September 8, 2009: Let's Do The Salsa!

 
 Faced with about 25 pounds of tomatoes, I opted for more salsa.


  
 I washed all the smaller tomatoes, along with the Juliets (a Roma grape tomato) and the cherry tomatoes, and simmered them on the stove until soft, pureed them in the food processor, ran them through the colander to remove the seeds and peels, then returned them to the stove while I prepared the salsa ingredients.


  
The larger tomatoes were blanched in boiling water.


  
While the strained small tomatoes simmered and thickened.


  
The blanched tomatoes were cooled in a sink full of cold water, then peeled, cored and seeded.


  
Four pulses in the food processor and they were perfectly chopped.


  
The seeded tomato halves.


  
 Coarsely chopped.


  
There were 18 cups of chopped tomatoes, for 2 1/4 batches of salsa.


  
The small tomatoes have reduced to nearly a paste consistency.


  
I went to the garden to pick fresh bell peppers for the salsa.  It has only rained about five minutes in the past two months.  That was the five minutes I spent picking peppers today.


  
My big soup pot was already overflowing with tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, with lots more ingredients left to add.


  
I gave it a good stir, then transferred it to my large canner to finish adding the ingredients, including the freshly made tomato paste.


  
My son's friend, Rob, had given him a bag of hot peppers to pass on to me.  Rob loves my salsa, and he'll most likely get a jar of it in return.


  
Half the salsa is put on to cook for ten minutes.


  
While the other half waits its turn.


  
 I ended up with three quarts, 9 pints and a bowl of Annie's Salsa to sample.  I also had a big jar of juice that I'd drained from the chopped tomatoes, which should be a really good start to a big pot of minestrone for tomorrow's supper.  I also took some time to dry enough parsley to fill a pint jar.


 
And I saved the seeds from one of those beautiful red hot peppers.  They'll have a spot in next year's garden.


20 comments:

  1. I am ashamed to admit I didn't make any salsa this year! Strange considering I'm the 5000 Jalapeno girl this year, lol! I think I just forgot...but I did however, freeze or pickle them all, so I can add it to my stewed tomatoes later with extras. I kept waiting on my cilantro...and waiting, waiting.... of course now it is growing beautifully - go figure!

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  2. So how many gallons of salsa have you made so far this year? At the end of the season you will have to give us a post with the whole list.

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  3. The tomato sauce and salsa look like they turned out really well. Here's hoping Rob's Red Hots give you some peppers with some heat next year.

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  4. The salsa looks absolutely amazing. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hot was it? Also, are you sure you don't want to make a big pitcher of bloody Marys with that leftover tomato juice? :)

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  5. Erin, I had to buy jalapenos for my salsa making, as mine never did get hot. They are all still as sweet as my red bells! And I thought I had planted cilantro from seeds I received from WinterSown that were labeled "Chinese Parsley". I was going to buy a couple of plants from the nursery, and they were labeled "Cilantro: Chinese Parsley". I thought "hmmm, I already have some of that!". Well, it wasn't the same. Mine smelled like celery and looked like celery leaves! But cilantro is only 34-cents for a huge bunch, and jalapenos about 59-cents a pound, so they are probably almost as cheap to buy as to grow.

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  6. Daphne, just look over there in my sidebar where it lists all that I've canned this year. You probably use a reader, as I do, and miss the sidebar items. I sometimes think I'll stop using the reader, as I miss too much. Anyway, back to your question...3 quarts & 32 pints of salsa have been canned so far.

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  7. You are lucky to have good cilantro available in stores! Anything store bought here has no scent/taste and reminds me of plain parsley, lol

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  8. KitsapFG, I've learned my lesson with the hot peppers....average soil fertility and not too much water.

    The sauce turned out great, much thicker than I usually get it, as I didn't run out of patience! It's a good way to use up the cherry tomatoes, as well as two very prolific varieties of small tomatoes. They are just too tiny to fool with when it comes to peeling and seeding.

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  9. Thomas, I was a bit hesitant to use the unknown variety of hot peppers, and I put my tongue to one to see how hot it was. It burned pretty nicely, so I decided not to put any of the pepper seeds in this batch. Big mistake. The salsa is probably about a three on the scale. I like it to be around a five, then if anyone wants it hotter, they can add hot sauce to it.

    The tomato juice would normally be used in Mr. H's beer, but he's out of beer right now. It will be used in soup. ;-)

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  10. Erin, we live in a largely Hispanic community, with a large Hispanic oriented supermarket, where I can buy the cilantro and peppers really cheap and really fresh. The cilantro is three bunches for $1, and they are huge...I can barely reach two hands around a bunch! I chop up the leftovers and roll portions up in sandwich bags and freeze them in a Ziploc bag. They stay fresh tasting, and ready for cooking.

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  11. Soooo mouth-wateringly yummy looking. I think my computer just released a wiff of your salsa.

    I gave you a Meme Award (along with everyone else who has one to pass on, because you just ROCK!). Cheers!

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  12. Awww, Momma_S, thank you! You guys and your memes make me feel so good.

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  13. Tomato juice and beer??? I've never heard of that before. I just googled it and it seems quite popular. Where have I been?

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  14. I don't know, Thomas. The last time I drank beer, nearly 50 years ago, I (and most of my friends) drank it with tomato juice. I thought it was common practice, but there were several who commented they had never heard of it. My husband and daughter, both beer drinkers, add tomato juice to theirs. Here in the west, I think you can even buy bottled beer that has tomato (or maybe it's clamato) juice already in it.

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  15. Your salsa looks excellent. I make a salsa dip that's really good. Mix a block of cream cheese with about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and spread this on a plate. Top that with salsa and then grated cheese on top of that. You can also top with green onions and fresh tomatoes too. It is the best!

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  16. Dan, that sounds really good! I can use that recipe this winter, when it's my turn to take refreshments for the card players at the community game night.

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  17. Granny, thanks for showing the salsa-making photos, because mine will be made this weekend. After trying my BIL's salsa, I couldn't imagine any other recipe tasting better. It's a kinda "southwest" recipe, but to die for!!!

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  18. EG, just make sure your recipe is safe for canning, in that it contains enough added acid (vinegar, bottled lemon juice, bottled lime juice)for safe consumption. The guidelines on canning tomato products has changed recently, and extra acid has to be added for any other non-acid veggies added to the salsa.

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  19. Thanks for reminding me about that, because I had plumb forgot! I have some bottled lemon juice in the fridge, and will use it accordingly.

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  20. Beautiful! Now I want nachos. Heh.

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