Jardine’s Hearty Salsas
All of the salsas work as dips or accompaniments for Mexican foods (enchiladas, tacos et al). They can be used as sauces for standard American preparations too: grilled meats and fish, pasta and vegetables. Mixing the salsa with sour cream, heavy cream or yogurt produces a cream sauce and pretty much dissipates the heat (cream, not water, is the antidote to chile heat, as the capsaicins in chile are not water-soluble). Without the cream, salsa is a caloric bargain: most of the salsas have just 15 calories per two-tablespoon serving. All of the following are tomato-based except the Roasted Tomatillo.
- Cilantro Lime. Lots of lime flavor perks up a chunky tomato, onion and bell pepper salsa, accented with jalapeño.
- Cowpoke Artichoke. Not your everyday salsa, this one has artichokes, mushrooms and black olives. Big chunks of artichoke and a piquancy from the olives and balsamic vinegar command notice. It’s just mildly hot, even though the label says medium. It’s great for omelets, Tex-Mex favorites and “Mexican bruschetta.” One of our favorites.
- Frijole Chipotle. A terrific, chunky salsa that layers three chiles—chipotle, green and jalapeño. In addition to lots of black beans, there’s lots of chopped green chile, which provides a wonderful piquant flavor and texture that melds with the smoky chipotle. Another of our favorites.
- Habañero. This is the one sauce in the line labeled XXX Hot. Given the number of companies that specialize in hot sauces and make “deathly hot” salsas, we’d give Jardine’s only one X—but we’re not a chile-head. Even one X is much too hot for us (so give us credit, we tasted this salsa three times). If you have friends who love the hot-hot stuff and you want to treat them to a jar made out of the finest-quality ingredients—which do show through the heat of the habañero—this is it.
- Roasted Garlic. A classic salsa. It’s not overly garlicky because the garlic has been roasted, but there’s lots of smoky chipotle flavor and heat, blended with tomatoes, green chiles, onions and lemon juice. This one is definitely medium spicy. It has a thick consistency, like a chunky pasta sauce. Try it over chicken breasts and especially with enchiladas, migas or chalupas.
- Roasted Tomatillo. A mild salsa verde, a basic, authentic Mexican salsa. It’s a nice sauce, but there’s much more excitement to be had in this line.
- Salsa Bobos. Our favorite in the line. “Bobos” means confetti in Spanish. The golden kernels of corn in this tomato, corn and black bean salsa look festive like confetti. The salsa is so thick, we served it as a side dish. We’d happily eat this every day, but would especially pick this one for a party. There’s just enough jalapeño and green chile to give it light heat. The label says “medium,” but given the fire of some of the other mediums, we’d put this on the mid-to-high side of mild. Salsa Bobos also can be used for a seven-layer dip or as a topping for fish, chicken, baked potatoes or fancy nachos.
Texacante, one of the first salsas in the Jardine’s
line, is an homage to the Picante Sauce developed
American salsa pioneer Dave Pace, who invented
Picante Sauce in 1947.
Go To Page 5: Jardine’s Fruit Salsas & Quesos
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