Introduction: Mission Salsa

This salsa is a tantalizing update of the classic Mexican roasted tomatillo salsa, "Salsa Verde", a staple condiment at any Mexican table and restaurant.

I myself have never been big on hot peppers. As a result, I have knowingly missed out on a wide variety of distinct dishes and opted for a blander palette that lacks that crucial condiment which brings depth and flavor to most mexican dishes.

My culinary life went on sans heat until one recent morning when I went out for brunch with my significant other. I ordered a simple fried egg and tamal plate and asked for the salsa on the side. To my dismay I received my dish smothered in green salsa!

To my good fortune this restaurant blunder was the best thing that could have happened. The salsa was quite mild, yet not without a subtle note of heat to it. It presented my taste buds with a delectable union of tangy and sweet flavors.

This salsa is my interpretation of what I had that morning. I hope that you enjoy making it as much as I do.

Step 1: Bringing Down the Heat on the Jalapeno

As I had mentioned before I can't go too far up on the heat scale. My tolerance has evolved over time but I continue to be a lightweight.

Jalapenos are about number six on the scale and already much too hot for me. The solution, when and If I add heat to my "Mission Salsa", is a mix of vinegar, sugar and water in a glass container.

The day prior to to making my salsa I cut a "T" shape into a jalapeno. Wearing gloves I remove the veins, seeds and top of the jalapeno. I soak it overnight in a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 oz. of water.

Note: This water mixture can be changed several times to continue to alter the flavor of your jalapeno.

Step 2: Prep the Food Items You Will Need

The Recipe

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillo husked, peeled and washed
  • 2 1/2 cloves of garlic minced ( I use garlic in a jar; follow your brand's directions on quantity required to make a whole clove).
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt for flavor balance
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 4 tbs sugar

Step 3: Prep the Tools You Will Need to Make Your Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

  1. Foil (enough to cover the cookie sheet)
  2. Cookie Sheet
  3. medium size knife
  4. Small cutting board
  5. lemon juicer
  6. Blender
  7. Lg. Pasta Pot
  8. Lg. Wooden Spoon

Step 4: Prep Canning Tools

  • Pint Jars for Preserving
  • New Lids and Rings for Jars
  • 4 pc. Canning Tool Kit ( headspace/air bubble remover, jar funnel, jar lifter , lid lifter)
  • Lg. Canning Pot
  • Stand to keep jars off the floor of the canning pot

At this point you will need to fill your canning pot with water allowing for a 1-2 inch head space for jars. If you have not done so already, sterilize your jars. I like to sterilize mine in the dishwasher. Also sterilize your lids in a small sauce pan.

*Ball has a really easy to follow step by step guide online on how to prep your jars and lids.

Step 5: Oven Roast

  1. For easy clean-up place a sheet of foil over a cookie sheet and roast your tomatillos, onions and jalapenos( if you like it hot). I place the jalapenos in a makeshift foil envelope because I like to control the heat level as I cook the salsa.
  2. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly roasted.
  3. Place the tomatillos, onions and cilantro in the blender, give them a quick pulse (30-60 seconds).
  4. Pour your mixture into your pot at medium heat.
  5. Pour in your salt, cumin and sugar into the pot and stir.
  6. If you are looking to control the heat of your salsa place your jalapeno in the blender now. Place a tsp of water into the unwashed blender cup you just poured the tomatillo out of.
  7. Pulse jalapeno and slowly add to your pot tasting for flavor.
  8. Once you have reached desired pepper heat bring up stove heat to med high. Allow salsa to boil for 1 minute before bringing the mixture down to a simmer.
  9. Simmer mixture for 20 minutes. Volume will be reduced by approx. 1/3.
  10. You can now blend in your lemon juice.
  11. You are now ready to pour your hot mixture into the jars.

Step 6: Hot Water Bath

It's time to fill your jars!

Place your hot jar on the counter, with the jar funnel in place & pour the hot salsa mixture into the jars. Always reserve a 1/2 inch headspace in each jar; don't forget to remove any air bubbles with the canning tool. Wipe the rim of your jar with a damp paper towel.

You are now ready to place the jars in the boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

Step 7: Your Almost Done

Remove the canning pot from heat and allow jars to sit in pot without the lid on for 5 minutes. Once the jars have sat for 5 min. in the canning pot, place them on a towel to rest for 24 hours. At this point you can check the seals on your jars to ensure freshness.

Voila! You are done! If you doubled the recipe you can do as I do and keep a jar refrigerated for daily use and store the other in the pantry.

About the last image, it is very important you keep track of the pH when preserving, I tend to check the pH as I bottle my salsa and I test the first jar I open.

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