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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Putting up with: Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde is made from tomatillos which are not easy to find in my neck of the woods.  It's not that they can't grow here, it's just that they're not a common, well known ingredient.  So when I found tomatillos for sale by the bushel at the market, I had to pick some up.  We got a large basket of tomatillos that cost $5 and made two batches of salsa verde for canning. 

When canning, you have to follow the recipe pretty closely in order to stay safe.  The recipe has to have the correct balance of acid to preserve properly without going bad. I combined two recipes from my canning book Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving.  

Here's the equipment you'll need first:

12 x 250mL canning jars with rings
12 x new snap lids for jars
boiling water canner
canning tongs/jar lifter
wide mouth funnel

You can buy all this in a kit or separately.  

Canning isn't too difficult, but it is time consuming.  You need to boil a huge amount of water (about 20L) which really heats up the kitchen. We luckily picked a nice, cool day and took advantage of the breeze.  

For the salsa verde you need:

  • 5.5 cups chopped tomatillos
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 chop hot peppers, chopped (I used jalapeños, poblanos and green chilis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup white vinegar

The tomatillos have a papery skin that's generally loose but can be stuck tightly to the fruit. 

It needs to be removed from each tomatillo.  

The skin leaves a sticky film that needs to be washed off.  I just rinsed them in the sink.

Chop the peeled and cleaned tomatillos into quarters.

Their texture is not really like tomatoes, it's more solid.

Finely chop the onion. I used a food processor but it doesn't need to be this fine.

Mince the garlic and cilantro.  I also did this together in the food processor.

Add all the ingredients to a large pot, including the lime juice, vinegar, salt and cumin.

Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 

You can leave it chunky, but I like to purée it with an immersion blender.

While the salsa is cooking, bring the jars to a simmer in the canner.

And heat snap lids in hot (not boiling) water.

When the salsa is ready, fill the hot jars with hot salsa using the canning funnel.

Fill the jars to within 1/2 an inch of the top.

Use a non metalic utensil to remove any air bubbles from the jar.  I used a wooden skewer.  Continue filling jars and wiping rims clean.

Place the snap lid on top of the filled jar.

Then add the screw ring and just tighten until you feel a slight resistance.  

Carefully dd the jars to the canner.

Once all the jars are added, cover the canner and bring to a boil.  

Boil for 15 minutes, then carefully remove jars from canner.

Let the jars rest, undisturbed for 24 hours.  You should hear the "pop" of the lids sealing within the first hour of resting.

This salsa is great with chips or on fajitas or tacos.  You can also make green enchiladas, or a lovely topping for fish or chicken.  Enjoy!

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