September 08, 2014

Homemade, Canned Salsa

Returning home from being out of town for a week, I had a batch of tomatoes ripe and ready in the garden - too much for us to use on sandwiches and tomato based salads, etc. so it was time to make them into... something.  Spaghetti Sauce?  Salsa? Tomato Sauce? Goulash? Etc.

Checking the refrigerator, I saw we were down to just 1 inch of homemade salsa left in the jar so, salsa it would be!   I didn't have quite enough tomatoes for my regular batch of canned salsa, but I had about 2/3 of it so I halved the recipe and then added a touch more.

Since I was not really in the mood to make anything, I didn't follow my regular steps of skinning and seeding the tomatoes.  This is where I usually immerse them into boiling water, slip off the skins and get part of the juice and seeds out before making into salsa and simmering.  Skipping this step means I have a few more seeds in the salsa but for a quick,easy and delicious salsa it was worth it when I absolutely was not in the mood to cook or can that day.  I simply put the ingredients into my food processor, processed a few seconds and put into my pan on the stove to simmer.

I didn't have enough for a whole regular batch, but enough for a half batch.

Simmering on the stove.  A half plus a little more batch netted me 3-4 pints

Here is my original recipe post for this recipe - posted a couple times on An American Housewife already.  This particular one in 2012.

Homemade canned salsa - fresh from the garden
Canning your salsa, you will need two things for sure;  a large enough pot to boil the jars in water that covers their lids and, canning jars with lids and bands.   I don't have an official 'canner' - I have a soup pot.  But it works great for me and since I'm not canning low acidic foods like green beans or meat, I don't have to use a pressure canner.  Water baths work just fine.  An item I would suggest you get to save yourself burnt fingers;  a jar lifter.  This is something I didn't use the first couple years, I just tried to hold on to the jars with a towel as my 'hot pad' holder.  Once I invested in a cheap jar lifter I was amazed at how easy things became!  
Homemade Salsa

10 Cups of peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
5 c chopped onions
3 sweet banana peppers, diced
4 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 t minced garlic
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 1/4 c vinegar
2 T chili powder
2 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 T sugar

To peel/skin your tomatoes easily just put them in boiling water. Skins will split in 10 seconds - 2 minutes. Remove as soon as the skin splits and lay on a clean towel to cool until you can handle them comfortably - or you can dip them into a bowl of ice water if you wish. Some tomatoes won't split but they are still ready;  if it has been in the water for approximately 1-2 minutes, lift it out and feel it. If it looks tight and ready to burst, yet it feels like a water balloon, then remove it to cool. It's ready.  The second your fingers or a knife touch the skin it will probably split on contact.  Tomatoes can be seeded and the juice canned separately or you can use the whole tomato in your salsa and skip that process.  Up to you.

Mix all the ingredients for your salsa and simmer 1-3 hours.

While simmering, be sure to either run your jars and lids and seals through an extra hot dishwasher cycle or boil them in another pot of water so they are hot and sterilized when you are ready to use them.  Ladle salsa into the jars with about 1/2 inch head space at the top.   Wipe the edges completely clean with a clean cloth and place the lid on it and then the ring.  You don't have to tighten them hard - just a quick twist to hold the seal/lid on during the process.  Now, originally this old time recipe did not call for a water bath.  The heat from the salsa and the jar will seal the lid.  However, I like to boil them in a water bath as an extra precaution for 25 for pints.

Remove from the water, set on a towel on the counter and let them cool at room temperature.  You will hear popping noises.  That is the lids sealing.  When completely cooled, store in your pantry or cupboard.

Tomatoes from the garden, ready to be made into salsa

Immersing in boiling water to easily remove the skins

The skins will split within about 30 seconds and they literally slip right off.

Chop your tomatoes.  No need to be concise. They will cook down. Just chop quickly and toss in.

Ingredients ready to simmer
A water bath of 25 minutes as extra protection

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