Salsa Perfection

OK so I probably shouldn’t have called my first salsa the “best ever” as this leaves no room for improvement. So since I don’t wanna be a bad canning mama and pick my favourite child I am calling this one “salsa perfection.” Best and perfect sound pretty equivalent to me, right? Phew, dodged that bullet. Anyways, I digress. This recipe is what we did with the other 30 pounds of tomatoes from the tomato extravaganza that was last night. This salsa has more peppers than the first recipe I posted, so if you like your salsa more peppery this is the one for you! This recipe comes from PNW 395, one of my favourite publications! It’s the Chile salsa, bottom of page 9.

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Ingredients:

10 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
6 cups seeded, chopped chili peppers (use some hot and some mild, or sub in some green bell peppers and some jalapenos like we did – 6 cups total of all peppers you use though)
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup vinegar
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry cumin (optional)
1 tsp dry oregano (optional)

As above the recipe will yield 7-9 pints.

Here is what we did:

Core, blanch and peel, the tomatoes. I learned from last time to blanch them for just a short 30 seconds or so, that way they don’t get soggy/cooked. Core 6 or 8 and plop them in boiling water.

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Then throw them straight into ice water and repeat. Only leave them in the boiling water for the short time it takes to quickly peel the 6 or 8 and then they don’t get soggy.

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Look at all those beautiful naked tomatoes!

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Dice the tomatoes. Do a fairly course dice because they will break down a bit when they are boiled. We had 48 cups from the 30 pounds, so we did 4.8x the recipe, multiplying through for the other ingredients. Chop up the onions and peppers. Try and cut the peppers and onions in similarly sized pieces. Wear gloves for the hot ones! Remove the seeds and veins from hot peppers or add just some of them, depending on how hot you like your salsa. I like to keep a bowl of the seeds set aside so I can make some batches hotter than others and label the lids accordingly.

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We had to do this in multiple batches since my stock pot is 12 quarts and we had about 1.5x that. But if you are normal and not doing a mondo batch, mix all the ingredients in your stock pot. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend the mondo batch. It takes to long to boil so gets watery. Do one batch, get it in the canner, and repeat. I did it that way the next time I did a huge salsa batch and was much happier. Still make a ton of salsa though. Just do it in batches or multiple pots. Anyways, add all the tomatoes, peppers, onions, vinegar and spices. A fun fact about salsa is that if you don’t like the vinegar flavour you can sub lemon or lime juice in equal quantities if you prefer. Or a different vinegar like cider vinegar (we used white vinegar but both are tasty). Just make sure whatever vinegar you use is 5% acidity. You can also add more or less salt, or other dried spices. Just DO NOT alter the ratios of the veggies. And be careful if you do giant batches like this that you get all the ratios right, it is easy to screw up and make something unsafe if you aren’t careful and paying attention. Another good reason to do one batch, get it in the canner, and repeat.

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Bring the salsa to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. While bringing it to the boil prepare the canner, jars and lids. I prefer the wide mouth pints for dipping! Once it’s been boiling for 10 minutes it is ready to be put it the hot jars!

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Fill the jars leaving a half inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and tighten bands finger tip tight. Place in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a towel or hot pad. Count the pings as the jars seal! Below you can see we had both of our canners going with 8 jars a piece and still had almost a full pot left of salsa! What an excellent batch! Took 4 full canner loads plus 2.5 jars for the fridge – 34.5 delicious pints of salsa! If this pressure canner picture is confusing you, it’s just because I use my pressure canner as a water bath canner too, I didn’t pressure can this.

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12-24 hours later check the seals, remove the rings, wipe down the jars and label and store. Lately I’ve been noting the page number or source of the recipe on the label too so maybe by next year I really can pick a favourite. 😉

My share of the bounty! mmmm mmmm good.

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5 thoughts on “Salsa Perfection

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