Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's Cookin?: Annie's Salsa (for canning)

Since my tomato crop this year has been a bust due to the weather, I've had to *SHOCK* buy my tomatoes for salsa. Luckily I ran into several tomato sales this summer. I made my first batch of salsa about a month ago. I used 3 jalapenos in that batch and found it to be too mild. My second and third batches were 5 jalapeno tries and these had good flavor. This weekend I made 2 more batches of this yummy salsa!

I used Annie's Salsa recipe after reading many rave reviews. Be careful with canning salsa. Make sure you use a recipe that has been tested specifically for canning. This one has been tested, but do not alter the recipe as it will off-set the acid in the salsa and make it dangerous to can.

Some notes to this recipe that I got from others':
- This is a salsa that can be canned
- You can safely leave out the cumin and/or green peppers
- Do NOT increase the cilantro
- You can substitute lemon juice (use Real Lemon brand only) or use cider vinegar for the vinegar. But be sure to use at least 1 full cup of acid (ie: white vinegar, lemon juice or cider vinegar). The best tasting salsa I've made of all the batches was 3/4 c. white vinegar and 1/2 c. lemon juice. I haven't tried the cider vinegar yet.
- Can this recipe only in pint jars (do not use larger quarts for canning this salsa)
- Do not use only Roma tomatoes (salsa will be thick)
- Making salsa takes a few hours so be sure you have time to follow through

Annie's Salsa (for canning)
Makes 6 pints

8 cups tomatoes (about 7 large); peeled, chopped & drained
2 1/2 c. chopped onions (1 large)
1 1/2 c. chopped green pepper (2 large Anaheim peppers)
3-5 jalapeno peppers, chopped (3 peppers=mild, 5 peppers=medium)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground pepper
1/8 c. canning salt
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. vinegar
16 oz. tomato sauce
12 oz. tomato paste

1) Sterilize your jars & lids in simmering water.

2) Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Score the bottom of each tomato by making an X. Drop 3 or 4 tomatoes at a time in the boiling water. Remove to an iced water bath after 15-20 seconds. You should be able to peel the tomato skins off easily now. Remove the skins off of all your tomatoes.

2) To help the process of straining excess water from the tomatoes, I use a little trick. While chopping tomatoes, I try to remove the gel and seed sacks of the tomato with my fingers or thumbs. Chop up tomatoes and place in a colander to drain.
3) Prep the rest of your salsa ingredients (onions, garlic, green peppers, jalapenos & cilantro) and place in a large bowl.
4) Mix all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring salsa to a boil and continue to boil while stirring frequently for 10 minutes.

5) Remove the jars from the hot water. Pour salsa into the hot jars. Place lids and screw tops on jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Be sure that the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch and be sure that the water is boiling before counting down.

6) After jars have been processed, remove from the water and allow to cool overnight. At 24 hours, check the tops of the jars. If the tops "pop back", your salsa is not sealed adequately.