Cooking Throwback: Let’s Taco Bout Salsa

Once upon a time, The 4th Line Podcast had a Patreon account. When we did, we would share once a month some of our favorite recipes with our subscribers. With our Patreon no more, it’s time to share some of those recipes with you now. First up, salsa!


Alright going to pull the curtain back a little bit this month. I was recently in the grocery store and was looking for something fun to cook. So I wandered over to the peppers section. After staring at it for a good few minutes I decided “Well, I should pick something”. And that is how I ended up with Serrano peppers at home. That’s all. That’s the only thing I bought. But I was going to use them before they went bad.

Fast forward 2 weeks and the peppers are still sitting in my fridge. What can I do? Salsa. Full disclosure: I have never made my own salsa before. I’ve made pico de gallo before, but never a cooked salsa. So this is not the usual, “Here is my favorite recipe” that we try to do usually. Joel has you covered with that shortly. What I want to share with you is what I learned.

First, the recipe that I ventured to use:

  • 8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
  • 2 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 cups green peppers
  • 1 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1⁄8 cup canning salt
  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup vinegar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste

And the boil it for 10 minutes.

Here is the recipe that I actually used:

  • 6 tomatoes, unpeeled, chopped and not drained
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 6 serrano peppers, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

As you can tell, I improvised. Which was my first mistake. The first time making something, maybe stick closer to the recipe. But literally the only thought that I had after “Let’s make salsa” was buying tomatoes. I did not plan AT ALL. Tomatoes. Hot peppers. To me that was all I needed. It worked fairly well.

I’ve been eating this salsa all month and it’s been really good, especially when paired with queso. Here’s what is wrong with it, and what I would fix.

1) It’s too chunky: Peeling the tomatoes was recommended. While this isn’t a deal breaker, if I had, the tomatoes would have broken down more while cooking.

2) Garlic. All the garlic: To be honest, I don’t know how much garlic I put in. All I know is that when it hit the pot, I knew it was too much. I added the extra bell pepper to try and counter act the garlic. It mostly worked, but I’d use less.

3) Chop the vegetables better: I have a food processor. I used a knife. Why? No one knows. Learn from me and cut the ingredients up more than I did.

I hope you learned something from my salsa experience. Happy eating!


Carl told me the other day “yo, we are going to write up some salsa recipes for the article this month”. I was like “salsa? Who eats salsa?” Then I remembered I do. All. The. Time. Not only do I eat it, we rarely buy it in a jar anymore. Here are the two we make most:

Classic Pico de Gallo (I think it’s classic at least)

  • 1 to 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • Half a red onion diced
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños diced (with or without seeds…..depending how funky you want to get)
  • Mix. Salt and garlic powder to taste (or just garlic salt to taste).

Depending on who makes it in the house you can put more or less tomatoes and more or less green peppers. Or really any combination of anything. I tend to go more green peppers and less tomatoes but my wife does the opposite.

This is good for anything. Tacos, nachos, burritos, sandwiches, by itself. With chicken pork or steak. Anything.

Mango salsa

This is mainly for a chicken or fish dish but hey, do what you want.

  • 1 mango diced
  • 1 tomato diced (you want more mango to tomato in the ratio)
  • ¼ of a red onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • My wife puts cilantro to taste (I do not)
  • ½ a red pepper
  • Bit of garlic powder and salt

Fish tacos are killer with this. (You could try this recipe. Where the picture at the top is from) Grilled chicken with some rice and beans and this on top…..awesome.


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