A good salsa says a lot about your party since it’s often the first thing most guests try.
Whether it’s store bought, soupy, chunky, made from scratch, uber spicy, or mild.
There’s a lot of different things people could takeaway from your dip.
That’s why you want to make sure it has some of the following elements to set the proper tone for any game day bash.
- Good Consistency
- Good Spice Level
- Good Flavor
- Good Color
I’ll go over how you can get these different element below!
No one wants to dip a tortilla chip into a runny salsa.
First of all, all of the tasty bits fall right off and you’re left with a liquidy goop. Ew.
Second, you can avoid this by taking some easy, actionable steps.
You’ll want to make sure you use some olive oil, some dry chili peppers, and some quality fire roasted San Marzano tomatoes.
The oil helps combine the chilies and the tomatoes, which results in a silkier, smoother salsa that thickly coats the back of a tortilla chip!
My second tip is you can dilute a tiny bit of corn starch in some water.
Make sure you mix it fully, meaning until there are no lumps at all leftover, then stir it into your salsa mixture.
Remember the principal of “less is more”. I also enjoy the adage “you can always add more, but you can’t take any out”.
Start with a teaspoon and work your way up.
You can check how you’re progressing by dipping a spoon in the salsa, and if the salsa sticks to the back of the spoon for a second before sliding off, you have a winner.
My third tip is to use a quality food processor that will slice and dice properly.
A poorly constructed food processor will cut food unevenly and leave a less refined finish to your salsa.
Good Spice Level
When it comes to salsa spiciness, you want to read your room.
If you’re serving a group of people who you know enjoy some heat to their food, then by all means add some extra heat to your salsa.
However, remember the cardinal rule of spice:
People who enjoy eating spicy foods can enjoy a mild meal, but those who don’t like spicy foods won’t enjoy a hot meal!
So, keep in mind this salsa may not be ideal for everyone!
If I were you, I would have a separate, mild dipping sauce that is good for everyone as well. Try my homemade ranch dressing.
Also, clearly denote which dip is spicier so people don’t accidentally try it who it isn’t suited for.
Behind the heat you want a savory taste that keeps people intrigued with your dip.
This is where an artful combination of acids, fats, and x factor flavors come in handy.
I have to admit that getting good flavor is just as much experimentation as it is science.
For salsas, you want to use tomatoes, onion, chilies, olive oil, salt, sugar, citrus, garlic, onion, and cumin.
But you can substitute out a number of these things for different flavors.
For example, in Andrew Rea’s (from the popular Binging with Babish YouTube channel) “Basics With Babish” series, he substitutes lime with mango.
This is a great example of a creative and experimental addition to a salsa that can make someone pause and bask in the flavors they’re experiencing.
I recommend doing some research and finding some tasty additives or substitutions that work for you!
Last of all, you want to evaluate the color of your salsa.
This typically happens after mixing your ingredients together.
You certainly don’t want a brown or green color similar to some other gross liquids.
People typically like nice, bright reds, greens, and oranges.
If you can, try to sprinkle some parsley or cilantro on top for some contrast!
Simply put, if your salsa comes out a particularly muted or unappealing color, you can change the quantities of your ingredients to help balance things out.
To cap things off, salsa is pretty simple!
However, you can also get very creative with it, which is a reason I love it!
I encourage you to get creative, and let me know below in the comments what you tried!
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Last of all, have a great day!