Put-on-anything, back up, corny, feel good salsa

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This (or some kind of slightly bastardised, red headed step child of a version of this) is the salsa you will now use to impress people when you don’t actually have the brain capacity and/or motor skill to impress people.

This is the thesaurus of the intellectually incapacitated… it is the bath for the homeless man… it is the Google of the modern child… it is the facelift for the elderly whore… it is… time to move on.

The thing is, it will make you seem like a heaps cleverer person than you actually are.

The scenario may be something as simple as you impressing the heck out of yourself with a hangover dinner of shit-in-a-tin nachos topped with this little ray of sun shine of a salsa, or maybe you just want to mix it with a little chopped lettuce for “your own version” (wink, wink) of a chopped salad, or maybe you invite a heap of pretty girls over and impress the knickers off of them with some tasty assed tacos topped with this look-like-a-champion salsa, or maybe even your boss comes for dinner and you serve this with a beautifully roasted piece of chicken (you can find that a few posts back), sautéed spinach or kale and a delicious pan gravy.

Seriously, I am even starting to impress myself a little right now, and believe me – I’m pretty tough to win over.

Grill that corn or flash it in a pan if that’s all you got

Really close to the corn salsa

Really far away from the corn salsa


CORNY SALSA

2 sweet corn, grilled, kernels stripped
2 medium tomatoes, dice (I really can’t be too fucked to remove the seeds)
1 lebanese cucumber, deseeded and diced (Yes. I fucking deseed the cucumber. It’s heaps easier and more efficient than deseeding tomatoes though)
½ red onion, diced
50-100g feta, crumbled
½ bunch coriander and/or oregano, roughly chopped
A splash (or 10) of your favourite hot sauce
Juice of 1-2 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Get it all into a large mixing bowl.
Mix gently to combine.
Put on something and eat it in your face.

Mango pico de gallo

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mango pico de gallo
It has become apparent to myself and probably some of the more astute of my followers out there in inter web land, that I have eaten tacos more than once in recent weeks.

One might say I am someone who enjoys the taco.

One may be correct.

You are one.

What is one?

One what?

One babe?

One babe with the power?

Who knows? I really don’t. But one thing is for sure and certain; once again we find ourselves in the old Toyota corolla “bush basher”, trundling around the paddock, through the shrubbery, bouncing out of the ditches and over the old tree stumps and well and truly off the track… glancing well and truly past the point… venturing into some kind of socially inept void… Fuck dude, it’s really time to get a little shuffle on here.

Yes I like tacos and yes, I made some pico de gallo with a mango our friend Sulmae gave us, to go on those tacos that I enjoy so much.

It’s a damn good salsa for fish – I can vouch for that for sure – but I’m also pretty sure it would be a damn tasty little number to dress up just about any other seafood, some chicken or pork, or whatever the heck else you wanna put it on… after all, you paid for those ingredients and made it with your own hands and sweated and… and… and… you… didn’t pay for those ingredients? You obtained those ingredients by dishonest means? This is bullshit. I’m out.

Pretty colours

Pretty colours

That's the salsa from a little further away

That’s the salsa from a little further away

...and then that's the salsa up nice and close

…and then that’s the salsa up nice and close

Get some fish all up in that piece

Get some fish all up in that piece

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom


MANGO PICO DE GALLO

1 medium or ½ large mango, skin removed, diced just like you’d dice things for a salsa
1 medium tomato, ripe, diced the same as above
½ red onion, diced much the same
½ jalapeno (more if you like hit hotter), diced same
A handful of coriander, chopped however
Juice of half a juicy lime
A little salt and pepper

• Mix all ingredients together in a bowl that is big enough
• Um, eat it on a taco or something

Tasty shit right there

Tasty shit right there

Charred tomato salsa

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Lime is pretty good too. Hot sauce and jalapeños - both good on the Mexican dinner table

Lime is pretty good too. Hot sauce and jalapeños – both good on the Mexican dinner table


I like Mexican food.

Stuff like tacos.

I am a huge fan of any culture that is going to serve me a meal with a heap of condiments on the table so I get to adjust the flavours and the seasonings to my own personal taste as I go. That is a culture that is putting my feelings first.

I really do appreciate the things the Mexican people do for my taste buds.

That and their can-do attitude.

Straight up. Did they say they were a Mexi-can’t? No. Mexi-can all the way. I give not one single shit for the words of bigoted white billionaire businessmen who have just recently become president of the USA, and their words of fences and things of the sort. Mexico for president as far as I’m concerned.

Thank you once again to my nice-food-making, good-attitude-having, Mexican brothers and sisters.

Tomatoes, onion and garlic straight on the flame

Tomatoes, onion and garlic straight on the flame

Starting to get all charry

Starting to get all charry

That's the salsa

That’s the salsa


CHARRED TOMATO SALSA

4 ripe tomatoes, charred over a flame until they start to blacken and blister
1 eshallot or half an onion, also charred over that flame
2 cloves garlic, fuck it – char them too
1 pickled jalapeño chilli, chopped
1 tablespoon of the jalapeño vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
A small handful of coriander, chopped (use the stalky bits for the salsa and the pretty leaves for garnish)
Salt and pepper

• Peel the blackened skin from the tomatoes, onions and garlic and then roughly chop.
• Put everything into a food processor and pulse into a chunky salsa type thing.
• Put it on tacos and nachos and other Mexican-y things.

Coal roasted fish bruschetta AKA camp bruschetta

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fish bruschetta
Last week I was writing the roster at work, which is a pretty ordinary thing for someone in my position to be doing. It was going to be a pretty good one too – I had reined it back to a less-than-50-hour-week which is a more than acceptable working week for one who has chosen chef as their profession.

And then it turned into a really damn good roster really quickly.

I had completely erased my name from the graphy looking little timetable that was trying to tell me I would be attending work that next week. Bam. Gone.

“Yup. That was a heaps better idea,” my smart brains told me. “You should just piss off camping instead.”

“Brilliant,” I agreed, quickly realising that I was conducting one hell of a cracking monologue in front of the staff… again.

Not to worry. These guys have seen how much coffee I drink…. They’ve heard me talk of my carnie fetish… they knew what they were getting themselves in for when they signed up.

Before I knew it we were packing the car for the camping trip. We packed crocodile seeking missiles, a box jellyfish/ozone depletion full body protection suit, the really deadly snake deterrent, nuke ‘em from orbit tent mounted mosquito extermination technology and, of course, the drop bear trap. We never go camping with out a drop bear trap. The car was almost full but we still had just enough room for our prescription medication, a few amphetamines for who ever is on drop bear watch (they always attack at night or in the small hours of the morning) and enough rum to wash it all down.

That is what we did because that is how we go camping in Australia.

Once all of our nature defences were in place and we were high as a kite, we went fishing and caught ourselves a few plump flathead which we promptly cooked on the coals and camping-like-a-boss made them into some tasty assed fish bruschetta with herby salsa.

Get one of the kids to prep the fish. Try and disguise your shitty photo by making it black and white

Get one of the kids to prep the fish. Try and disguise your shitty photo by making it black and white

I could've eaten quite a few of these

I could’ve eaten quite a few of these


FISH BRUSCHETTA WITH HERBY SALSA

(serves 4 as a light meal)

2 whole fish (800g-1kg to give approx. 400g meat)
8 slices sour dough bread
1 small Lebanese cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ small white onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salsa verde (it would probably be pretty easy for you to make some before you leave)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

• Put everything except the fish and bread into a bowl, mix to combine and allow to macerate while you cook the fish.
• My fish went straight onto the coals of the campfire for 6-7 minutes each side and then we peeled the skin back and flaked the flesh off the bone with a fork. It was some seriously tasty shit. A little bit charred and smoky and still so damn moist thanks to the skin and scales – this is some seriously sexy business.
• Maybe you don’t have a campfire so you can get a similar result by wrapping your fish in foil and roasting them for 10-12 minutes at 200C.
• Now is a good time to toast your bread. You can toast bread right?
• To assemble drizzle the toasts with olive oil and then divide flaked fish between the 8 pieces. Top with salsa and spoon over salsa juices. Season with a little salt and pepper if it needs some.
• I cannot say enough how damn good this was.

My son Obi the kangaroo whisperer

My son Obi the kangaroo whisperer

Mojo Chicken (or Christmas Ham… you still have time) with Pina Colada Salsa

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mojo chicken or christmas ham
First, a side note if you will entertain the notion; Please be aware that I have not been sleeping heaps lately due to the large body of people who have massed in this area like bugs around one of those fluro zapper lights, and are clearly all starving. Famished. Haven’t eaten nary as much as a small crumb for days.

We are at the mercy of these consumers… or should that be customers?

This is not the industry to enter if you are looking for a lazy holiday season. I work and then I work some more and then I sleep… and that shit is well and truly on repeat. When I wake up it feels like the Acme Concrete Co. has dumped a load of it’s finest in the corner of my eyes. I noticed an SES (State Emergency Service) recovery helicopter circling yesterday morning trying to spot survivors in the rubble. They sent in goddam sniffer dogs! Sniffer dogs!

Needless to say, this past week has not been jam packed with the most comprehendible moments of my life. So when I wrote this little number I thought I was doing a great job… or at least OK, until I re-read it and realised I seem to have written it in point form. I can’t change it, I don’t know how.

Grill that chook on some nice low coals...

Grill that chook on some nice low coals…


Yes, we’re back to the salsa thing. I told you already that summer is all about the salsa for me… well, that and the all the cooling off and rehydrating that needs to be done. Just in case you are simple, cooling off and rehydrating if definitely code for something.

I am so into this salsa thing I am actually considering enrolling for salsa dancing lessons just so there is more salsa in my life… and for a chance to finally meet Paul Mercurio. What a guy…

As I was pondering the whole salsa thing I came across a recipe for mojo chicken. I was multi-tasking the hell out of life as I pondered and trawled the interweb at the same time.

Right about now is when I feel like getting my salsa on (either definition of the word would work here)

Right about now is when I feel like getting my salsa on (either definition of the word would work here)


Please remember that a good salsa will spice up your dinner table like a good salsa would spice up a boys weekend away. Just to clear it up for you (and me too), the second salsa would be referring to the dance and it should also be made clear that you will probably want to pay a young lady dressed as some kind of scantily clad Penelope Cruz type character (or just Penelope Cruz I guess) to do the salsa, and not go for the not-very-sexy rendition of the salsa as performed by one of your drunken mates.

I will be doing a mojo ham this Christmas. That makes me excited. I am also excited by hot wax and vacuum attachments but I don’t think we need to get into that right now.

That's the first incarnation of the Pina Colada salsa at the top. It was a little chunky and has been refined as we have eaten this exact same meal again since… it's just that I forgot to get photos… or just didn't take photos… or was too tipsy to be able to take photos

That’s the first incarnation of the Pina Colada salsa at the top. It was a little chunky and has been refined as we have eaten this exact same meal again since… it’s just that I forgot to get photos… or just didn’t take photos… or was too tipsy to be able to take photos

MOJO CHICKEN (serves 6-8)

2kg chicken marylands/ pieces
½ cup fresh orange juice, plus the zest of 1 orange
¼ cup fresh lime juice, plus the zest of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
A splash of olive oil
Seasoning

• This is really good cooked over med-low coals for 30 minutes or so, turning regularly and basting with remaining marinade
• If have neither fire nor technology needed to cook on it a hot oven will do the trick. 200C for 30 minutes, baste, turn etc

PINA COLADA SALSA

½ medium fresh pineapple, diced (you need 2 cups or so of diced pineapple)
2 shallots or ½ red onion, diced
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup coconut cream
½ long green chilli, deseeded and diced finely
10-12 mint leaves, chiffonade
A pinch of brown sugar
A splash of rum if you feel like getting real
½ – 1 lime, juiced
Seasoning

• Combine all ingredients in a food processer and pulse twice for a second or two to break it up just a touch
• If you don’t have a food processer you should go to the shop and buy one. Alternately you can dice everything nice and finely, and then mix thoroughly to combine
• Allow salsa to sit for ten minutes or so before serving so all of the ingredients can get to know each other properly
• Get that puppy on the chicken… or some prawns, a piece of pork or Christmas ham
• Thank me later

Mango & Cactus Salsa… sure to improve your life

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Mango & cactus salsa goes phenomenally well with seafood tacos

Mango & cactus salsa goes phenomenally well with seafood tacos


Salsa is a child of the summer.

The moment I have made salsas three times in the same week is the exact same moment I swap my ensemble of a Darrel Summers’ jumper, sensible trousers and discount shoe mart runners for boardies, a singlet and thongs. When the salsas come out it means the weather is hot, the living is easy and I don’t look so much like I belong on the set of late 80s-early 90s Australian sitcom, “Hey Dad”.

Salsa also refers to a particularly raunchy form of Latin American dancing. It is said that salsa dancing may have been named so because it was somewhat hot and/or saucy. Nice. I really like what they did there…

You were just the recipient of a random snippet of knowledge courtesy of your friends here at foodisthebestshitever.

I am a firm believer that your life can be improved by
1. The power of a good salsa. Applying salsa with relish (heheh) at your next summer barbecue (sorry northern hemisphere peeps… you can put that on hold until next year) or your Christmas lunch shall raise you to the pedestal that you damn well deserve.
2. Plenty of booze… get some cocktail action going and you won’t even care that you can’t cook for shit and the Christmas ham is now blacker than an emo kid in a black hole.
3. A good bowel movement on a regular basis will make good life really good and on the flipside, not having a good bowel movement on a regular basis can make life very bad. Not like the call girl with the long boots and red lipstick bad, but more like the out of order toilet at the music festival bad (if you are a bit too mature to be frolicking around with thousands of sweaty hipsters insert some kind of large gathering of your kind in there).
4. An arm that was just slightly longer so you could scratch that spot in between your shoulder blades when it gets itchy. That’s got to be a god joke right there. Upstairs, laughing their heads off at us idiots down below trying to scratch ourselves. Really funny guys…

So I find it only fitting that I should offer a salsa recipe for you to create in your home kitchen today. Also, in the lead-up to this coca-cola themed craziness, I shall try to pump out a few more easytastygood recipes to impress your peeps with this Christmas.

This salsa would be great to dress a prawn salad, it would find a happy home along side roast chicken or pork and, of course it would kick-ass on tacos… any tacos as long as they are heading directly for your face.

That's the salsa down the front

That’s the salsa down the front

If you really want to impress people make a pile of fish and prawn tacos with some avocado, pickled cabbage and this salsa and hand them out to all of your friends. Popularity guaranteed

If you really want to impress people make a pile of fish and prawn tacos with some avocado, pickled cabbage and this salsa and hand them out to all of your friends. Popularity guaranteed

MANGO & CACTUS SALSA (makes approx. 3 cups)

3 medium mangoes, flesh only, diced
½ cup cactus strips*, diced
½ red (salad) onion, fine dice
1 handful coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon hot sauce**
1 lime… maybe

• Mix all ingredients together to combine
• Adjust to your taste with a squeeze of lime juice if necessary

*Available from a purveyor of Mexican goodies… or probably at every large super market chain by the time you read this as the whole Mexican food thing is trending fairly heavily

**I am using the Byron Bay Chilli Co Cayenne Hot Chilli Sauce at the moment for no other reason than it tastes damn fine

Happy birthday to me

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Today is my birthday.

Last night I got enough beer into my belly to give me one hell of a head ache. I quite literally feel like I did get older last night. The boys were up at 5:30am (yeah, there’s a 5:30am now) hiding my presents which in turn meant that I was up shortly after, questioning what ungodly soul would make a 5:30 in the morning on a mans birthday. One’s birthday should include a clause that omits times like that and possibly moves straight onto a 9:30 or even 10:00. Was it the Myans? I told myself right there and then that I would investigate further…

I guess I should start at the beginning.

Yesterday I invited a few friends over for dinner and quite possibly a drink or two. We cooked an absolute cracker of a meal, and when I say “we”, what I actually mean is that I put the pork in the oven when I left for work. It would be correct to say that even our friend Scotty did more work than me. Jen had him rolling tortillas like a small Mexican grandmother by the time I got home from work, but that’s what you’d expect if you rock up to a birthday dinner at 1:30pm… at least 3 hours early, right? Claiming ignorance, or stupidity, or something? But the best I could figure is this was only going to benefit my situation. With the preparation for the meal all but complete, I could get started on a crispy cold birthday drink. On with the day.

It was my birthday and I felt not even a small urge to shed a tear.

And that, my friends, is where the details start to get a little sketchy. Photo diary from here I think.

Greg tried to camouflage    himself with the table cloth. Chameleon skills

A lovely afternoon for some corn chips and salsa. Greg tried to camouflage himself with the table cloth. Chameleon skills

Too many good things on one table; 12 hour shoulder of pork with beer and spices, chicken mole, red rice, corn with cheese and chilli powder, home made tortillas, guacamole, pickled 'slaw, salsas, pickled chilli... some recipes will follow

Too many good things on one table; 12 hour shoulder of pork with beer and spices, chicken mole, red rice, corn with cheese and chilli powder, home made tortillas, guacamole, pickled ‘slaw, salsas, pickled chilli… some recipes will follow

Emma is going to be happy with this one. She's been keen for a mention/photo/song dedication on this blog for a while. She's on the left with her "I'm in the photo" face on

Emma is going to be happy with this one. She’s been keen for a mention/photo/song dedication on this blog for a while. She’s on the left with her “I’m in the photo” face on

There it is folks

There it is folks

SAMSUNG CSC

Finish the night with a croquembouche so every body knows you're a boss

Finish the night with a croquembouche so every body knows you’re a boss

Right now all I have left are the memories of a swell night of eating, drinking and all round merriment, a cracking headache and a brand spanking new MacBook. So I’m going to go out on a limb and see if I can predict how the day shall go from here; I will lay in bed or possibly on the couch. No, let’s do bed today and then I can really look like a little girl, I will watch some cooking shows, eat more of last nights dinner, drink some coconut water because I am convinced it has the power to make me feel better, have a little snoozey, try to write some witty words that will camouflage themselves cunningly inside my brain so I can’t find them, then I shall repeat this scenario until I come good. Hopefully that will be today. The big problem for me seems to be that as soon as I start to feel a little better, a little more like I could possibly conduct a legible dialogue, or maybe that I should get up and go and give those carnies a damn good flogging, the bloody thing is back. BAM! In the face like a bitch. Like the woman scorned she demonstrates her wrath upon me, and like a bad acid trip it just keeps coming back around again. And it’s only bloody 10am.

I truly have to get on with my tasks for the day…

But before I do that I think that I’ll check my facey, see how popular I am and all that and this is what greets me. A message from my mate Jaz. It made me smile and it is what I shall leave you with today; “Happy birthday Graeme! I’m glad I know you because you’re Graeme, but also because you’re ginger and its my goal in life to know as many gingers as I can. Thanks for being my friend and being ginger hehe”…

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