I don't usually ask for recipes when I dine out because I subscribe to the “don't try this at home” theory.
And when I DO ask for a recipe, it's usually because I want to share it with my readers.
I know that the chances of MY actually trying to prepare something that I have had at a five star restaurant next to zero.
To start with, my Hong Kong style kitchen is tiny. Plus there's the cleanup. Besides, why should I go to the trouble of doing something myself when I can pay something else to do it for me? Still, there are exceptions. During my recent visit to Bali, I spent three wonderful days and nights at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa, one of the island's first five star resorts.
On my second night, I had cocktails with the hotel's general manager, Reto Torriani. He wanted to show off the hotel's smoked cocktails, and I couldn't keep my hands off the tortilla chips and salsa.
I come from California, so I have pretty high standards when it come to salsa. And this salsa was dynamite. Which is NOT to say that it was especially hot.
I've had far spicier salsa in my day, but this version had depth and nuance, and there was an unusual ingredient that I simply couldn't put my finger on.
When Geoff Clark Executive Chef, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, stopped by to say hello, I asked him for the recipe (half expecting him to say it was a secret). His assistant emailed it to me a couple of days later, and I DO plan on trying this at home.
And I can assure you: you will NEVER guess what the secret ingredient is. Actually, there were TWO secret ingredients, and anyone trying this is California would probably get lynched.
Salsa Cruda – Ingredients
- 70 g red capsicum (bell pepper)
- 70 yellow capsicum
- 70 green capsicum
- 50 g red onion
- 50 g tomato, flesh skin on
- 2 ml tobasco
- 20 g sugar
- 5 g salt
- 75 ml tomato ketchup
- 50 ml lemon juice
Salsa Cruda – Method
- Cut capsicum, onion, and tomato into ½ cm dice
- Mix altogether and check seasoning
- Serve fresh same day, DON'T KEEP.
Author: Geoff Clark
I like Tabasco Sauce as much as the next person, but I have walked out of Mexican restaurants that have bottles of Tabasco Sauce on the table. To me, this is a red flag: "La comida aqui no es autentica!"
That was the SECOND secret ingredient. The first was tomato ketchup.
Now who would have thought?