Introduction: Canning Restaurant Style Salsa

Make this one time, you'll never buy jarred salsa again....boom! I put up, and give out, a variety of jars every year, and everyone thinks I could run a farmers market stand selling this salsa alone. It's often better than most "Mexican" restaurants in Ohio serve.

You can make it the consistency you choose, I like it well blended because I let my Vitamix blender do all the work.The heat level is also easily modified depending on the peppers you choose, I usually make it medium-hot, the range I find most people prefer.

Canning salsa can be tricky business, and until I found this recipe, I never found another recipe I wanted to make. The acid in tomatoes can vary quite a bit and they often need to be pressure canned, so in order for them to be safe in a boiling water canner, most recipes add lemon juice, or other additives that just don't appeal to me. The original credit to this recipe goes to Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman, I'd been making her Restaurant Style Salsa quite a bit, but that only lasted in my house a few days. I finally searched canning restaurant style salsa and came upon the blog Good Life Eats where she modified Ree's recipe to be safe for canning---Yahtzee!!

The first year I made this I only canned jars for my dad, he's not the biggest fan of my other jarred jellies, pickles, or preserves, so I wanted to make him a special treat. By my next canning season we decided it's too tasty to remain a family "secret" we needed to share it with the world! This year I put up 60 jars.

This recipe uses canned tomatoes, which help with the safety aspect because they've already been canned. The other big modification to Ree's recipe is using at least 1/2 cup of lime juice, again bumping up the acid levels so this salsa can be canned in a boiling water canner.

Cumin, onions, peppers, garlic, all the stuff that makes salsa great is all here, let's get started!

Makes 6 pints, I often get more, and use a variety of different sized canning jars.

Slighty adapted from Good Life Eats Canning Restaurant Style Salsa recipe

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

2 - 28-ounce can Whole Tomatoes With Juice (I use Muir Glen Whole Plum Tomatoes)

2 - 10-ounce can Rotel Original (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)

2 - 10-ounce cans Rotel Mexican (diced Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro)

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-4 whole jalapenos, halved (seeds removed for milder salsa) (I usually use 2 jalapenos, and 2 hotter peppers, cayenne, Hungarian wax, serrano, etc.)

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt (I use Kosher)

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 cup fresh cilantro, since the stems have great flavor, I use leaves and stems

1/2 cup lime juice (do not use less than this if you are water bath canning; use more if you like)

Some helpful tips on ingredients:

Do not reduce the amount of lime juice or tomatoes.

Do not add extra peppers, onion, or garlic. You can reduce the amount of peppers, onion, or garlic.

Canned chilies may be used in place of fresh.You can substitute one type of pepper for another. For example, hot jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, yellow peppers, banana peppers, chili peppers may all be substituted 1:1.The key is not increasing the amount of low acid ingredients in relation to the amount of high acid ingredients.

Wear gloves while handling jalapenos and peppers. Don't touch your face until you have washed your hands.

Step 2: Blend and Cook

Prepare jars and boiling water canner. Sanitize jars in the canner, or in a 225F oven for at least 20 minutes. Keep the water in the canner hot. Wash lids and bands and warm the lids in a small saucepan, filled with water, over medium-low heat.

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, tomato paste, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

I've got a 64 oz. Vitamix blender container, but this full recipe is too much to blend in one batch. In order to check the flavor, I prefer dividing the recipe in half and blending each half, that way I can make adjustments to taste, and keep the consistency the same.

Add all ingredients to a large stock pot (I use an 8-quart). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Fill Jars and Process

Ladle hot salsa into clean, warm jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding additional hot salsa. Wipe jar rims with a damp towel, center the lid on jar, screw band down until fingertip tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 20 minutes. Turn off burner and remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool on cooling racks or a kitchen towel on the counter.

Leave jars alone for at least 12 hours until labeling and storing. Restaurant Style Salsa jars can be kept, away from heat and sunlight, up to one year. Store opened jars in the refrigerator.

Comments

author
TravisM18 (author)2015-11-03

Roma tomatoes are the way to go. Make sure you mince you galic good. And onions are your best freind. So other than that go easy on the ghost pepers.

author
TravisM18 (author)TravisM182015-11-04

I deleted that post.

author
bobcatsteph3 (author)2015-11-04

Thanks for your comment TravisM18 but I'd argue that I'm using the equivalent of "garden fresh" tomatoes as organic Muir Glen plum (a type of Roma) tomatoes are picked and canned perfectly ripe from fields that are far larger than I can grow at home. I explained my reasons for using canned tomatoes, as I don't own a pressure canner, and prefer not to risk poisoning my friends and family.

I'm not certain I'd use "Papa John's" sage advice either as I've never seen him at my local farmers market and haven't eaten his pizza in a couple decades, when I realized my own pizza will always taste better than a chain restaurant. Have a great day!

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Bio: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.
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