Salsa with Everything

Here are some new ideas for salsa that you may never see south of the border. Just remember, your chef job description involves finding new ways to make and serve old favorites.

Fresh Salsa

Dice plum tomatoes along with onions, scallions, cilantro and hot peppers. Add salt and pepper, plus a dash of lime juice. For a quicker but smoother version, use a blender or food processor.

Mango Salsa

  • Make a mild, chunky salsa as above, substituting chopped mango for the tomato - delightful for stuffing avocados (see below) or alongside grilled salmon.

Other Uses for Salsa

  • Spoon over grilled or fried fish - makes a wonderfully zesty garnish.
  • Add to tomato soup for a heartier, tastier version.
  • Use to stuff avocado halves; serve on lettuce as an instant first course.

Taco Bar

It may not be too authentic, but who can resist a stack of hot tortillas served with fresh salsa and an enticing selection of fillings? Wrap a stack of corn (or flour) tortillas in foil and heat in the oven. Serve buffet-style, with the following:

  • Hot dishes: One or more bowls of stewed meat (such as ground beef and shredded chicken) seasoned with garlic, onion, scallions, bell pepper and cilantro as well as ground cummin and hot pepper. In another large bowl, serve plain or refried beans.
  • Others: Individual bowls of chopped onion, scallion, guacamole, iceberg lettuce, plum tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, sliced jalape��os.
  • Garnish: Sour cream, Tabasco sauce and fresh salsa.

A Career as a Chef is No More Than a Step Away

If you aren't ready for a career as a chef but would like to prepare ethnic dishes, you should start with a course in your favorite regional cuisine that doesn't necessary lead to a chef degree.