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by Karen on March 8th, 2011

My family lived in southern California when I was in my teens and my dad worked in Pasadena for a number of years.  He would go to lunch at a great little Mexican restaurant called Mijares.  Sometimes on the weekend he would get the bug to drive our family the 45 minutes or so from our house near Huntington Beach to Pasadena for dinner at Mijares.    

We loved it.

In those days (not that long ago really) it was a special treat to eat out …..and to drive 45 minutes to go to a restaurant was a bit unusual for our family.

I am sure it takes A LOT longer to make that drive today.

But this restaurant introduced us to new flavors and food and culture, and at that time all those things were experienced by my family only with a trip down to Tijuana.

When I met my husband 10 years later in Seattle we thought it was funny that we both ate at Mijares as kids.   We probably sat back-to-back one night blissfully ignorant that our future spouse and family were sitting at the next table.

I know I probably had a favorite dish but what sticks in my mind is salsa. Salsa and chips are a good indicator of quality for the rest of your meal.

I have made my own salsa in the past, and it was ok. 

Salsa is one of those things that you wish they would sample at the grocery store often.  You want to taste those fresh tubs of salsa before you plunk down $5.00 for what can be a hit or miss proposition.

We have some friends in the neighborhood who like to make salsa and every now and then we get the phone message telling us salsa is waiting on their front porch for pick up.  It doesn’t last long in our house that is for certain.  And occasionally I will stop in at the local cantina to purchase their salsa in quantity.

I don’t think I will have to do that anymore.

This past weekend my brother and his wife visited from southern California, they brought a little sun with them and they left us with a gift that will keep on giving for the next month or so.  Three large jars of homemade salsa.

On Saturday, I was trying to think of a meal where I could throw everything into the oven and when we came home hours later it would be ready.  So naturally pulled pork and homemade refried beans came to mind. I also knew my brother grew his own chilies and made salsa but had never tasted it.  Actually I think I might have had one version years ago at his house when he married.  In any case he now has not just one fabulous recipe but three different salsas.  They are all so good you have a hard time deciding which one is the best.

But I am getting ahead of myself —-when I asked him to make the salsa I had no clue that his talents had progressed to such heights over the years.

When I asked him what ingredients I should buy at the store he said “just a minute, let me go get the recipes”.  (he travels with his salsa recipes just in case someone asks him to make salsa!!!  I had hit the jackpot.)

So we went to the store and cleaned them out of all tomatillos, which are in short supply right now, I think we left a handful in the bin.

Here are some pictures to whet your appetite:

Carmelized onions, roasted tomatoes and tomatillos, salsa, cilantro


Unfortunately, at this time I cannot reveal the recipes because they may go into production at some point, and if they do I will be sure to update you here.

It would be fun though, for some salsa sharing in the comments section if you happen to have a great recipe.


From → The Food

One Comment
  1. Wow. These salsas are beautiful. I can almost taste them through my computer screen. I wish. 😉

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