I’d like to introduce Laurie Bullock from Westminster, Maryland. She’s got a guest post for me today of her aunt’s salsa recipe. I don’t know about you but any recipe labeled “My Aunt’s Recipe” or “My Grandmother’s Recipe,” regardless what it is, I want to try it. These folks learned to cook before all the labor saving processed food was available and it’s time we went back to real food.
I don’t mean to be preachy but just look around and see what so many folks look like today and I can’t believe it’s just because they don’t know how to put a fork down. The food we buy is different from what our parents and grandparents ate. I hate the “organic” label but we need to get back to food that is grown in healthy soil without all the chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Laurie and her husband Gaven run a large landscaping supply yard in Westminster and another one in Hanover, PA., so if you like buying from people like us who can cook and you’re in the area, please stop by and tell them Maureen sent you with fond greetings.
Here’s Laurie’s Salsa Recipe post:
Thanks, Maureen, it’s lovely to be able to share my recipe with your readers. I know they’re going to love this as much as my family does. The last of the tomatoes are coming in now so there’s no excuse for not putting up some of this salsa.
If you’ve never canned anything, this is a great time to begin with this delicious salsa to enjoy over the winter and give out at Christmas. There are also many delicious recipes for creating fresh salsa to enjoy right away but this recipe lets us enjoy those beautiful tomatoes all year round.
Adjust the Ratio of Sweet to Hot Peppers for Varying Heat
A multitude of recipes offer varying degrees of heat, by adjusting the ratio of sweet peppers to hot peppers. I prefer recipes which offer sweetness, by adding sugar or fruit to the recipe. Other variants include the herbs and spices preferred, such as cilantro, oregano, basil, cumin, even cinnamon and cloves.
Be Careful With the Canning Process
One must be careful with the canning process to ensure there is a good, safe seal on your jars. The ratio of ingredients must not be altered greatly as there are guidelines to protect the food from spoilage by adding either vinegar or lemon or lime juice to increase the acidity of the salsa which will prevent spoilage. Botulism is deadly but rare, but you certainly don’t want to be giving it out at Christmas! Be sure to check with your local extension service for guidelines on canning and preservation.
The Salsa Recipe
This recipe was shared by my aunt who has been making it many years. It allows for subtle variations in the hotness, and I like the addition of sugar for a hint of sweet. I have made it several years now, and it is a hit. You are cautioned not to change the amounts of any ingredients, only mix up the peppers to the required amount with your preference for higher heat by using more hot peppers than sweet peppers for more heat, if desired.
- 3 quarts (10-12 cups) tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped. Romas work best but any tomato will do. (do not use overripe or damaged fruit for preserving)
- 5 cups peppers - use a combination of bell peppers/capsicum, banana peppers and jalapeno depending upon how hot you like your salsa.
- 3 large onions - chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ c sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 oz tomato paste (you can use more if you like your salsa thicker)
- Cook the tomatoes over medium heat in a large sauce pot to reduce the liquid While that slowly boils, chop the other ingredients.
- Add the vinegar and seasonings, followed by the onions, peppers, and garlic. Stir often to prevent scalding and cook down about an hour or more, until liquid is reduced.
- Add tomato paste to thicken consistency. More can be added if necessary. Cook a little longer until the consistence looks just right for you.
- Sterilize jars, lids, and rings in dish washer or in pot of boiling water. Remove with sterile tongs.
- Ladle salsa into prepared sterile jars, leaving at least ¼? space at top. (I use 6 – 8 – 12 oz. jars.)
- Wipe edges clean with damp clean paper towel for a good seal.
- Place new, unused sterile lids on the jars, secure with sterile rings, and place into hot water bath canner.
- Process 20 minutes, then remove to cool overnight on a clean tea towel.
- As it cools, you will hear the ping as the lids begin to seal.
- In the morning, check the seal. It should have sucked down onto the jar, and not have any give, or popping sound as you press on the center.
- If any jars have not sealed properly, they can either be re-heated and re-sealed or refrigerated for current use.
Enjoy the fresh taste of summer even in the depth of winter by canning fresh garden produce now!