Warning: This salsa is not for you mild salsa lovers. However, you can modify this recipe to fit your taste buds. This one won’t make you choke, but it might make your nose run and your eyes water – until you get used to the fiery heat.
I use salsa in the traditional way, but I also use it to make Spanish rice (I use brown rice) by cutting down on the water and adding a ½ cup to a cup of salsa. I also use it in soups. My husband loves it on his eggs, scrambled or over easy. It’s also good as a topping for baked potatoes or hash browns.
The amounts listed below made 12 pints (canned – that’s all the room I had in my two canners), 2 pints frozen, and 2 quarts which I put in the refrigerator for use first. I don’t recommend making a batch this large unless you find yourself as we did with an overabundance of ripened tomatoes. We grow our onions and garlic and use plenty of both. You can’t overdue either of these.
40 tomatoes, approximately 10 lbs. (sizes ranged from small to huge – I counted them all)
5 medium onions, chopped
3 heads of garlic, minced (approximately 30 cloves)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
8 sweet peppers, chopped (any and all varieties – we used red, yellow, orange, and green)
20 hot peppers, chopped (to taste – we used 20 jalapenos and cayenne peppers)
½ olive oil
1 cup cider vinegar
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup cumin
1/8 cup chili powder
3 tsp salt
We prepare the onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro first and begin sauteing them in the olive oil on low heat while we prepare the tomatoes.
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30-40 seconds and remove to ice water for same amount of time. Peel off skin and core. Chop and squeeze juice and seeds into bowl. Place in colander and press. Put in pot with other vegetables. We have a production line going in the kitchen. I’m blanching the tomatoes while my husband skins, cores, removes bad spots, saves seeds for next year and then cuts tomatoes in quarters. I squeeze those tomatoes with my hands and coarsely chop into a colander.
Add the rest of the ingredients and allow sauce to simmer while preparing the jars and canner.
Canning tip: Always have surplus containers ready. It’s difficult to figure out exact amounts. I had to scramble at last minute with this because I thought the batch would only make 10-12 pints.
Refer to a good reference book on canning for the process of preparing jars or check out Ball’s helpful website.
Process for 15 minutes in hot water boiling bath. I add five minutes to adjust to our 1,000 feet plus altitude.
This is our third year of making salsa together this way, and we finally have a good system in place and the test is always in the tasting. This year’s salsa is our best yet. It has a good consistency and excellent flavor without sending us to the volunteer fire department around the corner.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with making salsa. I’m always impressed with the variety of recipes to try.