Sep 22, 2011

Chipotle Salsa and Cilantro Lime Salsa





This is going to be a long post so I'll try not to be too chatty today. All you need to know is that I got two huge boxes of tomatoes so I decided to make two different kinds of salsa. One's hot and spicy, and one's mild and flavorful.

Before making salsa, you must blanch and peel your tomatoes. So before those recipes, I'll show you how...

 First, get a huge pot of water boiling on high heat. I mean REALLY boiling. You want this water hot! Set a big bowl of ice water on the counter next to your stove. Place one layer of tomatoes in the boiling water quickly and carefully. You're not going to be cooking them through, you just want to heat the outside enough to make the skin start to crack and peel away from the meat of the tomato. Depending on what type of tomato you have, it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. But don't go any longer than that.

 Once the skin begins to crack, quickly pull each tomato out with a slotted spoon and slide into your bowl of ice water.
 The purpose of the ice water is to stop the cooking of the tomatoes. We're going to be cooking them anyway for the salsa, so it's not super vital that they cool completely. I usually just get them cool enough to work with and then pull them out.

 Once the tomatoes are cool enough, remove one and hold over a medium bowl. With a sharp knife, cut the stem base out. If you're using roma tomatoes, you can skip the next step. The tomatoes I was working with were more juicy than romas. You don't want watery salsa, so just point the end you just cut down toward the bowl and give it a gentle squeeze. Careful though, if you squeeze too hard you're going to end up with tomato juice in your eye! You're just trying to remove some of the liquid. This will also loosen the skin and you can now peel it off very easily.

 Now that you have lots of pretty, skinless tomatoes, you need to chop them up. I don't like the texture of cooked tomatoes very much, so my salsa ingredients are all pretty small. If you like your salsa chunky, you can just chop everything by hand and skip the food processor step.

First, grab a slimey tomato, slice it in half, then into 4 slices one way and 4 slices the other way. Then place into a quart measuring cup. Continue until you have filled the cup. Then pour the contents into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is achieved. Pour into a big huge pot. Continue until you've got six quarts of pureed or chopped tomatoes in your pot. Phew, now you're done with the hardest part! Now, we can move on to the salsas!

Chipotle Salsa

INGREDIENTS:
6 quarts of peeled, chopped, processed tomatoes
2-3 large onions
4 jalapenos
6 cloves garlic
1-12 oz can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 cup lemon juice


DIRECTIONS:
(This is assuming you've already peeled, chopped, processed the tomatoes and put them in a pot.)
Peel, chop and process onions.
With latex gloves on your hands, slice jalapenos in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds, finely chop or process jalapenos.
Mince garlic.
Process Chipotle peppers and Adobo sauce in food processor with cilantro.
Add all ingredients to pot and bring to boil on high heat.
Canning instructions below Cilantro Lime Salsa recipe.

Cilantro Lime Salsa

INGREDIENTS:

6 quarts of peeled, chopped, pureed tomatoes
2-3 large onions
8 jalapenos
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 bunch cilantro
1 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. lime juice

DIRECTIONS:
(This is assuming you've already peeled, chopped, processed the tomatoes and put them in a pot.)
Peel, chop and process onions.
With latex gloves on your hands, slice jalapenos in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds, finely chop or process jalapenos.
Mince garlic.
Process cilantro with lemon and lime juices. 
Add all ingredients to pot and bring to boil on high heat.


Canning Instructions:
*This is how I can my salsa... this is not the only way and I'm sure there are better ways. This is just how I learned and it works for me.*

While salsa is cooking, wash mason jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse and place in your oven. I like to lie them on their side, facing out, so it's easier to remove them later. Turn the oven on to 170 degrees (very warm). Wash and rinse lids and rims. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup hot water to boiling, remove from heat and place lids inside. Set rims aside.

Once jars have heated and your salsa is at a rolling boil, turn stove off. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars (use an oven mitt and a jar funnel!) one jar at a time, leaving 1/2 inch in the top of the jar. Wipe rim of jar, remove a lid from the saucepan (it helps if you can use a magnet on a stick), place lid on jar, screw rim on top and set aside. Fill remaining jars in the same way.

Fill a large (huge) pot with hot water. Set pot on stove and heat to just simmering. Place hot jars of salsa in pot, with water level 1-2 inches above jars. If it's not high enough, add more hot water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove jars from pot and set on a heat-proof surface to cool.


Yummm

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