One of my favorite quick meals are tacos. I cannot eat tacos without hot sauce but we always keep the ingredients on hand to make it. We try to buy all staple ingredients when they are on sale, so of course that lowers the cost of the recipe being made. Here are some cost comparisons:
Pickled Jalapenos $0.79 to $1.39+
Diced Tomatoes $0.50 to $1.29+
Tomato Sauce $0.10 to $0.39+
Onions 3#/$1 to $0.99/$1
Garlic – $0.25/head to $0.79/head+
There are about twenty jalapenos in a can, and I only use two. So the cost for the jalapenos (sale price) comes to ~$0.04 each.
Jalapenos = $0.08 (for two)
Diced Tomatoes = $0.50
Tomato Sauce = $0.10
Onion = $0.15
Eighty-eight cents for almost a full quart of salsa (if you get all your ingredients on sale).
The recipe I use is one my mom has had since I was a young child. If you buy hot sauce or salsa from the store, you know it can be a costly condiment. On sale we can find 16 ounces of salsa for $1.29. This recipe makes almost one quart for right under a dollar. The cast of characters: pickled jalapenos, one 16 ounce can of petite cut tomatoes, 1 eight ounce can of tomato sauce, 3 cloves of garlic and 1 small onion.
Open and pour the cans of diced tomato and tomato sauce into your blender. Drop in two jalapenos (less or more according to your taste for heat). You can also use any variety of hot chili pepper, fresh or roasted. Fresh jalapenos add a completely different taste and texture. Habaneros would really heat this sauce up.
Remove the skins from three cloves of garlic. Crush the garlic with a knife (lay the garlic on its side, place the knife on the garlic clove and smack with the palm of your hand). Cut the onion into quarters.
Add one tablespoon of vinegar (apple cider, wine, or white) which helps with preserving the salsa. If you like your hot sauce hotter, add more jalapenos. You could also add fresh jalapenos, or fresh habaneros to make a really hot sauce!
Pulse your blender until the salsa has the consistency that you like. If you leave it in a more chopped consistency, it’s salsa. Blend it completely smooth and it’s hot sauce.
Mmmmm, and it’s PERFECT on tacos. My favorite tacos are soft shelled.
Buy corn tortillas and fry them lightly in butter or lard until they are still soft but somewhat crispy on the edges. Ladle on some seasoned ground beef, lettuce, cheese and hot sauce. Delicious! Also on occasion I will add sour cream and black olives. One of my favorite all time meals.
I use this salsa anytime I want to add a little spice to what I’m eating. Scrambled eggs, salad, chicken, steak, just to mention a few!
You might also want to check out my recipe for Cheese Enchiladas, another of my all time favorite Mexican dishes.