Guest Post – Sam Valdés – Salsa Roja

Stop Press!!! I have a new guest post for you all… and this is rather special one! Sam Valdés is Mexican and he’s a bit of a genius when it comes to Mexican food. Raised by food lovers, his mum and aunt (who was like a second mother to him) taught him well and it’s down to these two that he has such a passion for cooking.

And although his tweets are often food related (and is always really helpful whenever I need some advice when cooking Mexican), he doesn’t publish his recipes or cooking tips anywhere. This upsets me deeply and I have been nagging him to write a blog. But Sam’s done one better… he’s written a post for my blog! What’s more, he says that he’s going to get his hands on his grandmother’s cookbook. And, as she was a bio-pharmaceutical chemist, as well as a mother of four in 1920’s Mexico, I have a feeling that such a strong and determined woman will have recorded some great recipes. So, I’m very pleased to hear that Sam will be writing more in the future. 

Sam’s first recipe is his salsa roja (red sauce) and like all Mexicans, this has been passed down through the family and it’s one of his aunt’s “super secret” recipes. Sam says that the salsa roja can be used as a topping/relish to enhance the flavour of something. But he also uses it for huevos rancheros (fried eggs in a sea of salsa) and chilaquiles (fried tortillas mixed with chicken, salsa, cream and crumbly cheese). 

Sam Valdés – Salsa Roja 

So, what you need is:
2 red chillies.
1 beef tomato.
7 cherry tomatoes.
8 plum tomatoes.
1/2 teaspoon of oregano.
½ dried coriander.
2 cloves of garlic.
Salt to taste.

In a pan of boiling water, add all your tomatoes and let them boil until the skin is starting to come off.

Meanwhile chop the garlic and chillies. If you want it to be spicy, leave the chilli seeds in. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the chopped garlic and chillies and fry until slightly brown. If you have a lactose intolerance or need it to be vegan, use oil (rapeseed or olive).

Drain the tomatoes and put all the ingredients into a blender (including the chillies and garlic). If you don’t own one, you can used a food processor, but blenders and Mexican salsas are rather good friends, so consider buying one.

After blending, put the salsa back in the pan and let it simmer for five minutes. Add salt to taste (usually a pinch will do, but trust your instinct and taste.)

This salsa goes well with tortilla chips, fish, on top of grilled meat or cheese and surprisingly enough, goes excellent on top of grilled halloumi.

Sam’s Tips:

-Garlic is a natural antibiotic. For the cold season, it should be in your diet. It also helps the salsa have a little longer shelf life.

-Quick cleaning tip for blender: put cleaning liquid and some warm water (about two cups). Cover and blend. Voila, it has cleaned itself in the hard to reach part. 

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