Tuesday, September 23, 2008

bottled/ frozen salsa...yum, yum!

So here in NY we have been enjoying tomatoes and more tomatoes than you could ever imagine. They are so good and sweet and CHEAP! I found the recipe for bottled salsa and didn't have my jars so I froze it. It turned out just as good and we love it. Nigel has been taking into work to share and eats as much as he can of it at home! The only down fall is that after filling 12 quart bags I am now down to only about 4 felt. It is SSOOOO good so if you feel like trying to freeze or bottle salsa I highly recommend this one. One of the things that make it so great is that it doesn't use vinegar but lime juice so it has a real salsa taste instead of a pickled flavor. I got it off of recipezar if you want to check it out on the web and read the comments:

Canned (Bottled) Salsa Recipe or Frozen

5 hours | 4 hours prep

12 500ml jars

* 8 quarts plum tomatoes (or whatever fresh yummy tomatoes you can find!)
* pickling salt
* 6 large onions
* 2-3 heads garlic
* 1 lb jalapeno pepper
* 6 large mild bell peppers
* 2 1/2 cups minced cilantro
* 1/4 cup ground cumin
* 1 (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
* 3 tablespoons lime juice (Per 500 ml jar)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them into the boiling water for one minute. You will need to do them in batches.
3. Transfer them to a large bowl or sink full of cold water.
4. Fish them out and peel them.
5. Chop them coarsely and sprinkle with pickling salt in layers as you go - I try to use about 4 tablespoons.
6. Put them in a strainer and set in a cool place (but NOT the fridge!) to drain for several hours.
7. When you are ready to procede, put all the canning jars in a large canner full of water to cover by one inch, and bring to a boil.
8. Boil for 10 minutes.
9. If your water is very hard, add a shot of vinegar to the water before it boils (to prevent lime build-up on bottles).
10. Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions.
11. Peel and deseed the peppers, and chop them.
12. Peel and mince the garlic.
13. Mix the tomato paste with cupful of the tomatoes until it is lump-free.
14. Mix all the ingredients except the lime juice in a large kettle or pot.
15. Bring the salsa to a boil.
16. Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them.
17. (Most should be emptied into the sink, so the boiling water bath doesn't overflow when they go back in).
18. Add 3 tbsps lime juice to each jar.
19. Pack the salsa into the jars.
20. Wipe rims, and seal according to manufacturer's instructions.
21. (Generally, boil lids and rings for 5 minutes).
22. Return the bottles to the boiling water bath and process them for 20 minutes. It may be necessary to do this in two batches; put as many in the canner as you are able to; when they come out add the next batch of jars to be sterilized while you fill the first set. Take them out and fill them as the first set of filled jars is being processed.
23. Remove, allow to cool, and check seals.
I followed the recipe as above but instead of salting the tomatoes and letting them sit for so long I just boiled them in a pot for a bit. I also just added some of the lime juice to taste, be sure and salt to taste as well. For the jalapenos I added about 1/2 pound without seeds and then a couple extra with seeds to achieve the taste we wanted. It makes a HUGE batch so you want a really big pot or to have two pots ready. I chop everything up and mix it together and a large bowl or pot and then I blanch and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Don't worry about getting them diced to small they will get chopped up more just because you are cooking and stirring them.
~Kim Campbell