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mexican salsa

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Okay folks,
I have been looking around all the other cooking type sites trying to find a recipe for salsa that I can put up (Canning it). I have been very unsuccessful and should have came here first. Does anyone have a simple salsa recipe that is great for canning? A couple of things I would like it have: Kind of chunky, medium to hot, ingredients I would like to use are simple as well, tomatoes, jalepeno's, onions, fresh cilantro and here's the problem, don't know what else to put in there. Don't know how long or if at all I should be cooking it. Pretty sure that once it's made I can hot bath it for 15 minutes or so to seal the jars. Any help getting me in order would be appreciated. . . .:confused:

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post #2 of 17
Contact your county extension office, or get in touch with the National Center For Home Food Preservation, to get all your questions answered. Canning is an exact science. It requires precise timing (no guesswork), taking into account not only the ingredients in the recipe, but also altitude, and canning method. 15 min might be enough time, but you want to be absolutely certain. The jars will probably seal, but that may only indicate that enough air has been expelled to form a vacuum. It does not always mean that the contents have been processed long enough to eliminate any possibility of botulism, mold or other spoilage.

Another resource is Miss Vickie's Guide to Modern Pressure Cookery. This website has a forum where you can post your questions or concerns, and receive good answers. If Vickie Smith does not know the answer, she will point you toward the experts who can.

I hope you do well with your salsa. It sounds really good. :)
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

mexican salsa

Thanks Bunches for the quick reply. I have been canning for quite a few years and have it down pretty good (Yes, it must be precise). You are so correct about the ingredients being a huge part of the processing steps. For example I will not process anything with meat products, just too risky for me. I LOVE to process with tomatoes because of their high acid levels. Great for protecting my products. I have tried lots of salsa recipes from folks at my work - BUT - they are extremely reluctant to provide me with the "complete" directions and ingredients.
I have tried it several times, just winging it, but it doesn't seem to turn out like I am expecting and frankly I didn't like them too much. They were either to "Fresh" too much onion, not enough flavor or something else wasn't right. I look at myself as a pretty good cook and "canner", but can not for the life of me figure this one out. I guess I am expecting it to taste similar to the store bought stuff. I don't know. Hope to get a couple good recipes from this site and give them a whirl! Thank You again for the quick reply and great advise. . . .
post #4 of 17
I n recent years, the USDA has issued revised information regarding the canning of tomato products, because many of the tomatoes available today have been genetically engineered to have less acid. Therefore, the recipes used in time past may need to be adjusted, unless you are certain the tomatoes being used were grown from heirloom seeds. The updated Ball Blue Book suggests adding lemon juice to tomatoes to compensate for the lower acid content.

I was not aware of this until very recently. When it comes to food safety, we need to be sure that all our information is as up to date as possible. I long for the 'good ole days' when corn was corn, peas were peas and tomatoes had acid. Oh...don't get me started...I could go off on a very serious tangent here. :look:
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post #5 of 17
Actually, Grace, your information is partially out of date.

Back in the '80s there were five true low-acid tomatoes introduced. Because of those, USDA revised its recommendations (in 1988, actually), suggesting the addition of lemon juice to make up for the possibility that low acid tomatoes would be used by home canners.

Four of the five varieties were almost immediately taken off the market, because nobody liked them. The fifth, until last year, was only available to commercial canners who wanted to put up a low-acid product (comercial processes are not the same as home canning, and the same rules don't apply).

Last year that final low-acid tomato was taken off the market. And, as I said, it wasn't available to home canners anyway.

But, like most gubmint regulatory agences, USDA locks itself into rules. Once standards are established they only get changed to make them more restrictive, never less.

I would suggest that even hybrids (ugh!), if tested with a pH meter, would come in more than acid enough for safe canning.

That aside, most salsa recipes I've seen designed for canning specifiy pressure canning, because there's enough onion, peppers, and other non-acid ingredients to seriously impact the pH.

The problem is that it's difficult to process chopped tomatoes at 10# for any length of time without them cooking down. So it's hard to get a chunky canned salsa.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 17
Thanks for the correction. :)
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great information folks, however, as far as the tomatoes I use they are ONLY from my garden and of the original heirloom type seeds - BECAUSE - I love their acid content and I hate the hybrid types.
Now the real question - Would anyone be able to provide me with a simple salsa recipe that cans well - maybe one that has been tried and turned out pretty well. I will be trying again tomorrow, regardless. I think my problem is the amounts of each ingredient. Like, someone wrote on this site about 3 tomatoes per 1 jalapeno pepper? I don't know and would love to hear from someone with some experience to provide me some guidance.
Thanks to you all for the discussions on safety - MUCH appreciated and I will continue to follow all the rules to ensure safe and delicious canning products.
post #8 of 17
"... find a recipe for salsa ... "

I can hear the voices around the campfire now...

"New York CITY!!!?!!?!!"

(sorry couldn't resist...) :)
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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post #9 of 17
Canning it really puts a damper on my ideas. People love my fresh salsa, but I've never attempted canned. I can't imagine a canned salsa cruda that is anything like fresh, just my opinion.
post #10 of 17
Not everyone likes the fresh (translate=raw) taste. The salsa I make is a hybrid ... pardon the play on word ... I use a good quality brand of canned chopped tomatoes, putting some of them into the blender with bell pepper, fresh jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, green onions, salt, pepper and dry oregano and blend-chop them together. When that is the way I like, I stir the blended ingredients into the remaining canned tomatoes. It's best of made an hour or so ahead to let the flavors can marry and mellow. My family enjoys it.
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post #11 of 17
I do used canned tomatoes for the part of the year when they are better than fresh. I'll also use tomato paste to thicken it sometimes. But the cilantro, onions, jalapenos, serranos and lime have to be fresh.
post #12 of 17
Today I made my usual salsa, and wrote down measurements for the first time. I don't know how "authentic" this is, but almost everyone tells me they've never had a better salsa to go with tortilla chips. Most say it's the best they've had. I use lime juice in mine. Today I used tomatoes from my garden, and to me it's not the same with lesser tomatoes, though I do resort to canned tomatoes when I can't get good fresh ones.

3 c. diced tomatoes
1 red onion, about 3.5" diameter, diced
scant 1/4 c. chopped cilantro (measure packed)
juice of 3 Mexican limes--bigger limes are fine, just don't use 3 of them
scant 3/4 t salt
1 large jalapeno (or to taste), finely diced

Just mix the ingredients. Make sure not to leave the diced onions out for long--mix them with the tomatoes to avoid the "old onion" flavor that I dislike. If you don't want any hot chile, use a little diced green bell pepper for flavor.
post #13 of 17
An option over canning is freezing if you have the space. Texture will suffer but it would be safer than guessing at canning.
post #14 of 17
I do not have the book at hand -- still in my boxes shipping back from Japan -- but Diana Kennedy in her 3-volumes-in-one big blue cookbook has a recipe for Sonoran-style salsa, which is a cooked tomato salsa. You start by broiling the tomatoes to get some black bits and that roasty flavor, and then you sort of lightly grind or mince them and cook them down with onions and chiles and so forth. The Sonorans apparently like theirs rather mild, but you could always just use more chile, or a hotter variety, or whatever.

The reasons I mention this:

1. I'm sure that book is around in some local library;

2. Sonoran salsa recipes can't be that hard to find, and there's not much to it anyway; and most importantly

3. If memory serves, you can do it so that the last step is just cooking it down. So you could cook it a little, just to reduce it a bit, and then can it up, letting the high heat (and possibly pressure) finish the cooking.

The flavor or texture might or might not be ideal, but you have no worries about safety or the basic approach: once it's canned and put up for a week or something, you just pop a can or jar open and try it, then tinker with your recipe from there. Far better in my opinion than trying to can salsa cruda, which will stop being "crude" as soon as you can it.
post #15 of 17
This goes to show that there are many versions of "authentic" and mine may not be close to any of them.
post #16 of 17
I didn't realize I revived a thread that was almost exactly a year old. I failed to re-read the original post, which asked about canning. My bad. I didn't mean to argue about canning vs fresh.
post #17 of 17

Salsa

Great recipe!
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