Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Favorite Homemade Salsa Recipe

I LOVE Salsa! Maybe because I'm from Tucson, or some inherited fluke, but I love good flavorful hot salsa. Not TOO hot, mind...I like to retain my sense of taste without feeling as if I've laid a hot poker on my tongue, and I also don't like to be crying and miserable when it's time to use the bathroom.
Just good flavor with a comfortable afterglow on my tongue. A good friend of mine gave me this recipe a few years ago, after having some salsa she'd made at a party. I've recreated it several times with consistent and delicious results.

Homemade Salsa

You will need 2 large cooking pots to divide these items into:

5 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 pounds onions, diced
1 pint jar Jalepenos
2-4 bulbs garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
Cilantro (lots and lots)
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 - 1oz.cans tomato paste

Start by rinsing fresh tomatoes, and blanching them for 60 seconds in boiling water, then putting them in a sink full of icy water. Peel off skins, then dice tomatoes. Add onions, jalapenos, garlic, salt, cilantro, vinegar and tomato paste (remember, divide all these between your two pots!!!!)
Bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally. If canning, heat pint jars and lids. Add hot salsa to hot jars, fit lids and put in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Yields 12-15 pints.

Obviously, if you don't intend to can up a bunch, divide the recipe accordingly and refrigerate.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried this recipe to hear what you think!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Canning Your Own Tomato Sauce

Every year, I plant 24 or so tomato plants. I don't NEED 24 tomato plants...I could probably get by with 4. But I like canning, and I like tomatoes, so there you are. This morning, my son and I picked about 15 or 20 pounds of them, and having already made 15 pints of salsa, I thought I'd make some spaghetti sauce.

Homemade Garlic-Basil Tomato Sauce

This Morning's Tomato Harvest

  1. After rinsing the tomatoes and pulling the stems and various garden bugs off, blanch the tomatoes for about 60 seconds in boiling water, then dump into a sink full of icy water. After this, the skins should peel off nicely. Using a sharp knife, core and cut the tomatoes into quarters.
  2. Remove the seeds. You may do this by scooping them out with a spoon, squeezing them out, or pressing the pulp through a sieve
  3. In a large pot, saute 1/2 cup olive oil, 5 cloves of garlic, minced, 2 large onions, chopped fine, 1 tbsp. oregano, 2 Tbsp. Basil until onions are caramelized.
  4. Add tomato pulp mixture and heat until gently boiling. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
  5. Add 1 tbsp. of Sugar. Cook until sauce thickens and volume is reduced by one half.
  6. Add 2 tbsp. lemon juice to each quart jar. Add hot tomato sauce to hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Adjust 2 piece caps and process for 40 minutes in a boiling water canner.
This recipe is terrific for spaghetti, lasagna or any recipe needing tomato sauce.
 The bonus of canning is that you get to enjoy summer's bounty all year, and save money on groceries in the long run.

Any other canners out there?