cathartic, but not nearly as tasty, hope505!

it's weird, randomlymikey, i like to bake when i'm blue, but i chop when i'm anxious or angry. crafting is my second therapy, and the salsa IS fantastic! if you try it, let me know how you like it!

Danielle Mari said...

For me, it's soup. I get the choppy fun, as you said (though now I get to think of it as guillotining... MUCH more fun!)- but I also get to feel like the mad scientist, dropping all those veggies about to go bad and what-have-you in there. Kinda Macbeth-ish. And the result (mine always seems to come out more like stew) makes the whole house smell good and comfortable. And it's even better the second day. And it's a great excuse to get some fresh baked crusty bread.

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."