Cookin' ATVS Style: Fresh Salsa (Plus a Bonus Recipe)

As we hit Memorial Day weekend, what better to have for your barbeque or pool party than some fresh, homemade salsa? This recipe comes from my lovely wife, and truthfully is a modified version of her dad's recipe. We're both huge cilantro fans, and it really adds a refreshing note to this. Plus the combination of jalapenos and red pepper flakes will cause the salsa to get a bit hotter with time, and it's a good idea to make this a day in advance and store it in the fridge.

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Ingredients:

1 28-oz can peeled whole tomatoes
1/3-to-1/2 of a 12-oz jar of pickled jalapenos (with liquor)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4-to-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
t tbsp olive oil
1 tsp parsley (can be fresh or dried)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, in all (stems included)

Instructions:

1. Drain the juice from the can of tomatoes into a blender, then add the remaining ingredients. Blend well.

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2. Add the whole tomatoes, and pulse to your desired consistency.

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SPECIAL BONUS RECIPE: Shredded Chicken Tacos

On a suggestion from a friend, we decided to try this idea via our crockpot. Perfect "set it in the morning and its ready when you come home" type of meal.

Ingredients:

3-4 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can black beans
1 cup prepared salsa
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
1 package taco seasoning
Hard or soft taco shells and fixin's

Instructions:

Truthfully, this one didn't come out quite as well as I would hope, but I chalk that up to my own mistake, namely leaving it cooking for a bit too long and putting too much extra liquid. As those breasts thaw they'll produce plenty on their own.

Line the bottom of a crock pot with the chicken. In a bowl, mix together the black beans, salsa and taco seasonings, then poor over the chicken. Set it for about 8 hours on low. When done, remove the chicken breasts from the mixture, shred, and return.

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Way too much liquid here, and the results came out a bit soup-y. Though still very good.

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Then its build your own taco time! I used some fresh cilantro and diced jalapenos (also fresh) as a topping alongside the chicken/salsa/bean mixture, which I drained, obviously. Delightful. My wife used cheese and sour cream, below.

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