There is nothing better than home made salsa or picante. Each of our kids, family and friends prefer it a different way – some mild, some medium and some hot – so we make and can it all three ways. But one thing is for sure – they all love it and we go through a ton of it throughout the year. I think what I like most about this recipe is that it tastes so fresh coming out of the jar. So many canned salsas we have tried and canned just had a flat, overcooked taste to them. With this – we open up a jar – chop up a little fresh cilantro – and it’s like you’re in the garden again!
So here is a really straightforward and simple way to make some great tasting picante salsa in no time at all. It usually takes us about 2 1/2 to 3 hours of real-time to can a batch – but we are only truly working at it for about 25 to 30 minutes of that time – and are free to do other chores around the house.This recipe will make enough for about 8 to 10 pint jars.
As for mild or medium or hot – that is really to personal preference – but I can tell you that we use no hot peppers for the mild – 1/2 of the amount for medium, and all of the amount for hot.
Here are the ingredients and steps:
40 to 50 Roma Tomatoes
4 Green Bell Peppers
8 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
3 Sweet Red Peppers
4 Medium White or Yellow Onions
2 Tablespoons Garlic Salt
1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons of Salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
HOT INGREDIENTS :
NOTE : Use 1/2 for medium heat – ALL for Hot – we use a variety of hot peppers to add more depth of flavor – if you want – you can just use 5 jalapeno’s for medium heat and 10 for hot
4 Jalapeno Peppers – seeds and all
6 Cajun Belle Peppers
3 Tequila Sunrise peppers
2 Serrano Peppers
STEP 1 (10 minutes) We start with about 40 to 50 washed Roma tomatoes – We cut the ends off and dice them up into small 1/2 to 1 inch chunks – skins and all. We will fill a 6 to 8 qt stock pot – add in 1/4 of the cup of apple cider vinegar and put them on low to medium-low heat to cook down.
STEP 2 (10 minutes) While the pot full of tomatoes is heating slowly and cooking down (we will stir it about every 10 minutes or so) – we take all of the other ingredients listed above – in no particular order – and dice into a fine liquidy chop in our food processor. We also add the juice from the two limes and the other 1/4 cup of vinegar to the mix. We place it all in a large Tupperware bowl – put the lid on it and set it to the side.
Step 3 (1 minute) After an hour or so – when the tomatoes first start to break down – we take our immersion blender into the stock pot and blend it all together – it speeds up the cooking down of the tomatoes.
Step 4 (1 minute) After another 20 minutes or so – when the tomatoes are really heated up and breaking down – we take the immersion blender one final time into the stock pot and blend together.
Step 5 (5 minutes) Using a small mesh strainer bowl – we then shake through the contents of the tomato plan into another stock pan – it leaves behind all of the skins and most all of the seeds – and leaves us with some good pulpy tomato stock to start our picante salsa with. You could also use a mill grinder at this point – the strainer bowl has always seemed faster for us.
Step 6 Dump in all of the ingredients you have in the Tupperware bowl and let it all heat through for another 30 or so minutes to a slow boil
Step 7(5 minutes) Ladle into clean pint jars – and pressure cook at 10 lbs. of pressure for 18 minutes. You could also choose to water bath at this point for 45 minutes – we just find that it is so much easier to pressure can.
After that – your all set! When we do open up a jar to use – a lot of times we will chop up a little fresh cilantro and maybe a chopped sweet pepper or onion to add even more freshness to the picante.
Jim and Mary