Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Many people believe the pico de gallo — a mix of tomatoes, onions, pepper, and cilantro — served in many Mexican restaurants is the only type of salsa there is.┬áSalsa is, quite simply, Spanish for sauce, and these sauces can be as varied as sauces in any other cuisine.

For fish tacos, nothing beats a fruit-based salsa. I love the flavor of this spicy grilled pineapple salsa. It comes together quickly, and can be used for other dishes as well!

Chile Verde

I love chile verde, and, despite all the steps in the recipe below, it’s pretty easy to make. A long, slow simmer on the stove (or, heck, you could do this in a 225 degree oven, if you prefer) brings lots of flavors together. The pork will be falling apart, and the whole dish is tangy with just a hint of heat.

While pork is traditional, chicken is also an option. My recipe for Chicken Chile Verde is right here.

Chicken Chile Verde

Chile Verde is a green, tangy tomatillo-based salsa or sauce. While you can certainly use the sauce for dipping chips or chilaquiles, I love simmering chicken or pork in the sauce for a quick weeknight stew. I love the addition of jalapeno to the sauce, but it can be omitted if your prefer your food less spicy.

(You can also ramp up the heat by using additional peppers or adding a few dashes of red pepper flakes or chipotle powder.)

There is no need to add a thickener to the salsa — the tomatillos have lots of pectin to do the job.

Individual Nachos

I love nachos, but they don’t love me. If they did, then the platter wouldn’t be so overstuffed with deliciousness! It’s really hard to practice portion control when you’re facing all those chips.

To make my life easier, I love to make individual nachos. These handheld bites have everything that makes a nacho great: crispy corn tortilla chip, meat or beans or both, tangy salsa, cheese, sour cream, olives if you wish. They’re perfect for leftover meats like pulled pork. And, of course, they’re gluten free!

These nachos are also great for parties where you don’t want to serve a big messy platter of food. Figure three chips (or one corn tortilla) per guest, and load them up with your favorite toppings!

Cachapas (Corn Pancakes)

Cachapas are a sweet and savory (and gluten free!) corn pancake from Venezuela. Traditionally, they’re eaten with a bit of butter and melted cheese (just fold them in half and enjoy!). You can customize them however you want, of course. Pulled pork, roasted vegetables, chicken — all make great fillings for your naturally gluten-free corn pancake. Adjust the size of the pancake (and cooking time) accordingly.

I like to serve mine with a simple salsa either directly over the melted cheese or as a dipping sauce on the side.

(Note: this recipe isn’t 100% authentic — I’ve developed it over time based on lots of research.)

Avocado Sauce

I love my avocados any which way. When they’re just ripe, nothing is better than sliced or diced avocado with just a smidge of salt. When they’re starting to soften, they’re perfect for guacamole because they still have a bit of body. And when they’re overly soft?

This amazing sauce. It takes just minutes, and is a great way to utilize avocados that aren’t quite firm enough for any other use. You can adjust the seasonings to suit your personal taste.

I’ve love this sauce with fish tacos, in a cole slaw, and with crab cakes. It also makes a fun salad dressing.

Chicken Chilaquiles

I love leftovers, but sometimes figuring out how to repurpose them is a challenge. Especially when it comes to party leftovers, like, oh, tortilla chips. Oh sure, it’s easy enough eat them in their natural state (and believe me, I do!), but you can only have chips for dinner so often before people start to talk.

Chilaquiles, with or without chicken, are a perfect solution. All you need are gluten-free tortilla chips, salsa, some protein, and a bit of cheese. Or skip the protein. It’s your call. Seriously, this recipe can be modified, reconfigured, or reimagined to suit your every taste and whim.

If you do this right, you are hitting a leftover trifecta: chicken, tortilla chips, and salsa. That’s a win!