Friday, February 4, 2011

Fabulous Friday Food - My Sister Jodi's Homemade Salsa

You thought I forgot about it, didn't you? You thought I forgot that two weeks ago I promised you my sister Jodi's homemade salsa recipe. Didn't you?

But, ah ha!, the joke's on you because I didn't forgot. And just in time for your big Superbowl party, too.

But first, I have to tell you a little story. (I know, you're surprised that I would have a story.) See, there's a restaurant here called J. Alexander's. Maybe you have a J. Alexander's where you live too. It's always been one of my favorite places because they have THE BEST salsa in the world.

It's not like I'm a salsa freak or a salsa connoisseur or a salsa junkie. I mean, I like salsa. Salsa's O.K. with me. But that J. Alexander's salsa . . . oh my! There is something different about it.

So one time when I was in there guzzling salsa like a crazy woman, I took a break from licking the bowl to ask my server if there was any way the chef would share their recipe with me. (I happen to know that sometimes when you ask for a recipe in a restaurant, the chef is more than happy to share.) But no. Not this time. J. Alexander's would not share their salsa recipe with me for any amount of money. (Don't put it past me!)

I went home disappointed.

I'd like to tell you I never returned, but that would not be the truth because every once in a while I just get a craving, a notion, a hankering if you will, for J. Alexander's salsa. And I return. Tail between my legs. (Figuratively speaking.)

I tell you all this because once I tasted my sister Jodi's homemade salsa I was transported back to J. Alexander's. And my tastebuds tingled and I got so excited that I may have just jumped up and down a few times.

It may not be an exact match (only the chef at J. Alexander's can tell), but it's pretty close. It's got that fresh taste that I loved the first time I tried it. And the cilantro. Mmmmm.

So I just made a batch . . . or two . . . and I'm pretty much set for Sunday. Pretty much all you need to serve is this salsa and a few chips and your guests will be very happy campers.

Alright, maybe a couple more options. But the salsa is key.

Now, Jodi tells me that she got this recipe from her Texan mother-in-law, so if it's good enough for a true Texan, it's good enough for me. Oh, and the measurements are kind of loosey-goosey. You'll have to experiment to see how you like it. Everything's negotiable here.

So here we go. Collect your ingredients: 1 can of Hunt's (yes, it must be Hunt's) stewed tomatoes, 1 can Hunt's (yes, it must be Hunt's) diced tomatoes with sweet onion, 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (depending on taste), 1 clove garlic, cilantro, cumin, lime, and salt.

Put the garlic clove in the food processor.

Clean the ribs and seeds from your jalapeno peppers. Unless you like it stinkin' hot. Then go ahead and leave them in. Me? I'm a de-seeder.

Toss those into your food processor along with the garlic clove.

Pulse a few times.

Take some cilantro (be sure to wash it--cilantro can be gritty and nobody likes gritty) and give it a rough chop.

Put everything else into the food processor, including just a pinch of salt.

Give it 3 or 4 quick pulses and voila!

The best homemade salsa I've ever had. Serve it up with some chips and munch away!

Click here to print or view the recipe for My Sister Jodi's Homemade Salsa.

So tell me, what are you doing for the Superbowl?



  1. Shelly, looks so yummy - got to print this one out. My hubby loves salsa & I do as well. Have a great weekend.

  2. Looks delicious and so easy . . . a perfect combo. My food processor at least 25 years old and still works great.

    Enjoy the SuperBowl.


  3. Shelly,
    I love reading your blog. The salsa looks wonderful. I also knew about the missing "Harry" and am thrilled to know of his safe return! 15 years ago I had a 10lb3oz newborn in the NICU and can relate to many of your feelings. :) I love teen-age daughters too! Thank you for sharing your heart consistently!

    Kathy Bushong

  4. I was just thinking yesterday about how I really want to learn to make salsa. And then I read this? Perfect timing. Except...I don't have a food processor...

  5. YUM! Wishing I had a food processor...

  6. Thank you for sharing - I also believe that J. Alexanders has the absolute BEST salsa in the whole world. I will try this recipe, however, I believe J. Alexanders uses fire roasted tomatos and it seems they have zucchini in there (or am I mistaking the diced jalapenos)?

    I will make your sister's recipe this coming weekend at the cottage as we'll have lots of family there to taste test!

  7. J. Alexander's salsa definitely has radishes in it. Give that a try.

  8. I worked for J's for a couple years and the above "Anonymous" is right...along with a few other missing items :) good luck!

  9. My husband and I LOVE their salsa, as well. We just had dinner there tonight and guess what, they aren't serving it anymore! We ordered the spinach con queso which has a side of salsa and it was totally different. Our waiter said they are no longer making it because, and I quote, "it took too long to prep" so now they are serving pico de gallo (I'm assuming from a jar to save time!) Anyway, now that they aren't making it maybe they will share the recipe. Also, a waiter did say that they put radishes in it. If I'm lucky enough to get the recipe I'll share! BTW, it was the J. Alexander's on White Bridge Rd. in Nashville.