Canning is a great thing to do in the kitchen! It is a lot of work, but when you have recipes and foods you love, it is the perfect way to have them in your pantry year round...especially in climates like ours where winter kills off all of our garden fresh goodness we enjoy all summer!
We have tried a few of different salsa recipes, but this one tops them all. It is thick and not watery (like many home canned salsas). It has so much flavor from the roasted peppers and a little kick, but not a burn your mouth kick that keeps you coming back from more...in fact, we can't stop eating it. This salsa is an excuse to make all dishes Mexican in our house right now. I hope we will still have enough in the pantry before the cold hits to last us through until our fall harvest next year!
As I've said before in previous canning posts, canning supplies are pretty easy to find at your local grocery store or Wal-mart. We use the water bath canning method and use our Kerr brand Ball jars. Canning supply sets usually include a set of can tongs, a spatula (to eliminate air bubbles), and a wide mouth funnel.
This recipe makes 5-7 pint sized jars of salsa.
8 lbs. tomatoes (we have used a variety of types...they have all turned out really well)
2 1/2 C peppers (Anaheim, bell, jalapenos, garden salsa...the combinations are endless...just make sure you know the heat level of your peppers [with and without seeds] - this is what really affects the spiciness of your batch of salsa)
2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped cilantro (about 1/2 of a grocery store bunch)
1/2 C fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 C white vinegar
3 oz. tomato paste
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
3 tsp kosher salt
1/2 TBSP paprika
*As with all home canning, make sure your jars are sterilized (washed on a hot cycle in the dishwasher or in warm soapy water by hand) before use.*
**The first couple steps of roasting the peppers are optional. You can use regular, unroasted peppers if you would like...just chop them to the desired size. If possible though, I would not skip the roasting step...it gives the salsa a depth of flavor you will otherwise not get. **
Roast the selection of peppers on the grill or in the oven (it is a really quick process) until the roasted sides are charred.
Remove the seeds (if desired) and chop the peppers to the desired size for the salsa.
Wash the tomatoes and core them (removing the stems and hard core).
In a large saucepan, bring at least 4" of water to a boil (it needs to allow for the tomatoes to sit in).
Place the tomatoes in a single layer (this will have to be done multiple times to finish all the tomatoes) in the water and boil them until the skins start to crack (about 45 seconds-1 minute).
Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and immediately immerse them in an ice bath.
Drain the tomatoes in a large colander.
Remove all of the tomatoes skins (they should now easily peel off).
Chop the tomatoes into coarse chunks (this is not the final shape or size so you don't have to be too precise) and put them back into a colander. Allow them to sit and strain for 30 minutes.
Move the tomatoes to a large pot (one that can hole the entire batch of salsa) and bring them to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer them, uncovered for about 1/5 hours.
Add all of the remaining ingredients.
Return the salsa to a boil and then reduce back down to a simmer and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove the salsa from the heat.
Bring enough water to cover your cans in your canning water bath to a boil.
Ladle the hot salsa into the hot, sterilized jars (make sure there is a 1/2" headspace in each jar).
Wipe the rims of the jars and hand tighten the lids onto the tops.
Process the jars in your water bath for 15 minutes (the time starts after you have placed the jars in the boiling water and the water comes back up to a boil).
When the jars are done processing, remove them and allow them to cool on a cooling rack or a towel. They have sealed when you hear the trademark "pop" of the seal on the jar!
Be sure to label the tops of the jars.
Store the finished jars in a cool, dry place.
As with most canned foods, this salsa is best consumed within one year of the canned date.
This recipe is adapted from thebaldgourmet.com.