Sunday, 20 February 2011

Pressure Cooker Red Salsa

This morning I was looking through the fridge and found that I had a few things that were soon going to expire if I didn't use them up.  Handily, they were the perfect ingredients for making a red salsa - vine ripened tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and some leftover onion. Since I wasn't exactly prepared to have red salsa with anything specific, I thought I would opt for a cooked version which can be saved versus a fresh version which needs to be used up right away. 

I prefer to make cooked salsa like this in the pressure cooker.  This is mostly because it allows you to significantly reduce the amount of water required, which in my mind means you save on flavour that may go to waste in excess water.  It also makes for a super easy and fast method of cooking.

I popped the tomatoes, jalapenos, and some garlic into the pressure cooker, along with the requisite 1/2 cup water (pressure cooking wisdom advises, that no matter what you are cooking, 1/2 cup of liquid is required - the picture below is an attempt to show how much liquid comes out - about 3/4 cup).  I cooked as I outline below, then finished in a blender with onion, cilantro and salt. 

This sauce is so delicious and versatile.  Depending on the heat of your jalapenos (you really don't know how hot until it's done as jalapenos can vary), it may be a super spicy dish or just an even jalapeno flavour.  The onion and cilantro bring a fresh flavour.  

You can use this sauce straight up with nacho chips, use it to top eggs or other dishes, or as a sauce for enchiladas.  It also freezes well to pull out at some future date when a craving sets in. 

Pressure Cooker Red Salsa
This recipe isn't an exact science in terms of proportions and is completely scaleable - so feel free to mix it up ingredients and quantity require. 
*No matter what quantity, the 1/2 cup water remains the same - don't scale it up as there'll be too much liquid if you do.

6 small-medium sized vine ripened tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water*
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt

Place the tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic and water into the pressure cooker.  Secure the lid, set to high pressure (15 psi), and bring to pressure over medium-high heat.  Once pressure is reached reduce the heat to medium-low, but not so low that you lose pressure.  Cook for 10 minutes.  You can let the pressure drop on it's own or use a quick method. 

One the pressure has dropped, use a large spoon (large so that the ingredients don't break apart on you) to scoop the ingredients into a blender.  It's good to take a bit of the water with your on this, but don't take it all otherwise your sauce will be too runny.

Once in the blender add your onion, cilantro and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Voila!