Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mr. Hawthorne's Most Excellent Los Barrios Salsa Ranchera.

I love my summer garden.
Tomatoes, both hybrids and heirlooms, are producing nicely. And I have many types of peppers - sweet peppers, serranos, habaneros, jalapenos, bananas, Anaheims, and probably some more I can't think of. Mr. Hawthorne is preparing Salsa Ranchera tonight, and we'll show you a couple of dishes using it, which I know you'll like. When we were on our trip across country last fall, we stopped in San Antonio and went to lunch at Los Barrios. I blogged about it here. As you know, Mr. Hawthorne and I both love Mexican cuisine. He consulted our Los Barrios Family Cookbook, and picked out the recipe for Salsa Ranchera to make tonight.
Now, if you want the exact recipe, go buy the cookbook. The link is above. I'll just tell you what I watched Mr. Hawthorne do. First he put a bunch of tomatoes in a large saucepan and covered with water. He cooked the tomatoes until the skins start to split. Then he took out the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. He removed the peel and returned the tomatoes to the pan.
Next, he thoroughly mashed the tomatoes.
Assorted chopped chiles and onion. The nice thing about this is you can control the heat by the different peppers you add.
Add to the pot.
Bring to a simmer over low heat. Mr. Hawthorne simmered this for about an hour until it thickened and reduced.
I had to have some of this immediately. On a scoop.
I like this salsa served warm. It makes a great snack with tortilla chips.
But wait, you say. I want to do more with this. How do I do that? Come, Little Grasshopper. I shall show you.
Here's what Mr. Hawthorne did with it. He made a quesadilla.
Mr. Hawthorne had previously prepared his meat mixture. He sauteed hamburger meat (85%/15%) over medium heat and added salt, pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic, and cumin, to taste. Be sure to pour out grease. If you need amounts, I'd say a pound of hamburger, 1/2 tsp freshly ground salt, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, 1-2 tsp granulated garlic 1-2 tsp onion powder 1 TB cumin. There's your starting point. If you'd like to add in a few shakes of hot sauce, then by all means do so. If you'd like a sprinkling of chili powder, go ahead and throw it in.
Next a few chile peppers and onion.
A few sliced jalapenos.
Mr. Hawthorne squirted a bit of the seasoning packet from a Food Lion Taco Dinner package.
Next, he sliced some type of Mexican cheese for the inside.
Fold over into half-moon shape and pour as little ...
... or as much sauce as you want.
Grate some Monterey Jack over top.
And a little cheddar.
Mr. Hawthorne likes refried beans. I do not. This went into the microwave until the cheese melts. Ours took about 2 minutes.
Top with sour cream and shredded lettuce and dig in.
Now that's a quesadilla.
WWRD?What would Rosie do? Rosie would fry a tortilla. Then she would add the seasoned hamburger, the salsa ranchera, the chiles, the jalapenos, the onions, the cheese. Then she'd melt the cheese under the broiler. And add shredded lettuce.
And serve it up.

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