Pace Picante Salsa Knockoff

Welcome to Slow Cooker Sunday! Plug in and chill out on the laziest day of the week.

My brother and I had a ritual every day after school. We'd come home and blast into the huge Costco bag of tortilla chips and the jug of Pace Picante sauce with the built-in handle. Every day. We’d pour salsa into a bowl, eat it as fast as possible, one chip following the next, not stopping until we reached complete chip override, a 10-minute feeding frenzy as intense as Cheerios dumped in a lake of carp. I tasted Pace recently: It had lost its addictive edge. The cooked salsa I once thought was so good now just tastes like sugar and salt mixed with stewed tomatoes. This recipe is my attempt to re-create the Pace Picante of memory. It’s pretty close!

Slow Cooker Picante Salsa
Makes approximately 10 cups

3 1/2 pounds tomatoes (I used heirloom tomatoes because they are so great right now), cored
1 large red onion, peeled and cut in half
4 to 10 jalapeños (choose your heat), stems removed
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons white vinegar

Step 1: Broil the tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and garlic in the oven until the peppers get blackened, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on your oven.

Step 2: Using tongs, transfer the broiled ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

Step 3: Use tongs to transfer the ingredients to a blender. Add the salt and vinegar. Pulse until the salsa reaches your desired consistency. Be careful not to blend it into sauce—you want there to be little chunks!

Photos and styling by Chris Rochelle