I got so long winded on my post about prepping tomatoes for canning that I plum forgot to let you in on my salsa recipe.
I wish that I could give you the complete recipe, but I can’t. I lost it. Somewhere in my recipe mess. But it doesn’t matter, I remember the basics, and that is what is important, right?
And what I did was take the basic recipe and, once again, tailored it to make it my own.
The main ingredients (from what I remember) are tomatoes (duh!), peppers, onions, splash of vinegar and salt. Simple, right?
So now you’re reading this going “Well, if it’s that simple, what makes your salsa so special?”
It’s all the love, darlin’, all the love. And my kind of love is knowing how my family likes their salsa: thick and hot!
See where all that prep work with the tomatoes was leading? hehehe
Until fancy schmancy upscale chefs got ahold of salsa, it was a fairly no-nonsense recipe that added onions, peppers and a few spices to tomatoes and viola: salsa.
Nowadays it’s got mangos or corn or rainbows in it. Hmph.
As the saying goes: Keep it simple, stupid! And that is what I do. But simple to me means spicing it up with an assortment of hot peppers.
This cast of characters include Chili, Cayenne, Banana, Jalapeno and Habanero. All grown by yours truly thankyouverymuch.
Sidebar: Want to know a little secret? I grew these over ten years ago. Yep. I dehydrated them and stuck them in airtight containers. Whoever tells you that they will lose their potency after “x” amount of time is pure loco. It has been disproven. Just ask my family.
OK, back to the game.
Depending on the amount of tomatoes that you have for your salsa and the amount of heat you want this stuff to have, just alter the amount of peppers you add.
Same goes for all the ingredients, except the vinegar and salt. These 2 are key ingredients in the preserving process. You don’t need to be “exact”, but close it better than nothing. A tablespoon each of vinegar and salt to a 5 quart pan of ingredients will do nicely.
Now with these hot peppers, the seeds are where all the heat is. If you want the pretty color but not all the heat, toss aside some of the seeds. It’s OK, I won’t tell.
After you’ve chopped them up, dump them in with the tomatoes. Heck, throw everything together. It’s a party!
Bring it up to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Let these guys cook away for an hour or so. You’re gonna notice that there is juice rolling around on the top, so if you want to get rid of some of it, just tilt the cover and let it evaporate.
Fill those jars, plop ’em in the hot water bath and you’re in the home stretch. When their done processing (according to the time tables for processing tomatoes) and you’ve heard that wonderful “pop” of the lids, the real waiting begins.
What, you think that now that the salsa is done you get to grab a bag of chips and dig in? Not in my house! The family is not allowed to touch this stuff for at least 3 months. You’ve gotta let all those wonderful flavors meld together and let the peppers do their stuff.
When you’ve celebrated the new year, you have waited long enough. Grab your favorite tortilla chip, pour a generous amount of salsa into a bowl and STOP!
CAUTION: Because of the intense heat of the peppers used in this recipe, there is one precaution that I must warn you about. DO NOT touch your eyes or certain parts of your body if you have gotten this salsa on your fingers, unless you care to have the most excruciating burning sensation of your life inflicted on your body. I’m serious. This stuff is delicious, but lethal in the burn department.
OK, you may resume.
The thing that my family likes so much about this salsa is that you actually get to taste all the flavors before that gentle burn starts in the back of your mouth. The longer it sits in the jar, the hotter it gets.
My daughters found a jar that was 4 years old and decided to eat it. The next day their bowels went a little spastic. I don’t suggest you let it sit that long. Actually, I’m not sure how that jar went undiscovered.
So there you have it. Simple, delicious salsa to warm you up during the cold winter months (and through next summer, if it lasts that long). Share it with your friends.
Just remember to clue them in on the caution part, OK?