around the time when jim and i got married in the mid eighties, before we went to mexico, the closest we came to eating mexican food was at a few local chain restaurants. the food was colorful, spicy, and different, but it was hardly authentic . . . it was more an americanized version of mexican food.

some friends knew of my love of cooking, and our frequent visits to mexican restaurants, and they gave us a rick bayless cook book as a wedding gift: "authentic mexican". this cook book is one of the books i have studied the most, and along with a few trips to mexico its made mexican cuisine one of our favorites.

this salsa recipe is a combination of the one in "authentic mexican" and one i have developed from eating salsas in restaurants in mexico and in a few u.s. cities with authentic mexican cuisine. the base ingredient is fresh tomatoes, which i learned from rick bayless must be chopped by hand because, "a food processor or blender leaves good ingredients battered and frothed." the other fresh ingredients give the salsa a bright color, spice, and tang which pair perfectly with fish tacos, carnitas, or just a bowl of salty chips.

tomato salsa
• 3 large tomatoes - cored, seeded, & chopped
• 1 or 2 leeks or bunches of green onions - chopped
• 1 large anaheim chile or banana pepper - seeded & minced
• 1 bunch of cilantro - minced
• about 3/4 - 1 cup of passata or tomato sauce
• several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
• 1-2 teaspoons of cumin
• 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
• 1-2 teaspoons of smoked chili powder
• salt to taste

combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and let them stand about 5 min. for the flavors to blend.

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