504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Easy Salsa Recipe: How to Steal A Secret Family Recipe
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Easy Salsa Recipe: How to Steal A Secret Family Recipe

Want to learn how to steal a secret family recipe?
My parents were very good friends with a couple they had actually know since high school. The relationship was always hot/cold, on/off, talking/not talking - I remember the relationship being like this as far back as my memory goes.

Another thing I remember is that she made some mean Mexican food. I do not remember what anything was called or exactly what was in it, but I do remember it was fantastic...and this is coming from the girl who used to order hamburgers and french fries at Mexican restaurants.

To accompany her fabulous meals, she always had salsa - amazing salsa! We would ask her, or more specifically my mom would ask her if she could have the recipe. The answer was always "NO!!!!! It is a family secret." We figured there was a top-secret farm she visited to pick the ripest, yummiest tomatoes, or that her grandmother had passed down a special jar of herbs and spices. We created a mystery around this salsa.

For 2 years we tried to get the recipe...to no avail. One day, she asked if I would like to come over and help get ready for a BBQ they would be having later that day. I was about 10 at the time {old enough to be sneaky and understand what I was doing, but still look innocent}, and as my mom dropped me off at the house, she gave me very specific instructions..."If you make the salsa, you better remember every detail. This is our only chance."

We made the salsa...and the mystery is no more...their is no secret garden, no special bottle of herbs and spices passed down from generation to generation...but I do not care, it is still my favorite and might I add the super-simplest salsa I have ever made. When you see the ingredients, you will be surprised, and you just have to trust me on this, and try it for yourself.

Super Secret Simple Salsa {a.k.a. SSSSalsa}
2 14.5 oz. cans {or 1 large can) organic diced tomatoes {the original recipe calls for 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, but I tend to use these now}
1 4.5 oz can chopped olives
1 7 oz. can chopped green chilies
1-2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder {the original calls for garlic powder...I often use 4 cloves of fresh minced garlic instead}
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T Olive Oil {optional}

Chop the green onions, mince the garlic, crack open all the cans and dump into a bowl...now here is the trick...you must use your {washed!} hands to mix and mash the ingredients together...that is apparently the secret.

Now, I am all about fresh these days...but this salsa is FAB! It does not taste like canned crap {I promise}. I use the right ingredients too....check your labels to make sure the ingredients on the back say the same thing as the label {and you can pronounce them all}.

The salsa is best made 12-24 hours before you need it so the flavors meld together. And apparently, according to my cousins, tastes even better if the prepared salsa is stored in an empty {clean} Skippy Peanut Butter jar. Seriously...when we have a family gathering they think my mom has gypped them if they do not see the Skippy Jar.

For years I have been trying to get my son to try this salsa.."nope, ick, I don't like it." {which is so not him}...until grandma showed up to visit with her Skippy jar...he tried it and came running in the house..."Mom, Grandma makes the best salsa...can you make it some time?" See the Skippy jar is magical.

So that is is the story of how I stole a secret family recipe.
Have you ever stole a secret family recipe?
Do you have your own secret family recipe?

This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre


  1. go Holly, go Holly *imagine me doing some goofy dance move while saying this* Congrats on the dot.com

    I swear that canned tomatoes DO make the best salsa & it's great how she finally let you learn it :o) only thing I don't know is if I could do the olives *eewwww*
    xo MJ

  2. PS the code for the 504 Main button is not complete

  3. When my grandmother died, I took all her handwritten recipes ~ two boxes full. I TOLD everyone I'd get them copies of whatever they wanted. Unfortunately, I can't figure out which of the molasses type cookies is THE family favorite. *sigh* Wish I still baked so I could figure it out. While this wasn't stealing, I do feel as though I've stolen that recipe.

    Give the boxes to someone else to figure it out? Not on your life. I may bake again. Really.

  4. Hahahha! My sister in law sends my nephew around to garnish secrets. I offered to let him watch "Up" the other evening, WITH fresh popcorn, whilst I cooked & prepared in peace and he said "Nah, Mum said I had to watch you to see how you made the lamb chops so nice" Hahhahahah, she is SO busted!

  5. Thank you for being a Salsa secret agent and scoping out this wonderful recipe. It is just in time for Cino de Mayo.
    I love that it uses canned tomatoes. I would think it would use fresh tomatoes, but I am thrilled to see they are canned.
    This means that I don't have to wait to find wonderful summer tomatoes- and I usually have everyting on hand. I love the fact that it is not "dice intensive". I'm not a fan of spending my day chopping things into little bits.
    I'm celebrating Cinco de Mayo at my house tomorrow and the SSSSSalsa will be on the table. Now if I can just transfer the peanut butter to another container...
    Thanks for your culinary under cover work, Secret Agent 504!

  6. We love salsa!! Thanks so much for the recipe :)

  7. Holly you are SO funny! Thank you for sharing - sounds so yummy!! My husband's family does have secret Sicilian family recipes that when I make, my friends ask me for and I feel like the biggest loser that I can't share - but who am I to break the chain? My own recipes of course, I share with the whole universe on my blog! :)

  8. Ha! Love it! I have never stolen a recipe, but I do have a lot of my grandmother's recipes that have been handed down to me.

    The salsa sounds good minus the olives. I pretty much love all things food EXCEPT for olives. My husband, however, covets olives and loves mexican. This may be a salsa for him. Of course, he also covets "burn the roof of your mouth" hot, so I'd probably need to heat it up for him a bit as well.

  9. that's hilarious! We have some secret recipes, from my argentinian grandmother - mostly they are also about supersimple things!

    I'm gonna have to try that skippy jar - thing!

  10. I am saving this recipe to try with my garden tomatoes!
    Does the jar of PB still smell of PB, and is that why it is best for storage? Just curious!

  11. Sounds so yummy! I will be giving this a try. As I am not an olive person, I was wondering if you have tried making it without them?

  12. My sister in law makes this amazing dessert salad that is the favorite dish at every family get-together. I've tried to get the recipe, but to no avail. I'm still trying.

    I'm going to have to try this salsa. Sounds great.

  13. Congrats on the move, Holly! And such perfect timing to talk salsa right before Cinco de Mayo. :) Sounds delish!

  14. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Yes, the secret to fresh salsa is canned (I use petite diced) tomatoes, not garden fresh! Also the cilantro! I'll send you my recipe if you'd like...there are a few more ingredients but to die for!

  15. Lol! That is awesome that she had you steal the recipe :)

    I will definitely have to try it, it does sound so simple.

  16. Your story is too funny! I'm trying this asap! Thanks for sharing this SSSSalsa with us...the secret is safe with me!

  17. Love it. Wonderful post! Perhaps you should moonlight for the CIA.

  18. wow you are moving right along aren't you- I am so happy to see a tablescape but I would love a new one, I miss talking to you- and I have a few questions for you will email you.

  19. So naughty!

    Thank you for sharing the recipe, I can't wait to try it. And I'm going to try the Skippy Jar too!

  20. I'm totally going to print this off and try it! Sounds really easy, and since you promised... it must be amazing! :)

    I love how you put it in a Skippy jar! I kinda feel like I HAVE to do the same, to get the full experience.

    I personally think recipe's are meant to be shared! I have no problem sharing them. Unless I own a restaurant, I see no reason to keep it a secret. I make these snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies, that are technically a secret (as we have a secret ingredient in them) but we still give the recipe out all the time! :)

  21. PS... Congrats on the {dot} com! I noticed that your followers gadget isn't working. Mine did the same thing, so don't worry! It will be up and running again in a couple of days.

  22. Found you on TTA and am so glad I did. Can't wait to try this salsa recipe. Following you!

    Please stop by http://websterupdate.blogspot.com/ sometime and say hello :)

  23. I am one of those who likes to try every different kind of salsa! So I am putting this on the grocery list for sure.


  24. CoNgRaTs on the .com! How exciting! Also, way pumped to try this. I love a good salsa, guac or cheese dip...mmmm. Can we say guilty pleasure?! Plus, seeing as how Skippy PB is the ONLY kind of PB this girl will eat and adore, that step should be no problem-o!
    Heather @ www.savingmoneylivinglife.com

  25. Great post! Sorry I couldn't friend you but I'll stop back to see if the little thingy is working! Love the blog! PS I'm here from TTA, thanks for following me! Beth

  26. I am def making that tomorrow! Thanks for sharing the secret!!!

  27. Great story - I will have to try out your salsa...

  28. Can you believe I've NEVER made my own salsa? But this looks like something I couldn't mess up. Too bad. lol.

  29. I grabbed your new button and added it to my *new* WP blog!

    I have a killer salsa recipe, but yours sounds more yummy. Mine doesn't have olives in it, nor the olive oil.

  30. I am happy to know that my Jedi-Mind Powers worked! I mean...I am glad you couldn't stay away.

    My aunt has secret recipes too. She has a killer recipe for BBQ. And would not share it. So one time my Grandma Jo watched her dear daughter-in-law make it and viola the recipe was ours. I will have to get it from my mom so I can share. It's fantastic. Sticky and sweet! Okay, now I am just drooling.

  31. Holly, I'm not a big fan of salsa, but my wife sure is. I have this printed out now, and she can try it for herself. Thanks.

  32. Sounds good to me!

  33. YOU GO!!! YOU .COM'ER!!!! Congrats! Oh, and I loved this post. Yep - I have a super secret 007 kind of chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'll give you one hint ... the secret ingredient ... corn flakes (FOR REAL!!!) And I haven't met a person (yet) who didn't eat these cookies and LOVE them! Super great post, and CONGRATS again!

  34. Love this sneaky story!!
    Salsa is one of out favorites and I can't wait to try this one!
    Holly thanks for visiting!

  35. This is perfect for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow. (Well today, but you know I don't sleep). I am going to ask everyone to post Mexican themed recipes this week for Share a Spoon. I am making quesadillas for dinner tonight. I think I will add this fresh salsa!

    Thanks for sharing!

  36. haha that is so cute Holly! I love how your Mom had you figure it out for the good of the family! :) Adorable- yummy, that salsa sounds yummmmmyyy! I have a few blogs I try not to go to late at night because it always makes me hungry! Yours is one but my work just blocked all social sites so I now have to visit all blogs at night... so this will be a test of my will power :) Really cute story.

  37. I can even smell it! The olives are what's putting me over the edge. I'll try it! Besides, "people like to say (SSS)Salsa" (remember that from Seinfeld?).

  38. Love me some Salsa!!! Fabulous recipe and I think I will try it.


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