Dragonbreath Salsa

This has got to be my most requested recipe.  Definitely one of my stand-ins for when i want to bring something to a party or dinner or something and don't have the ambition to come up with something new.

One of these times I'll take some photos of this recipe, chances are I'll make it again soon... mmm, maybe tomorrow.  So i guess I'll just end up rewriting this when i have pictures, but oh well, here it is anyway.

The big secret is that if you use good produce and know some basic combinations of flavors, salsa is REALLY easy to make.

Be prepared for a LOT of chopping.  Sure, you could just throw it all in a food processor (except the beans), but i really prefer to chop it all by hand.  Plus, at least to me, chopping is a huge part of the experience of cooking.  It's really zen, or something... I don't know, it relaxes me.


1 medium red onion
1 bell pepper (yellow is good to round out the colors in the salsa)
1 poblano pepper
4 jalapeños
2 serrano peppers
1 can green chilies (or you can roast an extra poblano and dice it)
5 cloves garlic (more if they're tiny cloves)
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes (an equivalent amount of good fresh chopped tomatoes is preferable, but in the off season canned can really be better)
1 can black beans, drained
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
juice from two limes
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp salt


1) Chop the hot peppers as finely as possible and drain the beans.
2) In a large bowl mix the hot peppers and beans with the lime juice and vinegar and let it sit while you chop everything else.
3) Don’t drain the tomatoes. Use that juice from the cans as well. Mash them up as best you can so there aren’t any huge chunks left… I like to really pulverize them. Add this to the bowl with the hot peppers and beans.
4) Finely chop everything else (sometimes i use a press for the garlic, sometimes not).
5) Add the cumin, allspice, black pepper, salt
6) Mix
7) Serve, and watch your guests sweat.

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