Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Canning Salsa

Preparing and Canning Salsa

Tomato Salsa with Paste Tomatoes: Yield: About 16 to 18 pints

  •  7 quarts peeled, cored, chopped paste tomatoes
  • 4 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
  • 5 cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups bottled lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons oregano leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)
 Note: This recipe works best with paste tomatoes. Slicing tomatoes require a much longer cooking time to achieve a desirable consistency.

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.


Chile peppers range from mild to fiery in taste. Very hot peppers are usually small (1 to 3 inches long); mild peppers are usually bigger (4 to 10 inches long). Anaheim, Ancho, College, Colorado and Hungarian Yellow Wax are mild pepper varieties. Choose a mild pepper when the recipe calls for long green chiles.
Small, very hot peppers provide a distinct taste to salsas. Jalapeño is the most popular hot pepper. Other varieties include Serrano, Cayenne, Habanero and Tabasco.

You may substitute bell peppers for some or all of the long green chiles. Canned chiles may be used in place of fresh.
Use only high quality peppers. Do not increase the total amount of peppers in any recipe. However, you may substitute one type of pepper for another.
The skin of long green chiles may be tough and can be removed by heating the peppers. Usually when peppers are finely chopped, they do not need to be skinned.
Hot peppers, such as the jalapeño, do not need to be peeled, but seeds are often removed.

Preparing Peppers:  I don't peel my peppers or tomatoes.  I use my grinder and just crank them through it.

If you choose to peel chiles, slit each pepper along the side to allow steam to escape. Peel using one of these two methods:

Oven or broiler method to blister skins - Place chiles in a hot oven (400°F) or broiler for 6 to 8 minutes until skins blister.

Range-top method to blister skins - Cover hot burner (either gas or electric) with heavy wire mesh. Place peppers on burner for several minutes until skins blister.

To peel, after blistering skins, place peppers in a pan and cover with a damp cloth. (This will make peeling the peppers easier.) Cool several minutes; slip off skins. Discard seeds and chop.

Hot Pack: Combine all ingredients except cumin, oregano and cilantro in a large saucepot and heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils.

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spices and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into clean, hot pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner according to table below:

Table 1. Recommended process time for Tomato Salsa with Paste Tomatoes in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 25

IMPORTANT:The only change you can safely make in this salsa recipe is to change the amount of spices and herbs. Do not alter the proportions of vegetables to acid and tomatoes because it might make the salsa unsafe. Do not substitute vinegar for the lemon juice.

Reference:  http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_salsa/tomato_salsa_paste_tomatoes.html

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