Monday, August 20, 2012

Preserving Salsa

This salsa has a creamier texture than fresh salsa, but is great for storing for later.  It can also be added to plain chili fixings or taco soup recipes for a rich spicy meal.

8 cups ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 1/2 cups yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups mild green sweet peppers, (Anaheim are my favorite)
1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
6 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons canning salt, also called pickling salt
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
1 12oz can of tomato paste
juice of one lime
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

In a food processor, add the tomatoes, onions, and peppers.  Mix until it's the consistency you like.  It will cook down into smaller pieces, so if you like chunky style leave it larger at this point.

Wash 7 pint or three quart canning jars and cover them with water in a canning pot.  You will need to have one inch of water above the jars to do the bath later when the jars are filled.  Leave them in the hot water until ready to use.  Also wash the lids and rims well with hot soapy water and rinse well.

In a large stainless steel pot, pour the tomato mixture and bring it to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

Now take one jar at a time out of the water bath and fill it to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar.  Wipe the lips of the top of the jar where the seal will sit.  Put the seals and the rims on and tightening carefully, yet firmly.  Return the jar to the water bath.  You will probably not fill all 7 jars, but enjoy what is leftover right away.  An instant reward for your labors.  Your kitchen will smell so wonderful, everyone will want to taste some with tortilla chips right away.

When all the jars are filled, bring the water bath back to a full boil.  Then boil for 15 minutes.  Remove the jars from the water bath using long tongs and set on a towel on your counter to cool.  You will hear a pop as each seal sets itself during the cooling process.

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