Thursday, September 9, 2010

Summer Salsa

1/2 bushel of tomatoes (I fill up my sink twice to measure)
10 aneheim peppers
5-10 jalapenos - depending on how hot you like it. I put 10 in for a medium kick.
6 green peppers
5 onions
3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp dried, crushed red peppers

1. Remove the skins from the tomatoes, then chop everything up and put it in a HUGE pot (mine is 22 quarts, but I only fill it half to three quarters of the way up).

2. Put a bunch of this fresh mixture in a container - you can't beat this. I've tried to make a small batch of this recipe just for this fresh stuff, and it never tastes as good.

3. Boil the rest until it's as thick as you like it. (To save time in this step I squeeze all the tomatoes before I chop them to get most of the juice out. Then I only have to boil it about 20 minutes). If you don't squeeze them out, you might be boiling for 4 hours.

4. Put into jars, and process the quart sized ones for 35 minutes. (I've never done pint sized ones, so I'm not sure on the time.)

** Thanks for sharing your recipe with me Jo!! It's the best one I've tasted! **

My Tips for Canning Salsa:

- Look for a canning accessory kit - the magnetic lid picker-upper, and the jar picker-upper (looks like some funky tongs), as well as a funnel are SO nice to have when doing a big batch.

- Google how to peel tomatoes. Or here's a link. It isn't hard at all, but it's quite messy and time consuming. I fill up one side of my sink with cold water (if you have ice it does help). And I usually get 3 boiling pots going at a time, and keep dropping tomatoes in until the skins crack. Keep checking them. Although the link says to slice the bottom, I never do. After the skins crack, I just put them in the sink with the cold water, and if the water starts to get hot... I just drain some and replace with more cold water.

- Hand chopping everything takes FOREVER! The first batch I did this year took me 4 hours just to prepare. And I still had to boil everything and process it! The second batch I did only took about half the time and I used my food processor (on the pulse mode - not puree). If you have someone to help you it will go faster as well.

- Buy a new pair of yellow cleaning gloves to use for when you handle the aneheims and the jalapenos. If you get bits of those peppers stuck under your nails you will cry. Just trust me. Also - I leave the seeds in, but this makes it hotter. The recipe I gave you with all 10 jalapenos makes a "medium" heat. Add everything but the jalapenos, then add a few at a time - stir really well, and taste it. Then if you need more heat, add more.

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