Like any self-respecting Southern California native, I don’t mess around when it comes to Mexican food.

Throw me a sloppy burrito and some guacamole, and I will find little to complain about in this life. If I ever asked for a ransom, I might be torn between demanding money or demanding a lifetime supply of cheese enchiladas from Betitos, my favorite restaurant in my hometown. I could go either way.

But all too often, Mexican restaurants put me in a bit of a conundrum. Here is a breakdown of my visit to any and every Mexican restaurant:

  1. They bring out chips and salsa to the table.
  2. I eat my weight in chips and salsa.
  3. I have no room for the entrée I ordered because of the chips and salsa.
  4. I eat the entree anyway despite being full on chips and salsa.
  5. I contemplate why I spend money on anything else besides chips and salsa.

The point here, friends, is chips and salsa are a priority. Life is too short to eat bad chips and salsa.

Which brings us to the moral of our story today.

Make your own salsa. Then eat all of it.

Really, you just need a blender or food processor, and about 15 minutes of your life.

Believe me. Good salsa deserves 15 minutes of your life.

I stole the recipe from here and it’s gloriously simple. Tomatillos, garlic, and canned chipotle chiles en adobo.

Toss the tomatillos and garlic (still in their skin) into a dry, hot, nonstick skillet (if you don’t have nonstick, put foil in the pan). Turn the tomatillos and garlic every couple of minutes. Take the tomatillos out after 10 minutes or so. Remove the garlic five minutes later.

The tomatillos will look like this:

Next, remove garlic skins.

Throw in food processor. Add two chipotle chiles (more if you want it super spicy), and a pinch of salt.

Pulse until the salsa reaches your desired consistency. Pour in your favorite bowl.

Grab your favorite tortilla chips and go to work.

On the spicy scale, this is near my limit. On my scale, 1 would be pico de gallo and a 5 would be anything my Grandpa deems spicy. This salsa is probably a 3. Smoky, spicy, addictive, and oh-so simple.