Salsa has to be one of the best possible ratios of work to reward. Tell people you make your own salsa, or better yet, bring some with you when you get invited someplace, and they’ll treat you like you’re a molecular gastronomist. When it’s really no more complicated than making a smoothie. I made some last year and it went so fast I shouldn’t have even bothered canning it. This year I set to rectify that.
3 dried red peppers
3 Cups tomatoes
1 C red onion
1/3 C cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Remove the stems of the dried peppers and soak them in hot water for twenty minutes. The type of pepper will affect the spice level, so keep that in mind when selecting. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the pepper the hotter. After the peppers have soaked, pour off half the water and then combine in a blender to make a chili paste. Add to a large pot.
Core the tomatoes and chop until you get 3 cups. I prefer using the food processor to save myself a ton of time. Run the onion, cilantro, garlic, and jalapenos through the food processor for a fine chop and combine in the large pot. Add the remaining ingredients.
Cook on medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep the heat low enough to prevent burning. After the salsa has cooked, run it through the blender one last time to get a consistent sauce. Can in a water bath for 15 minutes or store in the fridge for a few weeks.
See how easy? In the time it would take me to brown meat for tacos I could have the salsa simmering away. But since I’m an overenthusiastic canner, I won’t be having that problem for a while. I put up over 100 pints of salsa. We’ll be eating salsa for years.