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Salsa Fresca: Basic Fresh Salsa by Karen Hursh Graber © 2015

This is a flexible recipe. Use more or less of any ingredient. Experiment until you find your happy salsa place.


  •  4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup cilantro (or more to taste)
  • 4 small green chiles, or more to taste

Chop all ingredients to uniform size. Makes about 1-1 ½ cups of salsa.


Non-Recipes with Fresh Salsa


Guacamole: This one is a no-brainer. Just mash the avocados, add the basic fresh salsa in whatever proportions you like, and voila, some very good guac.


Frijoles Charros: Cowboy Beans: Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pot, add a cup of Basic Fresh Salsa and a clove or two of chopped garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, and add about six cups of cooked beans with their broth. Simmer until the flavors meld. For Frijoles Borrachos: Drunken Beans, do the same, but add a bottle of Mexican beer along with the beans.


Puntas de Filete: Mexican Style Beef Tips: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add 1 ½ pounds of beef tips and a clove or two of garlic. When the beef has browned, add a cup of Basic Fresh Salsa. Cook until the sauce thickens. Add salt to taste. Serve with tortillas, rice, beans, or all of these.


Pollo Empapelado: Chicken in Parchment Paper: Place a boneless, skinless chicken breast filet on lightly greased parchment paper. Spread a little olive oil over the chicken, top with ½ cup of Basic Fresh Salsa for each filet. Tightly fold the edges of the paper to seal in the chicken. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. This also works with fish filets.


Arroz a la Mexicana: Mexican Rice: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan, add 1 cup rice. stir to coat the rice with oil and sauté until the rice is a light golden color. Stir in ½ cup of Basic Fresh Salsa, and cook until any liquid in the salsa has evaporated. Add 2 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer, covered, until liquid has absorbed.



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Published or Updated on: June 6, 2015 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2015
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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