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This is a place where I will share my love of flowers, cooking and baking, gardening and fashion (shoes! lots of shoes!) I would love for you to stay a while and take a look and leave a comment if something catches your interest.
(ps...photo on my background is courtesy of Union Photographers)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Homemade Salsa is THE BEST

This past summer I tried my hand at canning tomatoes, so plentiful and sweet from the okanagan, and  I visited one of my cousins, Graziella, who shared her fantastic salsa recipe with me.  It is wonderful being able to go into my cantina, Italian word for "cellar", and grab a jar of salsa and a bag of nacho chips any time someone pops in or when I'm going to someone's home.  It was so much easier, don't get me wrong it is time consuming but easier, than I thought. 
I want to share the recipe with you as well as some tips that I learned...
So...here we go...I started out by Xing it by 6 but this year I may do it x 10.  My cousin added habaneros, which I did not because I can't eat it too spicy but if you enjoy spicy salsa this is an option.  I also added extra garlic. Use gloves, I leaned this the hard way!, all the lime juice, peppers, onions and tomatoes literally burned my skin and watch your eyes! 

6 cups seeded and diced tomatoes
2 cups diced onion (wearing swimming goggles helps with the tears:))
6 cloves garlic minced
5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
As many habaneros as you want 3-4
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin
1\2 tsp each paprika and salt.
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or cider
1\8 tsp cayenne pepper
1\2 cup cilantro chopped
3 tbsp lime juice, fresh.
I added black beans to half the batch and next year I plan to buy some corn on the cob from Chilliwack and add that to some of the jars as well....

Combine tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos in a huge, huge!,  stock pot. Cook for 10 min stirring OFTEN!!!
Stir in tomato sauce, cumin, paprika,vinegar, salt, cayenne...cook another 10 min.
Remove from heat
Add cilantro and lime juice.
Mix well
Taste it at this point-adjust salt and spices to taste.  
I bought, from Costco, a 3 burner camping stove that my husband, Jean, put on the deck which is where I cooked the salsa and processed the jars-helps with mess in the kitchen as well as with all the heat that comes off of the burners.

I also removed some of the excess water that appeared, tomatoes can have a lot of extra water in them, and I prefer a chunkier salsa over a thinner version-again this is to your taste.  After I had jarred as may "straight" jars of salsa as I wanted I took 2 cans of rinsed black beans and added that to the pot and jarred to the rest of the salsa.

I didn't have enough 500 ml jars to to all the salsa so I did a few of the larger 1L jars which works really well for larger parties.

Then put into jars and process, place in a pot of boiling water so the water comes above the lids, for 20 min...
 Use the canning tongs to remove them and put them aside to settle and listen to the "pop" of the jar sealing.  Before putting them into storage lightly pull on the seal just to ensure they are sealed tightly....no one needs to get ill!
Grab a bag of nacho chips and a couple of beers and enjoy the yummy fruits of your labour!!
Have you ever canned or processed any fruits or vegetables? 

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