Friday, January 20, 2012

Copycat Baja Salsa

There are many things I miss about living in California....My family most, my friends, Trader Joes, Year round farmers markets....AND BAJA FRESH!!!! When I was pregnant with my oldest there was NOTHING else I wanted to eat except bean and cheese burritos from Baja. Literally I ate at Baja 5-6 times a week during that pregnancy....poor hubby! He was such a great hubby and indulged me...most of the time. There were times when he put his foot down and said I had to get some other nutrition into my body...which I am thankful for. So sometimes I would get a tostada from Baja ;) In all seriousness, I did have a smoothie and carrot juice for breakfast, and would limit myself (most days) to only eating at Baja once. That being said, we referred to our oldest as "Our little pinto bean" for quite a long time. Most women who crave something so much during pregnancy don't ever want to even smell that food again...yeah, not me. I would probably still eat there "almost" every day given the chance. Sadly for me the closest Baja to us is 5 hours away. That's actually probably a good thing for my waist line and overall health considering the white flour tortillas and most likely gmo corn tortillas =( Not to mention they probably also use canola oil which is highly gmo'd also. Soooo, now that I've talked myself into thinking it's a good thing I don't live near a Baja....I think I've nailed copy-catting the brown Baja Salsa! I did a lot of research into this recipe and kept finding copy cat recipes where the author would say "Well I've never actually eaten at Baja Fresh, but here's a recipe for the salsa...." Um, you've never eaten there but you're going to say this is a copy cat recipe? Weird. I found several recipes that included chicken broth. That too was weird to me. Granted, Baja could totally use chicken broth in theirs, I have no idea. But to me, salsa should be vegetarian. I also truly hope they do not put it in theirs since I ate it for years while a vegetarian =/ Either way, it doesn't matter. I combined several recipes I found and tweaked it myself and I really think I nailed it! This is in NO WAY the recipe Baja Fresh uses (though wouldn't it be hilarious if it was and I totally made it up??? HA!) But it VERY much tastes like theirs and satisfies my craving! Not to mention, I  know I'm using organic ingredients, Score! So if I haven't lost you after all this rambling, and I hope someone is still reading because this recipe is AWESOME....Here goes....

Copy Cat Baja Fresh Salsa (Organic Ingredients are ALWAYS recommended)
7 tomatoes, 1 diced, 6 sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 jalapeno
2 garlic cloves
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 onion
1/2 cup water
Handful cilantro
1 ts salt

Preheat broiler to High. Place the 6 tomatoes you sliced into rings on a baking sheet along with the jalapeno, stem removed. (Most recipes I saw actually did this on a grill. Well it's freezing outside, so I used a broiler =) I also tried a cast iron gridle once....didn't go that well and set off the smoke alarm one too many times while the kids were napping, so I axed that idea too) Place baking sheet under broiler and broil until blackened (about 20-30 minutes). Flip tomatoes and pepper, add one clove of garlic, and place back under the broiler again until blackened on the other side (Probably another 20 minutes but check often) Pull them out of the broiler and cool. Place tomatoes and pepper into blender with the other ingredients except the one diced tomato, and blend. Place diced tomato in a bowl and pour blended mixture over it, stir.
Go ahead and taste it if you want. I highly recommend letting the flavors blend for 6-18 hours in the fridge. The first batch I almost nailed tasted MUCH closer to right after sitting in the fridge for 18 hours. The 2nd batch (recipe above) tasted almost perfect right away, and tasted completely awesome after sitting in the fridge for awhile! Enjoy with some organic tortillas chips or on a burrito!
Note: Baja Fresh makes their salsa much more liquidy. If you would like it to be more like theirs, add more water, a little at a time until it's the desired consistency. I left mine not so liquidy so it would scoop on chips better. (Darn spell check really doesn't think "liquidy" is a word....seriously??? Whatever, ha.)

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