August 20, 2016

Homemade Salsa

Re-post today, because this is one of our family's summer essentials, and I just happen to be making a behemoth batch of it today! The Geologist requires plenty of salsa for football season, but we usually just barely run out after the Superbowl, so hopefully this batch will last a little longer. :)

Essential tips for making homemade salsa:

First: Wear gloves. Don't be a hero, you are slicing up jalapenos, and I don't care how tough you are, NOTHING gets jalapenos off your fingers. I tried it all, lemon, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, dish soap... Nuthin. You WILL put your finger in your eye. Or use it to put on lip balm and have spicy lips. Just wear the gloves. 

Second: If there is any possible way for you to move your food processor outside for the chopping of toxic veggies, do it! Extension cord, outdoor plug, whatever. It helps SO much!

Third: At some point you will have to cook this concoction, even if just for a few minutes. Make sure all of your doors and windows are open, all fans are on first, you are simmering tear gas. You will run from your kitchen, eyes streaming, seeking shelter from the fumes! Ventilation, people!

Fourth: Keep ventilating as long as possible. All night if you can. Your whole house will smell like salsa. Which is kinda fun while you're making it, not so much when you wake up the next morning... and your pancakes taste like salsa... Took me 48 hours to get the salsa smell out of my house!

Homemade Salsa

5 cups fresh tomatoes, quartered and peeled
1 white or yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves of garlic, roasted (drizzle head of garlic with olive oil, wrap in foil, bake in 400 degree oven for 35 minutes)
2-4 jalapeƱo peppers, quartered and seeded (2 makes mild salsa, 3 for medium, 4 for hot!)
2 yellow peppers
1 green or red pepper
2-3 poblano or anaheim peppers (optional: we love poblanos for their sweet smokiness, but be careful, because either of these peppers will add extra heat! But also extra flavor, so if you're concerned, skip 1-2 of the jalapenos)
We had never seen a purple pepper before, so of course we had to get one!
Sanitize jars and lids in a hot water bath or dishwasher. Remove to a clean towel on the counter or table to dry. Bring hot water bath back up to boiling.
If you have a food processor, pulse all veggies until the chunks are as small as you like them. With the food processor OFF, run your fingers through to make sure there are no huge chunks left. Or, just chop everything as small as you want and run the tomatoes through your blender to crush, but not puree them. Pour all processed veggies into a large pot.
So pretty! I love the little purple bits :)
Stir in:
1 Tb fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tb white vinegar
1/2 Tb salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Bring to boil, lower to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Makes 6-7 cups. 

Spoon salsa into sanitized jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Screw lids on tightly. Process in hot water bath for 45 minutes. Remove and set on clean towel to cool 24 hours. Check lids to make sure they are sucked down tight, and don't pop up when pressed.
My husband is in heaven! He likes his salsa as fresh-tasting as possible, and this is a variation on his Mom's recipe. He also loves the little tiny bits, because you can taste more components in each scoop. If you like your salsa thicker and more ketchup-y, this salsa is not for you. You can toss your garlic in un-roasted, but it's much yummier roasted!
Full of ripe, sun-soaked peppers and tomatoes, cilantro, a hint of lime. It doesn't get much more summery than this! Feel free to adjust, play with different peppers, add some tomatillo... Make it your own!

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