My Dancing Friend Across The Pond just visited the Captain and I for a lovely 12 days!
She Arrived on the 20th of September and flew off to London on the afternoon of the 1st of October!
I am sure if she is reading this post….she will assume I will be discussing dancing….particularly salsa dancing!
However, I will be talking about canning salsa rather than dancing the salsa!
Most people assume “canning” veggies and fruits are difficult, when actually…they are relatively easy!
One just needs to have the equipment at the ready….
- a large pot (at least 7 1/2 inches tall and about 9 1/2 inches in diameter)…a stock pot works nicely.
- a saucepan for simmering the lids and rings
- measuring cups and mixing bowls!
- Fresh ingredients specific to the recipe
I happen to have an old enamel canning pot that I have had for over 40 years and I use that to sterilize my jars and process my recipe, but any large pot will work.
The first thing to do is to wash the jars, lids and bands (rings) in hot soapy water being sure to rinse well.
The next thing I do is keep my jars warm until I am ready to fill them with my ingredients, by heating them in a pot of simmering water. (or you can heat them in your heated dishwasher)
I fill the “canner” with enough hot water to cover my jars with at least 1 inch of water and I heat to a simmer (180 degrees)
Next, I prepare my recipe…in this case, the salsa….by chopping the veggies and simmering for about 10 minutes!
I blanch the tomatoes first, then plunge into ice water, and then I peel the tomatoes… and this is easy to do if you score the bottom of the tomatoes before blanching in hot water….
Plunging the hot tomatoes in ice water or a cold water bath make them easier to peel…
Much easier to peel, the skins just need a gentle nudging…;). I seed the tomatoes, but not completely…your choice. The same with the hot peppers! (The seeds are the “hot source” of the jalapenos, etc.)
Oh, and please remember when working with ingredients that have a lot of acidity…use glass or stainless steel. If you use anything aluminum, the acid will “pit” your pan.
Chop the tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, bell peppers. and garlic and heat all the ingredients on the stove top for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
I like to have my salsa chunky, so the “chunks” are never uniform in size….just a matter of preference…could be a little laziness thrown in there too!! 😉
I then ladle the hot salsa into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace….(this allows for expansion)
and then I use a slim non-metallic spatula to remove any air bubbles. (in this batch of salsa, I happen to grab my VitaMix spatula, but any will do)
The next step is to wipe the rims of the jars to remove any spills…(note the Royal Blue nail polish….that is my support of my sports team) ;0
I use a magnetic lid lifter to remove the lids from the saucepan in the simmering water and then center the lid on the jar and screw the band (ring) until tight….but not too tight…the technical term is “finger tight”.
Place the filled, sealed and ringed jars into the water bath (called processing) and allow to boil (process) for about 20 minutes. (cover the canner with a lid)
Remove the lid from the canner (my canner has a rack that hooks on the top of the canner, lifting the jars out of the water) and allow the jars to acclimate to the kitchen temperature. (about 5 minutes).
Carefully remove the jars and place on a towel (never a cold surface) and allow to cool…12 hours or overnight is best.
You will start hearing the “ping” which is the signal each jar is sealed….I just love that sound….almost like my own little song! (Don’t worry if you count the pings and they don’t add up, you most likely missed hearing one) 😉
Allow the jars to cool to the touch, as I said I leave mine on the counter overnight…and place on a nice cool, dark shelf in my pantry.
The next time you want salsa…you have the freshest possible salsa waiting on your pantry shelf.
Now, how easy is that? 🙂
ANYONE can “put up” veggies or fruits or syrups or whatever your heart desires!
The steps I have shown you work for what ever you are “canning” or “putting up”
Plus, Christmas is coming and you can give a gift of your fresh canned salsa!.
Tie a pretty green ribbon around the jar of salsa and present to anyone, and it would be most appreciated!
You can hand print a label or buy a pre-made label with your name and the recipe….endless possibilities!
Below is my printable recipe for canning your own salsa…or you can use the same recipe to make on the spot, just before serving at your tailgate party. (Football Season is here)
AND, by canning your own salsa…well, that leaves you more time to actually dance the salsa with your honey!…Or dance around the kitchen by yourself!
I can hear the music now….and I am singing along with it…or is that Gloria Estefan singing….
“the rhythm is gonna get ya! the rhythm is gonna get ya!” 😉
- 5 cups of chopped tomatoes (I like to remove the seeds)
- 2 1/2 cups of chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped seeded chili peppers
- 2/3 cups of cider vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of coarse salt
- 1/2-1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
- Place the clean jars into the stockpot (canner) of boiling water, allowing them to simmer until ready for the ingredients.
- Combine all the veggies into a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently until slightly thickened.
- Reduce the heat and gently boil for about 10 minutes.
- Ladle the hot salsa into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Remove any air bubbles by using a non metallic spatula (gently pressing the food against the opposite side of the jar)
- Wipe the rim of the jars and place the lid in the center.
- Screw the band (ring) until tight...but not too tight.
- Place the jars in the water and cover with a lid.
- Process the filled jars in the boiling water for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the stockpot lid, wait about 5 minutes and then remove the jars to a towel on the counter.
- Allow to cool about 12 hours before storing on your pantry shelf.
- As your jars "seal" you will hear a ping and you can visually see the center of the lid now has an indention. You may leave the rings on or remove them, being careful not to "bump" the sealed lid.