Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tomatoes Front and Center
with a Mexican Flair
With beautiful Ruskin beefsteak tomatoes so abundant, it's the perfect time to use them as much and as often as one can. I love having a bowl of salsa in the fridge for quick snacks or to round out a simple meal.
This salsa is simply: diced tomatoes, diced sweet onion, sliced green onion, minced jalepeño, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice. The bowl above is the end result of using: 2 medium tomatoes, half a sweet onion, four green onions, half a large jalepeño pepper, a generous handful of minced cilantro and the juice from one lime. This makes a generous 3 cups of salsa.
I recently read a fat free version of baked corn chips. Eager to try my hand , my first attempt did not take the recipe writer's instructions to heart. "Watch closely as they burn easily." Yes, they do! As evidenced with my batch below.
But used to scoop up the juicy salsa, they were great for a first attempt. Will watch more carefully the next time, and there will be a next time, as I like corn chips,but avoid the fat and salt laden supermarket varieties.

Using store bought corn tortillas made only with masa and water, these chips are easy to make.
Just watch them closely when baking!
Preheat oven to 350°. Use 6-8 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice (2 small limes); 1/2 tsp chili powder; 1/4 tsp ground cumin; 12 corn tortillas. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small pie plate. Dip each tortilla in the mixture then stack on a cutting board. Cut thru the stack into 6 or 8 wedges.
Arrange in a single layer on two baking sheets, sprinkle lightly with 1/2 tsp of salt, if desired. Turn sheets about halfway through for even baking. Bake 10 - 15 minutes, until crisp and brown around the edges. Watch carefully, they burn easily. Turn out onto cooling rack. Store in airtight container when cool.
Using leftover salsa.

The salsa is also a key component in a black bean and corn salad I like. Simply add a can of well rinsed black beans (or use 2 cups of freshly cooked beans) and the kernels from 2 - 3 ears of fresh corn to the salsa along with a pinch or two of Mexican oregano and a bit of salt and cayenne (if you like it hot) black pepper is fine, too. Mix well, taste for additional seasonings or a bit of additional lime juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar. The salad is super topping a big bowl of greens, to roll up in lettuce or whole wheat wraps or to make an improvised taco.

Soft Corn Veggie Taco

I warmed the corn tortilla in a dry skillet over medium heat, turning after a few minutes.
The hot, soft corn tortilla is a great vehicle for the black bean salad. . . a bit messy, but fun to eat.
Fast, easy and nutritious. Tomatoes are a great food to use as a starting point for a variety of easy dishes on these hot, lazy days of summer.

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