Everyone loves chips and salsa. It's a snack-time favorite that anyone can enjoy. Most people buy the typical, store-bought brand salsa, but Mike Binegar, Senior Account Manager at United Performance Metals, out of Hamilton, Ohio, prefers to make his own. About ten years ago, after being dissatisfied with store-bought salsa, Binegar created his own recipe.
Binegar has always enjoyed cooking and even does about 90% of the cooking at his house. He especially enjoys summer-time cooking where he can grill out and experiment with new marinades. When he first started making batches of salsa, it was just for personal use; however, employees of UPM, customers, and even local restaurants have come to love his recipe.
What is it that makes Binegar's salsa so good? "The secret is in the mix," he says. His recipe includes tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, cilantro, and a mix of peppers. The amount and selection of peppers depends on how spicy the salsa batch is being made. There are jalepenos, chiles, super chiles, cayans, and habaneros if it is a hot batch. Binegar makes mild, medium, and hot salsa selections.
Around the UPM office, mostly everyone wants mild, but some can't even stand that much heat. Others, like Pumma Carvalho, Assistant Controller, and Ray Miranda, Nickel and Specialty Product Manager, enjoy the spice. Binegar says that Justin Spoerl, Regional Account Manager, begs for more heat, saying that the salsa can't be made "too hot."
As for the best tortilla chips to go with Binegar's salsa, most people say Tostito's Scoops; however, Binegar says that for added flavor, Cosco sells tortilla strips that are great. "They gave great texture and aren't too heavy," he explains. Also, the perfect meal to use this salsa in is Binegar's version of "Mexican meatloaf." This recipe is very similar to regular meatloaf, but instead of adding onions, put the salsa in instead and smother the meatloaf in the salsa as well.
Binegar's salsa has not solely become famous around the UPM office. A few years back, the company decided to professionally can 55 gallons of salsa and send it to 350 customers for Christmas. This is when Binegar began to mass produce his salsa. He now makes about ten gallons a week and six gallons are used for general sales. Also, his salsa is used at two local restaurants, Wings and Rings and Gina's, an Italian restaurant, in Hamilton.
Posted July 30, 2012
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