Roasted Tomato and Pepper Salsa

It’s the time of summer when I’m watching my garden’s production dwindle.  The days are finally beginning to stay out of the 90 and 100 degree temperatures and our daylight is getting noticeably shorter.  As much as I love fall, it makes me sad when I know I’m picking what are probably the last of my summer tomatoes and peppers.  After tending my little plot for many months, it is a bit hard to let it go, but I make sure to let nothing go to waste!  This weekend I made a batch of this Roasted Tomato and Pepper Salsa.  It’s such a fresh addition to your favorite foods and also tastes pretty darned good while you sit on the couch with a bag of chips (I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing)! ~Tracy

6 – 7 cups of halved tomatoes (enough to lay flat on 2/3 of a 12×17 baking sheet)

1 large yellow onion, quartered

5-7 jalapeno peppers, halved with seeds and ribs removed

8 – 10 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 T. coarse salt

½ to 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, washed and chopped

Juice from half a lime

Line a 12 x 17 baking sheet with parchment. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice tomatoes in half and lay them skin side up on the baking sheet.  Use enough tomatoes to take up about 2/3 of your baking sheet. You can use Roma tomatoes or any variety that you have on hand.  I grow several varieties in my garden and use a mixture of all of them.

Arrange halved jalapenos on the other end of your baking sheet, skin side up.

Disperse your onion pieces among the tomatoes and peppers. 

Roast the vegetables in the 375 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes, rotating the pan half way through cooking. 

Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool completely.

After the vegetables have cooled, carefully peel the skin from each tomato.  You should be able to pinch the skin on each tomato and peel it off easily.  If you don’t mind the tomato skins in your salsa, you can certainly leave them, but my family prefers that they be removed.

Gently mash each clove of garlic with a knife or back of a spoon (this allows it to mix more evenly into the salsa).

Place the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic into a food processor.  Add the cilantro and salt. Pulse the food processor until the salsa comes to your desired consistency.  Add freshly squeezed lime juice and stir.

Salsa will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.  Freeze extra in air tight containers or freezer bags.

Salsa is ZERO WW points per serving.

Cranberry Salsa

Our cranberry salsa is just the tart treat you’ve been craving as the holidays approach. But beware, if you set it out as an appetizer, it’s usually all gone before the meal.  Consider a double batch if you have a crowd. And it pairs perfectly next to some turkey and stuffing (I eat it by itself with a spoon that way).

I snagged this recipe from a former colleague who already knew the recipe was such a hit that she brought copies of the recipe with her (she’d taken it to other events and had so many requests she learned her lesson & knew to come prepared)! And it was that fantastic and more.  So if you stumble across this sometime, Julie T., a huge thanks from my family (and I mean my entire massive God-bless-us-every-one extended family as seen in our brownie post) to yours.

I’ve tweaked it a titch to make it just right for us, so I hope you’ll share it with those you love as well – and save the paper by telling them to visit Four Sisters Dish of course. Do it for the rainforest and for the Moore sisters! ~Robin

CranberrySalsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz. bag of cranberries
  • ¼ c. cilantro
  • 2 – 3 T. of fresh lime juice (one lime or a little more)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • Tortilla or pita chips for dipping
  • Cream cheese (optional)

Directions:  

Place cranberries and cilantro in a food processor; pulse until cranberries are to the desired chopped size.  You want small chunks but not to liquefy them. You need some texture.

I then hand-mince my jalapeños because I don’t trust the processor not to pulverize them a bit too much.

Fold in jalapeños and sugar until well combined.  Serve over cream cheese if desired (I love it by itself on a chip, but cream cheese just adds some richness).

WW Freestyle Info.: Makes ten ¼ cup servings at 4 points each.  Note:  If you use sugar substitutes (I don’t, so I can’t advise on amount needed; use to taste), this recipe could be ZERO points.

Chicken South of the Border

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Posted by Robin

If I’m pressed to name my favorite entrée (let’s be real; my favorite food is a tie between several kinds of dessert), this has to be it.  I think it’s beg-for-it-for-your-birthday level good — and I’m pretty sure I did just that a few times as a kid.

This is a very Tex-Mex kind of dish.  But what could be better for Cinco de Mayo, the holiday mooostly celebrated in the US?

Speaking of celebrating, this dish does pair quite nicely with a margarita on the rocks. I may have to cook this favorite myself now (most of the time), but being a grown up does have some perks!

Before we get into the recipe, there’s something you have to know.  Cheese whiz is part of this recipe.  Before you run screaming for the hills, just hear me out.  I know it’s not usually the most appealing ingredient, but I promise it’s perfect for this dish.  You could use Velveeta, but I tell you it’s just not the same (I’ve tried it and was disappointed).  Also, you’ll have such great 80s memories flash back — Fastback tennis shoes (somebody out there remembers those; don’t try to deny it), plus jellies shoes, mix tapes, and leg warmers, oh my!

Ingredients for Cornmeal Fried Chicken:

  • 4 chicken cutlets, pounded flat
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 beaten eggs
  • 1 to 1 ½ c. cornmeal

Ingredients for Salsa:

  • 2 c. diced canned tomatoes, drained (which will probably be about 1.5 cans once drained)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1-3 jalapeños, diced (depending on heat pref. – I use 3)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ c. cilantro, chopped (optional—I love cilantro)

Other Ingredients:  

  • 1 15 oz. jar of cheese whiz
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions:

For salsa, in a medium bowl, start with diced canned tomatoes, drained. Add onion, green pepper, garlic, jalapeños, lime juice, salt, garlic salt, and cilantro (if desired).  Refrigerate.

Combine flour and seasoning in a medium (cereal bowl size is fine for these) bowl.  In a medium sized separate bowl, beat eggs slightly.  In a separate medium sized bowl, place cornmeal.  Set aside.

Trim any fat from chicken.  Place vegetable oil, about a half inch deep, in a deep frying pan on medium heat.

To coat each piece of chicken to prepare for cooking, dredge through flour mixture, egg, flour mix again, egg again, then cornmeal.  Gently place directly into hot oil.  Cook a few minutes on each side — until cooked through and cornmeal is a nice golden color.  Try not to turn it too often, as you don’t want to knock off that delicious batter. (Chicken should reach 165 degrees in center.)

As you cook chicken, set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

Microwave a few servings of cheese whiz in a bowl, heating to liquid for 20 seconds at a time, then stirring each time.  (Do not look directly at the cheese whiz at this stage until it’s fully melted if you can avoid it.  Not pretty as a solid, but it will be good on your chicken once it’s melted. Really.) 🙂

To serve, plate chicken.  Spoon the piping hot cheese whiz over chicken.  Top with salsa.  Enjoy the magic.  And maybe a margarita.

Mango Salsa

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Visiting an old friend is always fun, but when that friend has a husband who cooks while you sip drinks….well, that’s friendship gold.  Tracy’s life-long friend Dana has a husband who whips up a great Mango Salsa that is a summery treat you’ll love.  Thanks for sharing this recipe, Marc!

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ yellow or white onion, diced
  • ½ red or green bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ tsp. salt

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir together well, and enjoy!

This salsa is best served over a juicy piece of grilled chicken with some tortilla chips on the side!

WW Freestyle Info.: Drumroll please:  ZERO points.  Enjoy all you want.