Thursday, August 19, 2010

Salsa Boy Helps Open the Canning Season

Our nephew Chase is a connoisseur of sorts. This guy knows salsa. He tells me he can go through a jar of store bought salsa in a day or two. Chips and salsa are his go to food. Last week he and Tina made fresh pico de gallo. I watched. They chopped tomatoes, red onion, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño. And then they ate, all of it, save a bite or two for Chase to take home.

This got me thinking, Chase might like to can salsa. While I am an avid seasoned canner, I have never canned salsa before. It wasn't so much the canning that had me stumped, it was a recipe. I had enjoyed the best salsa ever from my friend Heidi. Lucky me, she was more than willing to share her recipe.

Now Chase is a good worker and he was excited about the idea but I decided to do a fair amount of prepping prior to his arrival. I peeled and seeded 12 pounds of Roma tomatoes, diced 6 onions, four multi-colored peppers and all the jalapeño peppers prior to his arrival. He still had to help dice the tomatoes, and chop the parsley and cilantro once he arrived.

This was a kitchen adventure to be sure and Chase is leaving with 11 pints of fresh homemade salsa he made and canned himself. He would be leaving with 12 pints but we have already polished off a jar.

Heidi's Salsa with influences from Chase!

10 pounds Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (we used 12)
2 cans of tomato paste to thicken at the end
6 large onions, diced
7 jalapeños minced
16 bulbs of garlic, more if you like
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 cups of white vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar
4 multi-colored peppers, green yellow, red, orange
one bunch each of chopped parsley and cilantro
ground red pepper and cumin to taste

Combine everything in a large pot and bring to a boil, simmer for about 45 minutes then add the tomato paste to thicken, continue to simmer another 15 minutes or so. Pack into pint sized jars and process for 15 minutes in a water bath canner.

Tips: I peeled and seeded the tomatoes the day before we made the salsa and kept them in a strainer in the fridge over night with a plate and a heavy heavy container on top to promote draining as much liquid out of the tomatoes as possible. Wear gloves when working with the jalapeño peppers.


GF Gidget said...

Cooking with kids is such a rewarding, worthwhile venture!

Jill said...

I used serrano peppers for a bit more heat than jalapenos give. I think I'll leave out the tomato paste next time--it added too much sweetness for my taste and I didn't really need the thickening power. Also, I used beefsteak tomatoes since that's what I had on hand (could explain the sweetness too).