Save $$ on Chips and Salsa

For our cookout this weekend, I’ll set out chips and salsa along with margaritas to get things going. A quick check of prices for salsa and tortilla chips reminded me why I love to make my own. I could easily spend $10 to $15 on bags of tortilla chips and prepared salsa. I’ll be able to serve up this tasty starter for a crowd for $3. Once tomato season arrives, I can make salsa for pennies. I’m growing my own tomatoes and hot peppers this year. But, this weekend, I’ll use canned organic tomatoes thanks to this coupon Money Saving Mom found. I spent $2 on tomatoes and $1 for corn tortillas. Here’s my quick recipe for chips and salsa (adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday).

Ingredients:

1 16 oz can of fire-roasted organic tomatoes
1/4 c. chopped white onion
one to two canned chipolte peppers (depending on how spicy you like things) + a spoonful of the sauce the peppers come in
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. hot pepper
splash of lime juice
pinch of salt
2 TBS fresh, chopped mint or cilantro

1 package of corn tortillas

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the tortillas out on several baking sheets. Lightly brush each side with canola oil and sprinkle with salt. When the oven’s ready, toast tortillas until crisp, usually 7 to 10 minutes. Let the tortillas cool and break them into pieces.

Finely chop the onion and rinse in water. Put the onion in your serving bowl. In a food processor, combine the peppers (seed them if you don’t want your salsa too spicy) and garlic. Add the drained tomatoes and chipotle sauce. Pulse several times. Stir the tomatoes into the onions, add the lime juice, hot pepper, salt, and herbs. Taste and adjust the seasonings. That’s all!

This is another recipe that is really flexible. Up until last month, I used my own canned tomatoes. In the summer, I chop up fresh tomatoes and use fresh hot peppers. I’ve tried cilantro or mint and basil for the herbs. I’ve actually spoiled us when it comes to salsa. The future husband and I can really tell a difference now. The salsa in jars just doesn’t taste nearly as fresh! I did try making my own tortillas last summer, but couldn’t get them thin enough. If I can perfect them this summer, that will save us even more!

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