Here we are at the end of summer again. For me, it’s a race to the farmers market any chance I get. But with those trips, I find myself purchasing large amounts of tomatoes and chile peppers. I always have the best intentions, thinking I will use it all before I am forced to use it all, lol! Yeah, ok, that never happens. After all, there are only two of us and I only have so much storage space. You are probably saying, “Can it!” If my sister-in-law Janet were here, it would have been done last week. She is so fast and effecient when it comes to canning salsa and pepper jelly. Just so you know, she has not shared that pepper jelly recipe with me yet. Hhmmmmm… I love her regardless, Lol! I find it more special when she shares it with already made in those cute labeled jars. Sharing food, in my opinion, is how we show our love and affection. This original recipe was inspired by the years we lived in Texas and discovering Tex Mex food. I came to love round tortilla chips ladled in yellow cheese sauce and rounds of sliced pickled jalapeños. I couldn’t get enough at that time. And the salsa of choice in the early 80’s in Houston, Texas was Pace Picante Sauce. Not made in New York City! Ha, ha, ha! I enjoyed those commercials back then. Even my Mom got on the Pace Picante kick for a while. She thought nachos were the greatest thing ever! Before that, we enjoyed migas and chilaqulies, minus the yellow cheese sauce, but still loaded with cheese! We still enjoyed them, but the Texas-Style of doing things became part of who we were at that time. This Salsa Picante was inspired by Texas, picante sauce, frito chili pies, nachos and yellow cheese sauce. This is a great recipe for canning and because you are adding vinegar, the refrigerator shelf life is three times as long as other traditional Mexican cooked salsa’s. #Texas #PacePicante #foodieforlife
Cooked Tomato Salsa
Yields 3 quarts
Ingredients (Original Recipe)
8-9 large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
8-12 jalapeños or mixed hot peppers, diced(the peppers were small to medium in size)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, diced
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated onion
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped fine
2 tablespoons agave nectar, honey or cane sugar(adding sugar is optional)
Salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Variation: As you will see in the pictures that follow, I added these ingredients to the most recent batch. 1 poblano, 1 red bell pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1. Transfer the tomatoes to food processor and pulse to chop. Transfer to a large heavy pot and heat to medium heat.
2. When it comes to a boil, add all of the remaining ingredients.
3. Continue cooking the salsa at a low simmer, stirring now and then, for 60 to 70 minutes. You want the salsa to reduce and become thick. A good way to taste the salsa for salt is to spoon out about 1/4 cup and let it come to room temperature before tasting. Recipe yields over 3 quarts.
Adding vinegar is not a common practice to traditional Mexican salsa, unless you are preparing an adobo.
Late summer is the best time to hit up the farmers markets for great produce and the best prices!
For this recipe, I like using the vine ripe tomatoes instead of the roma or plum varieties.
Take your time and process each ingredient individually.
Add a variety of sweet, mild and hot peppers for a more tasty salsa.
Sweet onions are delicious as well and plentiful at the farmers market.
I will confess that I do like to use a good quality granulated garlic even when I use fresh garlic. To me, it’s just another layer of flavor!
This is a big batch of salsa. If you are watching your sodium, let the salsa come to room temperature before adding any salt. Salsa at room temperature will taste different as opposed to hot or cold salsa.
The little bit of sugar will level out the acidity of the tomatoes, but still an optional ingredient for most savory salsa lovers.
Never tried cumin seeds? If you love the flavor of cumin, comino in your dishes, I highly suggest you try some toasted, crushed cumin in your next dish. A little goes a long way!
Just like the cumin seeds, the Mexican oregano goes a long way.
And, at last cilantro! Love it or don’t love it, anytime you use fresh herbs, add them towards the end of your recipes for more fresh flavor.
The salsa freezes well. When it comes to defrosting, place defrosted salsa in a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. This will cook off some of the excess liquid that may build up during freezing.
Hatch green chile on everything right now!