Tomatoes went on sale this week for .48/lb. I couldn’t pass it up and bought a 25 lb. box. I also bought way too many jalapeños, onions and cilantro. And was excited to get home and start canning our family’s favorite salsa.
Luckily I have two wonderful kids still living at home, though they will be leaving far too soon for my taste. They were delighted to help me get started. We got the water boiling, the tomatoes scored and the sink filled with ice water. Blanching (follow the first technique on this link, it’s the best, trust me!) tomatoes is the easiest way to release the skin and peel tomatoes.
While they peeled tomatoes I began dicing onions, cilantro and jalapeños. Fortunately I didn’t really have to dice them all. I pulled out my handy dandy food dicer and diced away. Of course, I wore gloves while working with the jalapeños. The kids finished and it was time to dice the tomatoes.
Unfortunately the dicer didn’t work on the tomatoes without the skin on so, it was all by hand. Since I knew that I would be cooking my salsa I didn’t worry about dicing them so small.
When we started this process, I thought I might go buy another box. Dicing tomatoes was the longest part of this whole recipe. I didn’t go get any more tomatoes.
I mixed all the ingredients together in a big pot and started cooking the salsa. I heated up my water bath and sterilized my jars and lids. Using a canning funnel begin filling jars. Using a wooden spoon remove air bubbles from salsa by gently pushing the spoon handle down in the salsa. Wipe the rims and place on lids and rings. When the water bath is boiling, submerge the jars and process. Check times for higher elevations. The best part of living in south Texas is we are pretty much at sea level and processing time is greatly reduced from our home in the mountains of Idaho.
Don’t be afraid of canning salsa. It really is a very simple process. Water bathing is simple. You will be so thankful for good salsa in your cupboard. Not to mention, the pride you will feel at having done this yourself. You also know what you are eating. Good clean salsa with no surprise ingredients. What’s better than having food in your cupboard that was made with love.
There are so many things you can do with salsa. Tacos, chips and salsa, Guacamole. I must admit, guacamole is one of my favorite things to do with salsa. Get a couple of ripe avocados, peel and dice into a bowl. Pour salsa in with avocado and begin to mix and smash the avocado.
Add the juice of one lime and salt. Don’t forget to leave one pit in to keep it from turning brown. Seriously! This is the BOMB of guacamole. Taco casserole. Chicken Tacos ~ Chicken in the crockpot with 1 c. salsa, a can of Dr. Pepper and 1 c. of brown sugar. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and shred. So delicious in a tortilla. Or make chicken Fajita Quesadillas. Rub fajita seasoning on your chicken and brown quickly in a pan. Take out and set aside. Cook strips of red and orange peppers and onions in hot pan. Add back the chicken and cook through. Put a dollop of butter in a skillet, add your tortilla, top with a bit of cheese, fajita chicken and veggies and top with cheese again. I like cheese on the top and bottom, not because I like chee se a lot, I don’t, but because it holds the tortillas together. Think of it like glue. Flip over when brown and brown the other side. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and salsa. You can’t go wrong with a cupboard full of salsa.
The best part is that I spent $21 on the ingredients and got 28 jars or four batches in the water bath for a grand total of .75 a pint. You can’t beat that!!!