Canned Tomato Salsa

I looked at a lot of on-line recipes, which were basically the same ingredients by in different proportions.  I decided to start with my fresh salsa recipe as a base (since I get a lot of compliments on it…) and taste my way to something I’m happy with.

My recipe depends on how many ripe tomatoes I have, which is why I’m expressing this recipe proportionally rather than in absolute volumes of ingredients.  I scald the tomatoes for a few seconds in boiling water and then put them in an ice bath to loosen the skins.  I most use Roma tomato varieties, which are very easy to skin, are less watery and are generally an excellent sauce tomato.

A word on the chiles–Jalapenõs, Poblanos (Pasillos), Anaheims and Serranos are all different sizes and different Scoville units (a heat scale).  The smaller the pepper, the hotter it usually is, so three Jalapeños per lb is roughly equivalent to three Poblanos, which are much larger peppers.  I prefer larger chiles because aside from the heat, they have a more fruity flavor than the smaller ones.  Please note that fully ripe (red) poblanos/pasillos are much hotter than the green ones.  I recommend adding chopped chile peppers in thirds, letting it simmer for a few moments, tasting and then deciding whether to add another third, and then finally the last third.  Once you’ve established how many chile peppers are appropriate for the salsa batch, you are probably safe to repeat that for all your salsa batches since chile pepper heat tends to be consistent at the time of harvest, but varied from early to late season.Wear gloves while handing the chiles unless you don’t mind being uncomfortable for a few hours 😉

My proportions are:

5 parts fresh, peeled tomatoes.
2 parts green pepper
2 parts onion
3 Anaheim, jalapeño, poblano or pasillo peppers per pound of tomatoes
2 cloves garlic per pound of tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste per lb. tomatoes
Juice of one lime per lb. tomatoes
2 tsp vinegar per lb. tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt per lb. tomatoes
1/2 bunch cilantro per lb. tomatoes.

Omitting the lime, vinegar and cilantro, combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes to reduce and concentrate the flavor. Take off the heat and add vinegar, lime and chopped cilantro. Let sit for 30 minutes the bottle and place in hot bath to finish.

Salsa Verde (green salsa) is the same except the tomatoes are replaced with tomatillos and I omit the green pepper.

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