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Happy-Gourmand

Cinco de Mayo

People ask me all the time for recipes, and often my answer is, “When you can’t come up with anything, just make vinaigrette or salsa”. Whether you are making beef, chicken, pork, game or fish, salsa is always fun, colorful and tasty…

This week, in order of the famous day celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain, I thought I would give you a way to turn an ordinary entrée into something exciting. So, I am giving you a few of my favorite salsas. Try one this weekend and celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

There are a few things to remember:

First, try to cut everything the same size for a nicer final product. Second, try to find different style of peppers other than the traditional popular red and green. Dried peppers are great to add flavor to any salsa, and they can be bought online if your local store does not carry them.
Third, salsa does not have to be super amazing hot, so don’t burn your guest’s mouths! You can make the recipes here as they are written, without any specialty peppers if you want. But to be truly independent and “outside the box”, try out different peppers like poblanos or serranos in the produce section, and look for dried guajillos and anchos… explore the various flavours they can add to a dish.

Mango Salsa – works with fish or chicken, lending a tropical note
1 large ripe mango
1/2 red pepper
1/2 small red onion
fresh cilantro to taste (approximately 1-3 tbsp is usually good)
(NOTE: if you don’t like cilantro, try using mint)
juice of 1 fresh lime
a touch of white sugar

Red Salsa – the perfect spring salsa, good with anything in season!
2 cups strawberries
1/2 red pepper
1/3 red onions
fresh flat leaf parsley to taste
juice of 1 fresh lemon
pinch of white sugar

Al Fresca Salsa – this is the all-purpose salsa that can blow away the stuff in a jar you usually have with nachos!
3 medium ripe tomatoes
1 hot pepper
1 medium red onion
fresh cilantro to taste
fresh lime juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Smokey Chipotle Salsa – great with pork or lamb
3 medium ripe tomatoes
1 chipotle pepper (chipotles are dried smoked jalapenos they add a distinctly BBQ-like flavour to a dish)
1 medium size red onions
pinch of cumin
fresh lime juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Green Salsa – excellent with grilled chicken
4 large tomatillos or green tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 medium size red onions
fresh cilantro to taste
fresh lime juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Enjoy a bit of culture this weekend. Olé!


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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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