Thursday, August 30, 2012

Salsa Salsa Salsa!!!

I promised I'd be back soon with the salsa "recipe" we used while we canned about 15 quarts of salsa and I'm here.  Now please note that I used the word "recipe" in quotes for a reason, I think the more appropriate terminology would be this is the "Salsa Go-By".   I cannot say for sure on the exact measurements because every batch was a bit different and everybody likes their salsa different.  You have to make yours the way you like so let's just get started okay??!!

First things first, here is the printable for the recipe   Oh and you'll need about 40 lbs of tomatoes, give or take.  :0)  I think we're overachievers in this house, don't you??

Some of the items you'll need pictured above but you'll need all of this for each batch:
About 15 medium tomatoes, peeled & cored
6 green onions, sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
1 serrano pepper, diced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp- 2 Tbsp lime juice
4-6 sloshes Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1/2 large onion, diced
1-2 Tbsp fajita seasoning
Two 8 oz cans Ro*Tel tomato sauce
10 oz can Ro*Tel tomatoes

This is some amazing stuff I've never seen or used before and it's awesomesauce!
Like literally.....Awesome Sauce!

I just included this so you would know this is where we jumped ship from the original recipe and started tweaking it a bit.

Let's get started on those tomatoes.

Just use that apple corer to core them.

Find someone who loves salsa and you dearly to start peeling the tomatoes.
Note: you can do the blanch method but we just peeled.

and peeled.

While someone else is peeling you can toss the green onions, jalapeños, Serrano, garlic, lime juice, Tabasco, cilantro, salt, onion, fajita seasoning into the food processor and grind it up really good

Dump it into the big pot on the stove and add in the vinegar, Ro*Tel sauce and tomatoes and start warming up the mixture slowly.

Now you can start chopping up those tomatoes and add those to the pot.
We like thin salsa so we processed them pretty fine.

Here the salsa is all mixed up and ready to cook.

It's cooking away on the stove: you need to bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  You can skim the foam if you need to but we didn't have any foam on the salsa, just the regular tomatoes.

After it cooks you are going to ladle it into HOT jars (we used quart jars) leaving a 1/2" headspace.
Put your warm lids and rings on the jars fingertip tight.

Don't touch the lids. This is the sanitary portion of the process.

I used tongs but there are also little canning magnetic gadgets that you can use.

Pop those in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
Then remove to rest on a clean towel on the counter for 24 hours.
Check seals after 24 hours.   
Label the jars with the date and if the salsa is mild, medium or hot.

Repeat the process until you are all done, ingredient wise or tired wise.
By the way, the tired will come long before you run out of ingredients. Oh and your kitchen will be hot and messy!! Just deal with it and remember you grandmother probably didn't even have air conditioning in the house when she was canning her summer stock!!! 

Disclaimer: please don't bother to email me or comment that this is quite possibly the worst excuse for a canning tutorial you've ever seen.  It's not a canning tutorial, I am not nor will I ever profess to be an awesome canner!!  I can only strive to be half as good as my grandmother and mama, my husbands grandmother and mother and other many more talented women and men out there.  I simply wished to share with you the basic recipe for our salsa.  PLEASE research proper canning methods and techniques.   It's not difficult but there are important guidelines to follow for proper storage of food.

But most of all I want to tell you, find a canning buddy, turn on some music, have fun and preserve the bounty of produce that we are fortunate enough to have in this country.   Buy your produce from your local farmers, farmers market, co-op, neighbor or grow your own or heck...even the grocery or warehouse store.   You know what your family is eating and believe me, there is nothing like fresh canned tomatoes in January!!!   
We did about 8 quarts of fresh tomatoes and this is the Ball recipe we used for those.

This Saturday we are picking up 24 lbs. of peaches from the co-op.   It's going to be peaches and peach jelly this weekend!!!     Did your grandparents say they were canning or "putting up".  I always heard "We put up 20 quarts of green beans this week".  You know life and language was so much less complicated back then.  What is your favorite thing to can or eat?

Mine is plum jelly.  My mom and the neighbors would gather the little red plums from the trees in our backyard and make Red Plum Jelly.  I cannot begin to explain to you how the mere sight or taste of that takes me back to being a little girl on Bichon Lane.   ahhhh....memories!!!

Peace, Love & "Put Up" Yummies!!

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