Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Zesty Salsa

The last couple of weeks I've been canning tomatoes. So far I've done two kinds of salsa and spaghetti sauce.  I thought I'd share my go-to salsa recipe. It's called Zesty Salsa and it's out of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.

Zesty Salsa
Makes about 6 pints
10 cups chopped, seeded, peeled, cored tomatoes (about 6 pounds)
5 cups chopped, seeded long green peppers (about 2 pounds) *I use aneheim peppers*
5 cups chopped onions (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2-1/2 cups chopped,seeded  hot peppers (about 1 pound) *I use 3 and leave some of the seeds*
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp salt
1 1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
  Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot, adding hot pepper sauce, if desired. Bring mixture toa boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Note: when cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.  

The recipes from The Ball Blue Book of Preserving are now online at the Ball website.  The recipe has been altered slightly and instructions are more specific than what is in my book.

 The first thing I do when canning salsa is wash my jars. 

Then I put a pot of water on to boil.  I also get my water-bath canner filled, but I don't turn on the heat yet for that.

Then I get out all my ingredients and supplies.  I hate to stop my momentum just to find something. (That happens enough with the kids.)

Next, put some tomatoes in your boiling water.  Let sit for a minute or until the skins start to split.  I use a slotted spoon to take them from the hot water and into the strainer (You'll want to keep using that hot water and not drain it.)  Run cold water over or let them sit until they're cool enough to handle. Then you'll core, peel, seed and chop the tomatoes. I use my food processor for all chopping.  Then place in big pot. Repeat with all your tomatoes.

Chop and seed peppers and onions too. Add to pot. FYI: if you leave some of the seeds from the jalepeno's then you'll get more heat.  I usually include the seeds of one or two.

Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

At this point I try to clean up the kitchen a little so it's not so overwhelming when I'm all done.

Next, using a ladle, fill your jars.  I have a canning funnel that helps a lot.

Make sure you wipe off the rims of your jars in order to ensure a good seal.

I also boil my lids in water. It softens the rubber so it can seal well. Since I've started doing this I've not had one can not seal.  I also layer them as pictured so they all don't stick together.   Put lids and rings on can and place in water canner.  Make sure your jars are covered with at least an inch of water.  Once water is at a full boil start your timer.  If you don't maintain a boil the entire time you need to start the time over.  The time to process for this recipe is 15 minutes, but because of the altitude where I live I process for 20 minutes. 

Remove and let cool. I read somewhere that it's important to let them sit where they are for at least 24 hours to maintain a good seal.  Then I always wipe down the jars before storing them.

This salsa has just enough kick to make it good, but my kids can still eat it. (The one's who aren't too picky to try it:)

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