If you’re ever invited to dinner with the Lopps 9 times out of 10 we’ll probably be having tacos, taco salads, fajitas, tostadas and any other way we can throw meat on a tortilla. Of course no Mexican dish is complete without salsa and since I can eat salsa by the spoonfuls I’m canning salsa like a squirrel hordes acorns for the winter!
I was so excited to find some great canning recipes in my July issue of Better Homes and Gardens. They had all kinds of great tips as well so if you missed out you should really see if you can get a back order or borrow someone who has a subscription. I was so impressed with their photos and detailed descriptions I decided to give their Chunky Tomato Salsa a try.
STAGE 1: Prepare Tomatoes
Seed, core and coarsely chop tomatoes (about 15 cups). Feel free to make the tomatoes as chunky as you prefer. You can also plan on throwing your salsa into the blender before serving so that you don’t have to chop the tomatoes into bite size pieces, which can be very time consuming. Place tomatoes in a large colander and let drain for 30 minutes.
Using a 7-8 qt. pot, bring tomatoes to a boil and reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
* I would recommend preparing stage 2 while stage 1 is cooking. Chopping all the ingredients is very time consuming and may take the entire hour and half to prepare.
STAGE 2: Combine all Ingredients
Add chopped peppers, onions, lime juice, vinegar, tomato paste, minced garlic, cumin seeds, and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes and remove from heat.
Stir in cherry tomatoes (halved) and cilantro.
STAGE 3: Presterilize the jars
Using a boiling water canner (or large pot) boil 2-4 inches of water. Once boiling, slowly lower the jars one at a time with a canning rack (or with grilling tongs) and let boil for 2-5 minutes. Pull jars out and set aside.
STAGE 4: Fill jars with Salsa
Use a ladle or a glass liquid measuring cup to pour salsa into each hot, clean jar along with a canning funnel. Leave a 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Wipe jar rims and top with lids immediately.
* Grandma always has a wet rag handy to help hold onto hot, wet jars.
STAGE 5: Preserve the Salsa
Process the salsa in a boiling water canner (or large pot) for 15 minutes. Start timing when water returns to a boil. Remove jars and let cool for 24 hours on a cooling rack.
* Recipe says it makes about 5 pint jars, my salsa filled 4 quart jars…good luck on that one!
STAGE 6: Cool and Store the Jars
Remove jars and let cool for 24 hours on a cooling rack.
*Do not test lid tops until after 24 hours. Any jars that have lids pop back up after 24 hours will need to be kept in the refrigerator.
Just like our pickles, the final display is yet another colorful piece to keep your kitchen bright and fresh for those winter months! It’s hard to imagine that these may make great gifts for Christmas when people are looking for a good excuse to warm things up a bit!
• 8 lbs. ripe tomatoes (about 16)
• 2 cups seeded and chopped Anaheim or poblano chile peppers (2 to 3)
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno chile peppers (2 large)
• 2 cups chopped onions (2 large)
• 1/2 cup lime juice
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• 1/2 of a 6-oz can (1/3 cup) tomato paste
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
• 3 cups yellow or green cherry tomatoes, halved
• 3/4 cup torn fresh cilantro (or to taste)
• 4 quart jars w/ lids
• 2 large pots (I use an actual boiling water canner but you can use a large pot to preserve the salsa. Just make the sure the pot is tall enough to cover 1 inch of the jars with boiling water).
• cake cooling rack (old cookie sheet)
• wet rag
* Recipe taken from the July 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens
Wishing you the best of luck and in case things don’t turn out, let me know…I may have a couple of extra jars laying around.
From the Farm
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