This week I decided to make salsa. I love love love chips and salsa. I was craving salsa, and just happened to find a recipe on “Pinterest” for “Chili’s copycat salsa.” I LOVE Chili’s salsa. When we go out to eat, (which isn’t very often), Chili’s is usually one of the restaurants we pick from. For starters, it’s in a shopping complex that we frequent quite often. Out here in the sticks, it’s “slim pickins” when it comes to restaurants and shopping. So we usually schlep to either Hall Road (everything is on Hall road), 23 Mile and Gratiot in Chesterfield, or 26 Mile and Van Dyke in Shelby Township. All three locations have some of our favorite stores, and decent restaurants to choose from. When we go to the Shelby Township area, we usually eat at Chili’s. Our choice of restaurant is almost always dictated by their children’s menu. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows our son Ryan. The kid eats nothing, so we need to make sure the restaurant we choose has “Ryan friendly cuisine.” Well fortunately Chili’s makes the cut when it comes to Ryan’s palate. We usually get chips and salsa as an appetizer, because all of us will eat it. Let me rephrase…Dan, Victoria, and I will eat chips and salsa. Ryan of course doesn’t eat salsa, but he will munch on the tortilla chips.
I don’t remember eating chips and salsa until I was in my teen’s. I believe the first time I ever had chips and salsa was at “Chi Chi’s.” I loved that restaurant. I was actually a bit sad when they closed…it was such a nostalgic restaurant for me. When I was a kid, after my Dad left the restaurant business, he worked for a produce company. His delivery route included a Chi Chi’s restaurant in East Lansing. When I went away to college (GOOOOOO STATE), my Dad routinely would bring me a HUGE tin filled with Chi Chi’s chips, and he’d also get me a few jars of their salsa. I loved it. My college roomies loved it too! We’d munch on the chips and salsa until the tin was empty, and then my Dad would have it refilled. Additionally, my Dad got a few complimentary meal cards, and gave them to me so I could eat for free when I went to Chi Chi’s. This worked out great as when Dan would come to visit on the weekends, we had somewhere to go and have dinner for free. As a family, we ate at Chi Chi’s a lot. I remember having birthday, anniversary, and graduation dinners there. Also, when Dan and I would go out to dinner with friends, we’d usually pick Chi Chi’s. When we got older, Chi Chi’s was still a popular choice as we loved to sip margaritas while we enjoyed the chips and salsa…YUM! As far as salsa is concerned, Chi Chi’s salsa was my absolute favorite for years. Then some time in the late 90’s, they changed their recipe. Unfortunately, I wasn’t crazy about the new and improved version. I scoured the grocery store shelves, and stocked up on the old tried and true recipe whenever I could find it.
Chi Chi’s salsa remained my favorite salsa until I was introduced to Garden Fresh Salsa. Our good friends Connie and Dave Tolfree opened a restaurant in Pinckney, and they had a chips and salsa bar! O.M.G. it was delicious. It was at their restaurant that I had the opportunity to sample all the Garden Fresh Salsa flavors, and I was instantly converted. My favorite flavors were and still are Jack’s Special, and Mango/Peach. If you haven’t ever tried Garden Fresh salsa, next time you are at the grocery store pick some up. I love love love that they are a Michigan based company, and I for one do my part to keep them in business. I have only attempted to make salsa once in my life. My good friend Tia makes a really yummy salsa, and so does my good friend and partner in crime Sheila, aka Shirley. In the fall, Shirl taught me how to make salsa and how to can. I haven’t attempted to can on my own yet, but when I do, I am sure I will make her salsa again…super yummy!
It was with that sentiment that I tried this salsa recipe. I wanted to make salsa again, but I don’t have any canning supplies. Therefore I searched Pinterest and came across this copy cat recipe. I love love love copy cat recipes. I wish I was clever enough to replicate some of my favorite restaurant recipes on my own. Until then however, I will gladly scour the internet for already replicated copy cat recipes and try my hand at those. This salsa was super simple and simply delicious. It made quite a big batch too. I actually questioned whether or not I should freeze a portion for a later time as I was uncertain whether we could eat it all. Well we did eat it all. In fact I think I ate it all by myself. I had chips and salsa, and veggies and salsa with almost every meal. I made the salsa on Monday evening, and it was completely gone by Wednesday afternoon! I am definitely going to make more for the weekend… and this time I think I’ll share. ☺
Here is the link to the recipe I used: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/11/chilis-copycat-salsa-recipe.html
I pretty much followed the recipe as listed. I used canned organic diced tomatoes, dried minced onion, 1/4 cup of sliced jalapenos, and I didn’t add extra salt. This salsa is delicious and this recipe will definitely be my “go to” salsa recipe from now on.