Monday, November 9, 2009

Do You Know How to Salsa???

Well, after today I believe I now can say that I know how to make salsa. Never before had I made salsa of any kind, either fresh or canned. With all the tomatoes that I had ripening down in the basement, most of which are destined to be frozen, bagged and eventually cooked into my favorite homemade V8 juice, it seemed a shame not to make a batch of canned salsa from some fresh tomatoes. Once frozen, tomatoes become little red sacks of mush and do not lend themselves to more than juice or sauce.
The recipe I decided to try is from the Ball Blue Book and is called Spicy Tomato Salsa. I know it sounds like I'm El Cheapo (which I am!) but I decided on this recipe because a lot ingredients I already had on hand and what I had to buy for it was not expensive. Here are the ingredients:

Spicy Tomato Salsa
(makes 6 pints)
  • 6 pounds of tomatoes, washed, drained, peeled, seeded and chopped to 1/4" dice
  • 3 cups diced red onions
  • 15 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, packed tightly
  • 6 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced
  • 9 dried hot red chilies, seeded
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS pickling salt
  • 3/4 tps red pepper flakes
  • water
To peel the skin off the tomatoes you need to blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute and immediately plunge them into cold water. The skins will be very easy to remove.
The preparation of all the ingredients is pretty straight forward except for the 9 dried hot red chillies. Remove the seeds and place the chilies in a bowl. Add boiling water to the chilies just enough to cover them. Tightly cover over the top of the bowl with a plastic wrap such as Saran Wrap and let this steep for 15 minutes. After this, discard of approximately half of the infused water and place the remaining water, along with the chilies in a food processor and blend for a minute.
Now place all of the ingredients, along with chopped chili water mixture, in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven and heat over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure it's not scorching near the bottom. Ladle the hot salsa into hot, sterilized pint jars and fill with 1/4" head space remaining. Seal with two-piece lids.
Place in a boiling water canner and boil gently for 15 minutes. Adjust processing time you the altitude you are at.
I was please with how they turned out. After tasting a bit of the salsa before canning it, I would say it's a medium heat. I love the amount of tomato and the cilantro flavor but I am expecting a "maturing" of flavors after sitting on the shelf for a few weeks.


  1. Very nice Carolyn....I find that which we make (no matter the cost)always tastes better than what we buy. I've been working on making my own salsa verde and will soon post that. I love anything salsa :-)

  2. Hi Marc!
    I'll be watching for your salsa verde because I want to grow some tomatillos next year. I know it will be good!
    I have referred a lot of forum members to your great 101's, both on your blog and your threads on the forum.