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Canning Salsa

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I joined this site about a week ago when I was about to make some salsa and can it.  I came looking for recipes but couldn't find anything but, also did not spend lots of time searching through forums.  I wanted a "traditional" Mexican salsa.  Not one that goes through the blender or food processor but more of a chunky type salsa.  My husband and I decided we wanted a "Pico de gallo salsa".  We wanted something that was chunky and flavorful like pico de gallo but also had some juice too it.  

 

I found this recipe below and followed it to a "T" except where it says "optional" I omitted these.  Now this salsa tasted GREAT as I was cooking it.  However, after putting it in jars and the jars sealing, it tastes, for lack of better words, like crap!  This is so similar to the salsa we've made to eat in one day that I thought it wouldn't be bad in a jar sealed for later eating.  However, it is so disgustingly sour that I do not know how to fix it.  It is not sour from the tomatoes but sour from the lime juice.  The sour is very biting and can be tasted on the middle back of the tongue.  Is there a way to fix it and re-can it?  (with new lids of course).

 

 

 

 

7 quarts paste tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped

12 whole long chilies peeled, seeded and chopped

5 cups onion chopped

2 jalapenos seeded and finely chopped

6 cloves garlic minced

2 cups bottled lime juice

2 TBSP salt

1/2 TBSP red pepper

2 TBSP ground cumin (optional)

3 TBSP oregano leaves (optional)

2 TBSP cilantro (optional)  Only optional item I put in the recipe

 

any feedback you can provide will greatly be appreciated

 

 

post #2 of 9

I just canned salsa myself the other day. My recipe is similar but I don't understand all that lime juice. I think that adding to taste would be better.......and....I added the cilantro.......It turned out terrific. What's a paste tomato?

post #3 of 9

I don't know what paste tomatoes are either. There is tomatoes and then there is tomato paste in a can. Does she mean tomatoes canned or fresh or packed in puree?? Or does she mean plum tomatoes>??

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 9

Pico de Gallo won't can well as it's not supposed to be cooked at all.  It's a fresh salsa.

 

You can't just can any salsa you like. You have to hit the right acidity for safe canning, but then you have to have a recipe that balances the flavors of that acidity.

 

Canning is not a focus of many members here but hopefully KYHeirloomer will be along soon to offer his insight into the issue.

 

Rather than canning salsa for out of season use, I've liked better using a canned tomato product and making a salsa from that. Usually crushed tomatoes is my choice. This way I get the fresh flavors I'm looking for from the cilantro and such.

post #5 of 9

Many of recipes written today, for canned salsa, call for way too much acid, usually in the form of lime juice.  This is because it has been determined, by the powers that be, that regular salsa is not acidic enough to be safely canned by normal canning procedures (they would need to be pressure canned).  It is claimed that the addition of all the onions and peppers lowers the ph enough that there is a possibility of botulism.  While I disagree, this is the stand that the USDA and all Extension offices have taken so any recipes derived from them will be heavy on the lime juice.

 

Also as stated before, pico de gallo, doesn't fare well in canning as the process itself cooks the salsa, but there is no reason that you can't make a cooked salsa that is still quite chunky. 

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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #6 of 9
Salsa cruda -- what everyone here is calling "pico de gallo" -- doesn't can happily. You're talking about holding fresh, chopped tomatoes for more than a couple of days. As the happy natives say in Mexico, "Rots o' ruck with that."

The rule of thumb for making fresh salsa cruda is not to cling too closely to past successes, but to wing it based on what's fresh, how much you have of what, how much heat you like, then add salt and lime juice to taste. Tomatoes, onions, chili, fresh lime juice, cilantro, salt, maybe some garlic. How hard is it? I know that's not much help, nor even germane, but there you go.

You think the problem was the lime juice, but it could have been the interaction of lime and tomato, and/or lime and onion. Difficult to say. In any case... lesson learned, right?

You want to look for recipes for "salsa fresca," which sounds fresher, but does not depend on texture as much, holds better in general, and does can well. Most of the popular bottled salsas in the Mexican aisle of the super are one form of salsa fresca or another. If it's good for La Vittoria and Herdez, it's good for the USA.

Don't trust someone who wrote a recipe ten years ago half way across the country to know your ingredients. Taste and adjust.

Bottled lime juice is a REALLY BAD IDEA.

Yours in cliantro,
BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/13/11 at 6:06pm
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post #7 of 9

Like the old Tic-Tac commercial, paraphrased, "Can you eat without Pico de Gallo? Sure, but why?

 

For me, pico de gallo is a la minute, not pre-prepared!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #8 of 9

We can salsa at my Casa Q all the time. It's an old tradition down here in south Texas, have many fond memories of my mother, aunts, grandmas all getting together to bottle tomatoes and salsa. The men would get a good fire going outside burning down some mesquite wood and the had these wash tubs half full of water, boil tomatoes and then they had this little gadget with a lever that would seal a new bottle cap onto a coke bottle after they peeled the tomatoes and stuffed them into the bottles. Then boil the sealed bottles in the water a while and let them cool. They would last all year outside under the floors of the old frame homes (cooler there).Some of the bottles were filled with salsa that also had boiled serranos or piquins.

 I do it the easy way nowdays. I boil the tomatoes and chiles and garlic along with the cilantro (cilantro just  blanched at the end). Peel boiled tomatoes, and chiles and put them in the blender, just lightly pulse. I usually put the garlic bulb in first though with a little tomatoe liquid and blend it well so it permeates the whole mix thoroughly. May have to do several batches in the blender then empty it into a large pot all together and mix it up well salting  just a bit to taste. Then I put it into canning jars I buy at walmart, boil them a bit till the top "pops" and voila. Doesnt even need refrigeration, just keep them in pantry for months until ready to use but will admit they rarely last longer than a couple weeks around here. We are salsaholics in my house.. 

 

Salsa below are left to right. Large one is tomatoe and chile piquin, smaller one is tomatoes with habanero chile, next one is tomatoes with serranos and cilantro and garlic and at far right is pure serrano chile salsa with a hint of garlic, excellent stuff. You would be amazed how delicious these simple salsa are with just a tad of salt to taste. Have tried lime or lemon in past too and it just does not go in a salsa, pico yes salsa no.

 Also like to grill the veggies to make salsa, absolutely wonderful stuff. You can see the chiles next to the blender have been grilled and the grilled tomatoes are already in the blender, nothing else just grilled tomatoes and chiles with a pinch of salt is amazing when cooked over mesquite coals. 

 

 

 

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post #9 of 9

A "paste" tomato - when gardening certain tomatoes are better to be used in making paste. Italian "Roma" tomato comes to mind

but there are others.  They are normally thick and "meaty" less juice.  You can also have tomatoes in your garden that are marketed as a "slicing" tomato. 

In my opinion only, as an old farmer, while all the labels can be somewhat helpful, a good variety of flavors in different tomatoes is always good.  If you don't want the juice, drain it to what you want, this for salsa.  Sauces, etc. may take a longer period to thicken when cooking down.

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