Salsa!!!! the condiment that has overtaken ketchup as condiment of choice... we eat it on tacos and other Mexican food, as well as on chips, baked potatoes, scrambled eggs... you name it... salsa is the flavor to add to just about anything. As a matter of fact, last night I had some plain rotisserie chicken, shredded up in a bowl, salsa on top and crackers on the side (don't judge!!!! it was a delicious snack!)
After a visit to the farmers market where I had the pleasure of purchasing tomatoes and a variety of peppers, well of course I had to can up a batch (or three!) of salsa... here's what I did...
I peeled, cored, and chopped 7 cups of tomatoes (Tip: to peel tomatoes easily, I put them in the sink and poured boiling water over them, let them sit a few minutes, then started peeling... the peel slips right off)
I coarsely chopped 2 cups of onions (I used purple onions because that's what I had on hand)
I coarsely chopped a cup of green bell peppers (am I being too coarse here? *grin*)
Next I seeded and chopped 8 jalapeno peppers (so as not to be too coarse *another grin* I chopped these finely) If you like more heat you could leave the seeds and veins in the jalapenos, I didn't want so much heat. Also WEAR rubber gloves while working with hot peppers or you WILL burn your hands, I KNOW this from experience!
I finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic
After all this chopping I was ready to put it all together...
In a large, stainless steel saucepan, I combined the tomatoes, onions, green pepper, jalapeno peppers, and garlic...
Then added a 5.5 ounce can of tomato paste
3/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider because I like it best, white would be good too)
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
I brought the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Then reduced the heat and boiled gently, stirring frequently until it thickened... took about 30 minutes.
While everything was simmering and thickening, I prepared my pint canning jars by placing them in a pan of water set over two stove eyes and bringing them to a boil to sterilize them.
And I simmered my lids and rings in a saucepan of water until I was ready for them
Once my salsa was thickened and smelling wonderful, I ladled the hot mixture into the hot pint jars, leaving a half inch of headspace and removing any air bubbles.
I wiped the rims, centered the lids onto the jars, and screwed the bands down to fingertip tightness.
I processed my salsa in a boiling water bath... place jars in the canner, cover with water, bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes... then removed the jars with my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool and to listen for the PING! of each successfully sealed jar.
It's salsa time!!!
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