Captain's Salsa Recipe
2011 my wife, Autumn and I honeymooned in Belize on San Pedro Island. It was on this vacation that I had a rediscovery of fish tacos. Found an appreciation for great salsa and a new love for ceviche. Autumn and I found the hole in the wall restaurants and a charter boat that provided camp cooking on the beach. Both the local restaurants and the captain of the charter boat inspired me to work on my own salsa recipe. After many tries I feel good about calling my salsa the best salsa. Everyone that has tried it agrees.
The Best Salsa
Really? The best? Well, Autumn and I love it so I really don't care what anyone else thinks but everyone agrees that its the best salsa they have tried. The recipe begins with a Cajun feel. You need all colors of bell peppers, red, orange, yellow, and green. You need Onion in various colors, I like red, yellow, and green. The next ingredients are garlic and tomatoes. Then things turn a little more Mexican/Central American with cilantro, lime, and cucumbers. I also toss some carrots in there for some aroma and a little more crunch. The best salsa recipe is finished off with all our dry seasonings and spices.
I think my very first introduction to fish tacos was by my dad when he lived in Brownsville, Texas. We fished everyday on my visit and our best success for keeper fish ended up being mangrove snapper that we would catch on the jetties. Daddy took us to a local restaurant that would cook our fresh caught snapper several ways but most importantly prepare as a taco. I don't exactly remember all the ingredients of the tacos or the salsa but I do remember that I wondered to myself "why haven't I tried fish tacos before now?" Fresh salsa on top of a perfectly cooked piece of fresh caught fish wrapped in a tortilla shell is my idea of a great meal.
Most of the parties/social gatherings that Autumn and I attended are usually a mixture of age, gender and food preferences. One thing most people can agree on is chips and salsa. Prior to a get together if we need to bring something I love to prepare the world famous Capt. Pat's best salsa. Most people are accustomed to stopping by the store and grabbing a couple bottles, jars or cans of some mass produced salsa that is mostly tomatoes and leaves you with heartburn. Now, if your party is a crawfish boil then you should certainly leave with heartburn but that is for a different blog post.
Low carb, Keto, Weigh watchers, Jenny Craig, you name it, dieting or just plan healthy eating. I did some rough calculations and it looks like the best salsa recipe comes out to be about 2.5 carbs per oz. Now, what you eat your salsa with is another story as to whether your still healthy eating or not. I have personally found that using slices of cucumber is a great way to transfer salsa from the bowl to your mouth if your looking for a low carb option. If chips are your choice then dig right in and call it health food. Maybe get some of those blue tortilla chips to stand out in the crowd.
Make it better
My salsa recipe is something I have personally been tweaking for several years and I believe this is my best salsa recipe. As I stated before I was inspired by the Belizean cuisine with the use of all the fresh vegetables and the heavy usage of lime and cilantro. I recommend playing with this recipe to find the sweet spot for what you and your taste buds love. Also, I take the main salsa recipe and then add pineapple or mango to give the best salsa a sweet punch which goes fantastic on fish tacos. You could always add peaches, apples or pears and put it on a pork taco, I actually just thought of that while I am typing and this sounds fantastic.
Instructional Cooking Video
Check out the video to watch me use very poor chopping techniques but I explain my process which may help you make your first batch of salsa. In the video you will see me use bad techniques, use no measuring tools and give some decent advice on how to prepare your salsa. So if you are a visual learner then check out the video and share with other salsa lovers.
Its all in the Veggies
Depending on which season you are in, you may find that some of the available vegetables may be very flavorful while others may be shelf ripened with very little flavor. If you struggle to find flavorful veggies then the salsa can suffer. You can't substitute the natural flavors and aromas of these ingredients. That is why I don't do a lot of exact measuring. You may find the peppers to be bland, the onions to be powerful, the cilantro to be weak or the carrots to be bitter. Whatever may be slightly off can disrupt the final product. I air on the side of light on the red onion and garlic and add it little extra if they are not overly powerful. The cucumber can be really weak and bland at times which in my opinion causes the salsa to suffer a bit.
Make it easy
If you watch my video you will see that I hand chop every vegetable that goes in the salsa. This is very time consuming but Autumn likes it hand chopped so that's what she gets. Maybe she just likes to see me in the kitchen more than just making my plate or when I destroy the whole kitchen cooking my freaking awesome gumbo. We will hold the gumbo post and video for another day. You could always simplify the salsa by running all ingredients through a dicer or food processor. I personally plan to try a food processor and see how it turns out.
This will make approximately 72oz or 2.25Qts of salsa.
1/2 red, orange, yellow, and green bell peppers
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 green onion bunch
1/8 - 1/4 red onion depending on how strong you want the salsa
2-4 limes depending on size and amount of juice
4-6 average size garlic cloves
2 large cucumbers unpealed
2 medium to large carrots pealed
3-4 roma or vine ripe tomatoes pealed
2 cans diced, stewed or whole tomatoes
1/2 bunch of cilantro
All the remaining ingredients are approximations and you should add and taste
1/8 cup black pepper
1/8 cup sea salt
I like to keep my salt to black pepper ratio about 1:1
3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
Taste your salsa at this point and make sure you don't need more salt, lime, or vinegar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp paprika
4 tsp cumin
1-2 seedless jalapeno
Add everything in order from top to bottom. Stir. Then Eat. I hope you find this to be the best salsa you have ever tried. I know my friends agree it is fantastic.