Thursday, August 5, 2010


My sister, Maureen has had an abundance of tomatoes growing in her "Victory Garden" and wasn't sure what to do with them.

I told her I have been wanting to can salsa. Well, she was thrilled to hear this because she also had a lot of chili peppers and her husband and sons love salsa.

I have never canned salsa before. In fact, other then jam, I have never canned anything before. I wasn't really sure how to go about it.

I spent a few hours on line searching recipes, directions and tips. Then, today we got to work.

The first step was to wash all the tomatoes and remove any stems. For this recipe we needed 13 lbs of tomatoes.

We used different kinds of tomatoes but I would recommend using only Roma as they don't have as many seeds or as much water in them.

Then it was time to peel the skin off. I've never done this before but I'm sure a lot of you have.

For those who are like me I'll explain how easy this step is.

You just get a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Then drop the tomatoes into the water and within a few seconds (about 30 seconds) the skin will pop open.

Don't do all the tomatoes at one time. Do them in batches.

As soon as the skin pops open, remove the tomatoes and quickly place them in an ice bath.

I just filled my sink up with cold water and added ice cubes. This worked great and kept the water nice and cold enough for me to do all the tomatoes.

You can see how the skin just starts to fall off. Pull off all the skin. You don't need a knife to do this. You can just use your fingers to pull the skin off.

Then cut the tomatoes up into large pieces. Layer them in a strainer and add about 4tablespoons of pickling or Kosher salt. Don't worry about putting to much salt in as most will run off with the water that comes out of the tomatoes.

Let the tomatoes sit for several hours to drain. Keep them in a cool spot but not in the refrigerator.

While you are waiting for the tomatoes to drain you can prepare your cans. They need to be sterilized so either place them into a large pot or canner and cover them in water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the jars for 10 mins.

If you have a sterilized setting on your dishwasher you can also use that.

Meanwhile, peel and chop 6 medium to large onions. Cut and seed 1 pound Jalapeno peppers, 3 mild green chili peppers (we used Anaheim peppers) and about 3 to 4 Serrano chilies.

Make sure you wear gloves while you are doing this. You do not want to get peppers on your hands and then perhaps touch your eyes.

You can use different peppers if you like but keep the amount of peppers the same.

Peel about 11 cloves of garlic.

We didn't want big chunks in our salsa so I used the Food Processor to cut and blend the onions, peppers and garlic together.

You can just chop them with a knife if you want bigger pieces.

Once your tomatoes are drained then chop them and add them to the above mixture.

Again, I used a Food Processor to cut the tomatoes but you can keep them in bigger pieces by using a knife.

Add the whole mixture into a large pot. Stir well.

Add 2 1/2 cups minced cilantro and about 1/8 of a cup of ground cumin. Mix well.

Mix 5 1/2 ounces of canned tomato paste with about 1 cup of the salsa mixture. Stir until there are no more lumps in the tomato paste. Add it to the pot of salsa.

Bring the salsa to a boil.

The next few steps did not get photographed as I completely forgot as you really need to keep moving to make sure everything is still hot.

Take your sterilized jars (I used pint size) add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice to each jar. Fill with hot salsa, leave about 1/4 inch space in the jar. Wipe the rim with a clean cloth or paper towel and add your seals per the manufactures directions.

You will need to boil your lids for about 5 mins to soften up the rubber rims.

You will now return the jars to a pot of boiling water. Make sure the water covers the jars with at least 1 inch of water over the top of the jars.

Boil filled jars for 20 minutes.

You will most likely need to do this in batches as they won't all fit in the pot at the same time. If you do not have proper canning equipment (which I don't) you can just put a wire rack in your pot or place a towel on the bottom of the pot. You do not want your jars to be placed directly on the bottom of the pot. This could cause your jars to break.

Remove jars from the boiling water and allow to cool completely. It is at this point you will hear the ping sound. This is the noise the jar lids will make when the lid is properly sealed. You can also check to make sure your jars are sealed by pushing down on the middle part of the lid after the jars have completely cooled. If the lid pops up after pushing down on it then you will need to put that jar in the refrigerator and eat it within a week.

If the lid stays down when pushed then you can store your jars of salsa for up to a year. Be sure to label your jars with what is inside and the date you made it.
This recipe will make 16 pint jars.

We did not try this salsa but, we did have one that didn't seal properly. My sister brought it home with her and had her husband try it. He said it was very good and while it wasn't overly hot it had a nice kick to it. He said it was a great recipe and loved it.I hope if you make this, you too, will enjoy it.

We had so much fun making this. I love canning and I'm looking for my next recipe to try. If you have one you love, please let me know.

I'm linking up to Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum. Please stop by and see what else everyone cooked up this week.



Unknown said...

omg that so so neat!

Rach said...

MMM. I love salsa. That looks delicous!

Furry Bottoms said...

Thank you for sharing that recipe! I especially liked the part where you use a food processor so no chunks because I hate chunks!

Bring Pretty Back said...

It looks so delish! And it looks like you had fun doing it!
That is great!
Have a pretty day!

Unknown said...

Hey, this will be a great use for those canning jars I have sitting around collecting dust!


Tales From My Empty Nest said...

That sure looks good. You will enjoy the salsa this winter. Love & blessings from NC!