10 August 2011

Employee Salsa Contest 2011

Last year for our employee celebration at work, the organizers had a salsa contest. Coworkers who were interested formed teams and picked a favorite recipe. Then we made the salsa at the office for people to taste and vote on their favorite. I was part of a team. I posted an item on Krik’s Picks along with the recipe we made.

It was such a popular event that they repeated it this year. I didn’t join a team. I didn’t have time to get things organized (and besides, our team lost last year, so phooey). But I did join the tasting and voting.SalsaContest2011

Two people in our community relations department and their intern were one team. They called themselves “Two-and-a-half Hot Mommas.” I was going to vote for them even if their salsa tasted like runny ketchup. But it was good. I thought it really was the best salsa of the day. (Of course, they didn’t win.)

The intern actually provided the recipe. It’s a family recipe sent to her by her dad. In his note, he said this quantity makes a 5-quart ice cream pail of salsa. It also appears to be very hot. For the contest, they cut the quantities of everything in half and to accommodate Minnesota taste buds, only used three habaneros and and three green jalapenos instead of the cayenne peppers. The final caveat is that they always adjust the ingredients to taste, and they usually use less hot peppers. (So if you make it full strength, be forewarned.)

The intern’s last name is ‘Guest.’ So I guess this is literally a ‘Guest’ recipe. (Sorry.)

Guest Family Salsa

6 qt. tomatoes

4 bell peppers

½ each sweet banana peppers, hot banana peppers

1 large onion (red or sweet)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 stalk celery

Juice of one whole lime

Cilantro to taste (1/2 bunch)

6-9 habaneras

10 cayenne peppers

Salt and pepper to taste

No salt seasoning (Mrs. Dash)

¼ cup minced garlic

Um, they didn’t provide any preparation instructions. One of the other ‘Hot Mommas’ had this to say about prep: “The peppers were hand-minced very fine and I'd caution you to wear rubber gloves when handling peppers - if the raw vegetable oils come into contact with your skin, they are very irritating. You chop everything up, add the cilantro/salt/pepper last to taste and either hand mix or if you want to pulse in your food processor (which we did not have) it will make either a chunkier or juicier salsa.”