Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chunky Garden Salsa for Canning

Deep Breath! I opened my last jar of last year's salsa and the tomatoes have been ripening on the vine. It is time to can salsa. This is no one day project for me. I need lots of salsa. Because this is no short process and totally a labor of love, this post is going to be a little lengthy. And so I bring you my salsa recipe with a couple words of warning. Once you have had your own freshly canned salsa you will never ever go back to that store bought stuff again. You will not be able to stomach it. You will be forever enslaved over the stove every Fall as you stock up on your own salsa version. Here is mine. It is my own recipe and definitely has some secret ingredients that I promise to share with you. It has some heat but it is definitely not in the upper heat ranges. I would say it is medium. I recently updated my recipe to include the safe amounts of citric acid, a.k.a vinegar or lemon or lime juice, needed for canning salsa with veggies.

Secret #1: Use a variety of tomatoes. Some recipes call for all paste or romas. But where is the fun in that? Every tomato variety has a different flavor, texture and acidity. The more varieties you use the more complex your salsa flavor. I used 4th of July, beefsteak and Mr. Stripey tomatoes this year because that is what I had access to. I also always add one or two yellow tomatoes to my salsa. If you don't have the yellows in your garden visit your local farmer's market.

Secret #2 Tomatillos. I always and I mean always add six or seven tomatillos to each salsa batch. In the past I have grown tomatillos but this year I didn't. So, I bought some from a lady at the Farmer's Market who had three different varieties. Was I ever giddy. The tomatillos add a lemony zing to the salsa.

Secret #3 I substituted some of my vinegar with lime juice.

Salsa Directions Makes 9 to 10 pints
18 to 20 Cups of tomatoes,scalded peeled and cored (use a variety) .
6 or 7 tomatillos, chopped (pepery husk removed)
3 jalapenos, finely chopped (1 with seeds) you can devein and seed the other two if you want. Use caution when chopping peppers. Do not touch your face or use gloves.
2 green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 anaheim peppers (seeded) chopped
2 - 12 oz cans of tomato paste
4 medium yellow or white onions finely chopped
4 TB salt
1 Tb black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Cup vinegar
1/2 Cup lime juice or lemon juice
3/4 TB cumin
3/4 Tb oregano
1/2 Tb chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)

Prepare tomatoes by placing in boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds.Remove from boiling water and plunge into ice water. Peel skins by breaking skin with a knife and sliding off. Remove blemishes and upper core. Chop over large stock pot. Add remaining ingredients.

Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add to warm canning jars. (I keep my clean jars in the dishwasher and run the rinse cycle again right before using.) Leave a 1/2 inch head space. Wipe jar rim with clean paper towel and add two piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on a kitchen towel for 24 hours. Check for seal. Remove outer rings. Wipe any leaks or spills and store.

Tip: Wipe down your chopping area with milk when finished to neutralize any juices from those potent chilies.

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Miriam said...

Looks wonderful! Pity we can't get hold of tomatillos here in Spain.

Jessie said...

hmmm I must try this simply because we're huge fans of salsas here, I will give the canning method a shot!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

The salsa sounds delicious! Thanks for all the tips! I really want to get into canning next year, so I'm collecting as many recipes and tips as I can... Thanks!


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