Saturday, July 24, 2010

Preserving with Dr. Monkey

Today's episode, salsa!
I started out by washing and cutting up 8 cups (two quarts) of tomatoes. I made a batch yesterday and it was really soupy because I scrupulously put as much of the liquid from the tomatoes in the pot, so today I wanted my salsa to be less soupy so I didn't put the excess liquid in the pot. And as I cut my tomatoes I put them in a colander and let them drain even more before I measured them before putting them in the pot.

After I got my 8 cups cut, drained somewhat and in the pot I put in my seasonings. I added 2 tsp of sugar, 4 tsp of pickling salt, 2 tsp of paprika, 2 tbsp of coarsely ground black pepper, the juice of two limes, and 4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. (The salt, the limes, and the vinegar help preserve the salsa.)
Next I chopped up one large onion, one half of a red bell pepper, one sweet banana pepper, three de-seeded cherry bomb hot peppers, and four cloves of garlic and I added it to the tomatoes and spices. Then I turned on the burner and brought it to a gentle boil.
As soon as I saw it was gently boiling, I turned the heat way down and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Most salsa recipes call for two to three hours of cooking time.
I got four full pint jars and one nearly full pint jar (which I stuck in the fridge after it cooled down) out of this batch and while it was much less soupy than yesterday's batch, it was still kind of on the too soupy side. Now that I've worked with the basic recipe, which I found here by the way, a few times, I'm good with monkeying around with it. Next time I'll add more tomatoes but I'll try pressing a lot of the liquid out of them first and I'll add way more peppers, probably some pablano, more banana, and jalapeno, and more onion.

When I open and use these jars that I made yesterday and today, I'll try to remember to chop up some cilantro and to add some freshly chopped onion to give it more bite and crunch.

All in all though, I like this recipe and I like what I've made so far. But most of all I like knowing what's in my salsa.

I'll probably try canning some tomato based pasta sauces and some tomatoes before the summer is out. I like canning and I may even try pickling a few things as well.


Megan said...


Lisa said...

A friend of ours gave us a jar of homemade salsa once and ever since, store bought just seems so....


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Since I plan on giving some of this salsa away to local friends who may or may not like cilantro, I chose not to put any in the main batch. If people want to, they can put some in theirs later when they open, as I said I was going to do in the body of this post.

Sudeaux said...

Once you go "homemade" it's hard to go back to "store bought".

Nicely done, Dr Monkey! Looks like you have just the right amount of hotness without it being blazing hot, too.

GETkristiLOVE said...

But where's the seltzer? You can't have salsa without the seltzer.

Little Merry Sunshine said...

WOW! I'm so incredibly impressed! When you talked about salsa the other day on Facebook, I was hoping you'd post pictures and the recipe. I'm going to copy this recipe when my tomatoes ripen. Thanks!

slyght said...

i didn't realize you cooked salsa. as much as i love it, i kinda figured it was raw. fancy that.