Who spent yesterday sitting on the couch in their comfy clothes, watching all of the football games, and eating their weight in glorious game day grub?!
*enthusiastically raises hand*
I love football season.
I feel like I’m legally obligated to love the game purely based on my Pittsburgh roots. Pittsburghers eat and breathe Steeler football. The city, with the exception of the bars and restaurants, pretty much shuts down in honor of the black and gold every single Sunday.
And while the game can be incredibly entertaining, I think we can all agree that sometimes the action on the field comes second to the delicious food that accompanies it.
I mean, come on. Fries, pizza, dips, chips…I’m convinced that the game of football is just an excuse to eat all the things.
I wanted to be just like my dad when I was younger, so I obviously wanted to be as big of a Steeler fan as he was. We’d go Steeler-crazy, sporting our favorite black and gold shirts, sitting in our “lucky spots” on the couch, and chest-bumping after every touchdown. We were a bit of a mess, but I loved every minute of it.
As part of our game day ritual, we would always make some impressive football-watchin’ food. Our favorite being nachos. We’d pile our tortilla chips with ground beef, bright yellow queso dip, some spicy salsa, and shredded cheese. And we’d often have two giant servings.
Yes, this definitely wasn’t the smartest food decision, but daaaaaaaaannnnnnggggg was it tasty.
In honor of my mission to making classic recipes healthier, I’ve decided to make this little number for your game day dipping pleasure. Allow me to introduce you to my Sweet and Spicy Game Day Salsa, a dip made from whole foods that’s simple to make and insanely addictive.
I actually adapted this recipe from Mark’s dad, who makes some of the best salsa on the planet by using ingredients from his very own garden. He was kind enough to share his sacred salsa recipe (+ some of his favorite ingredients) with me. And while I put my own little spin on the recipe, the essence of “Tom’s Salsa” still remains.
As the name of this recipe implies, this salsa’s crazy awesome flavor is two-fold: sweet and spicy. To get the perfect balance of flavors, we’re going to need a few special ingredients:
Your sweet ingredients
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: If you’ve ever had the pleasure of biting into a tomato in the peak of their season, you know just how sweet a tomato can be. Add some fire to the mix, and tomatoes become even sweeter than candy. These fire-roasted tomatoes add such a unique depth of flavor to this salsa…it’s perfect.
- Tomato Paste: If tomatoes are like candy, tomato paste is like creme brûlée. Tomato paste is just concentrated tomato, so you know that it’s going to add some terrific sweetness to our salsa.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: I was surprised to see this tangy ingredient in Tom’s Salsa, but it does a terrific job of taming the heat and accentuating the sweet. I added an entire 1/4 cup, but you can add less if your tomato ingredients are especially sweet.
Your spicy ingredients
- Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers: These beautifully yellow peppers come straight from Mark’s dad’s garden. While they definitely pack some heat into this salsa, they also add just a hint of sweetness. I’ve seen these peppers at my grocery store, but if you can’t find them, banana peppers will work in a pinch!
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo: My FAVORITE ingredient! These chipotle peppers are spicy in a deep, dark, and dreamy kind of way; however, spice is just the tip of the flavor iceberg here. The adobo sauce is spicy, sweet, and smoky, so it compliments all of the flavors in our salsa. Chipotles in Adobo have such unique flavor; you’ll definitely be able to taste the difference using this magical ingredient!
There are so many flavors happening here! You’ll absolutely need this Sweet and Spicy Game Day Salsa at your next game day celebration. A chip full of this flavorful dip is all you’ll need to have a perfect football Sunday!Print
Sweet and Spicy Game Day Salsa
- 3 14.5-oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 12 Hungarian hot wax peppers (banana peppers will work in a pinch)
- 1/2 vidalia onion
- 3–5 chipotle peppers in adobo + 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce
- 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- Open fire-roasted tomatoes, and pour into a colander to remove some of the water. Once drained, add them to your food processor and pulse 3-5 times.
- Add olive oil and tomatoes to a large pot over low heat and stir. Cover the pot with a lid. Be sure to stir this mixture every couple of minutes – salsa tends to burn if you don’t keep your eye on it.
- Stem and seed Hungarian hot wax peppers and cut into large chunks. Add them to your food processor.
- Chop onion into large chunks, and add it to your food processor.
- Dice chipotle peppers, and add them and 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce to your food processor. Pulse your peppers and onion mixture 3-5 times, or until your desired chunkiness has been achieved. We like our salsa on the chunkier side. Add mixture to the pot, stir, and cover.
- Add tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, oregano, and chili powder to the pot, stir, and cover.
- Raise heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes. Remember to stir your mixture every few minutes.
- After 20 minutes, reduce heat to low, and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until your desired texture has been achieved. Remember to stir your mixture every few minutes.
- Enjoy hot, cold, or at room temperature – the salsa will taste different at different temperatures! Store extras in a glass container in the fridge.
This recipe was lovingly adapted from Tom’s Salsa.
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