Thursday, August 16, 2007

Making salsa to can

I spent my day today in the kitchen making salsa to can.

I got tired of the manual food strainer I used last year so I used my holiday bonus last year to buy this attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer. This will be my first time using it.

I also bought the food tray so it will hold more on top. I read several reviews before making the purchase and everyone advised buying it and it looks like I will be glad that I did.

And here it is attached to the mixer and ready to go.

First wash the tomatoes - I have approximately 16 lbs of tomatoes here. I also had 2 lbs of tomallitos.

Then cut into chunks and heat on the stove so they will go through the food strainer easier - if your pot is as full as mine, carefully stir so you get the bottom ones up and off the bottom - don't want anything burning!

Then run through the food strainer. This worked so well - I can't believe I have had this mixer for years and never knew they had an attachment to do this! The juice comes out the bottom and the seeds and skins out the other end all ready for the compost pile.

Then I put it on a burner and start it heating right away while I am cutting up the rest of the ingredients - it will be way too thin and you need to reduce it by at least half. I just add the other ingredients as I cut them up. I started out with 8 quarts of tomato juice.

I cut up 1 pound of hot chili peppers. I use the long anaheim type peppers.

I cut up 3 pounds of onions (not all are shown here ) and 2 oz. of garlic.

Then I added 1.5 pounds of bell peppers - I used a variety of colors because that is what I grow - lots of colors - they will all look green in the end - the pigment cooks out.

Then I added 3 cups of vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of salt.

And I continued to let it all cook down - stirring it occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom and burns.

And here it is 7 hours later - reduced by about half. I went out to the garden and cut some fresh oregano, basil and parsley which I chopped up and added. You don't want to add fresh herbs until the end.

I filled 7 sterilized jars, put on 2 piece seals and processed in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

And here is the finished product.

There is no right or wrong way to make salsa. This made a mild to medium salsa - mild enough for my son to eat, but spicy enough to taste. If you like it hotter add more chili peppers or use a hotter variety. Want more onions - add more. Don't like garlic - add less (I love garlic and always go heavy on it in all of my recipes). Just experiment and taste as you go.

I'm tired now - but it is so worth taking the time to homemade salsa.


Jen said...

How great--looks like the attachments worked very well!

Any recommendations on a food processor...or do you have the KitchenAid attachment?

Margie said...

Hi Kathi, I absolutly love homemade salsa!!! It tastes so much fresher and so much better than what you get all processed from the store! I just don't have a garden. I will have to pick up some tomates etc at the Farmer's market. We have a wonderful one here!

Love ya, Margie

Kathi said...

Hi Jen,
I have a food processor but I hardly ever use it - I don't like how it chops things unevenly - so I mostly chop by hand. I do use it for shredding. I may try buying some more attachments for my Kitchen Aid.

I wish you lived closer - I would give you some tomatoes. It has been way too many years since we lived in the same state. I miss you.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! That is a lot of tomatoes!! Salsa looks wonderful. I love your site! I am in San Diego CA and just decided to start taking care of my garden, now that my kids are 2, 3, and 6. Was hard before but they love it and I love the help!!

heather said...

i was wondering if you could tell me about tomallitos what they are and how to use them

Kathi said...

Hi Heather. Thanks for visiting. I don't really know much about tomallitos myself. I joined a CSA this summer to get even more fresh veggies and they came from there so I did some research on them and found that they were used a lot in salsa so I added them to my salsa. I'm not sure if I noticed the taste in there or not. But the salsa was extra good this year!