Friday, August 7, 2009

Making Salsa

Mom and I spent yesterday making salsa.

We started with this:
(The garlic and the bells peppers were purchased at my local farmer's market but the tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno peppers are out of my garden.)

Mom squishing up the tomatoes.

Me stirring, and stirring, and stirring.

The finished product:

We had a fun day working together and ended up with fifteen jars of salsa.

Here's the recipe:

12 cups peeled, squished tomatoes (drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water until the skins split (about 30 seconds), remove to a large shallow pan to cool and the peels will come right off. Also, it works well to squish the tomatoes and remove some of the excess juice from them before you put them in the cooking pot. The more watery juice there is, the longer you will have to cook it down.)
2 large onions, diced
2 cups bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 jalapeno peppers, diced (if you like it hot, leave the seeds; lessen the heat by lessening the seeds. I say leave the seeds or this turns out very mild.)
6 cloves garlic, chopped
Add the following ingredients after you have skimmed off the excess watery juice:
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl. salt

Wash your jars in the dishwasher and leave them there until needed (or boil them for ten minutes or so in your canning pot.)

Mix all the vegetables in a large, heavy pot, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer. Using a spoon, begin skimming off the excess water/broth into a heat-proof bowl (you can let this cool then freeze it for soup starter). After you've removed most of the excess water, add the cider vinegar, sugar, and salt. Continue to simmer. Stir frequently to keep the salsa from scorching on the bottom of the pan.

If you sterilized the jars in the dishwasher, now is the time to start the water boiling in the canning pot. If you sterilized your jars in the canner you should already have water boiling in there.

When the salsa begins to thicken, set a small pan of water to boil; place the lids and rings in the boiling water for five minutes. When you've removed a good bit of the excess water and the salsa is fairly thick, spoon it into the sterilized jars (a sterilized funnel is a big help here), then cover with the boiled lids and rings. Place jars in the canner and boil for 12-15 minutes. (The original recipe does not call for the boiling in the canner but I do it anyway as a precaution against any mistake I might make in getting my equipment sterilized. I really don't want to kill my peeps.)

When you remove the jars from the canner, Remove the rings and wipe the jars clean. Listen for the tell-tale ping of each lid as it pops down and creates a seal that lets you know your food is safe. Any half jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used first, or else eaten right away as a taste test. Don't be alarmed at how mild it is - the flavors ripen with age and it gets a little thicker, too.

No comments: