Friday, June 21, 2013

Roasted Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa with Chiles

Now that we're back in the city, B and I have started a summer regiment of canning. We've only made two things so far, a ginger-peach preserve and this salsa, but if we promise to do more I think we can get away with prematurely calling it a tradition. 

If you've never canned before, this recipe is a great place to start. This salsa is a high-acid food, and is tested for waterbath canning. In fact, I got this recipe from Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving, so it's a tried and true method. Before you start canning be sure to do your research and learn about safe practices and techniques, which I'm not going to tell you about because there are so many books out there that can do a better job! For some really straightforward and bare-bones instructions, which is really all you need to get going, here's a link.

Roasted Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa with Chiles
Makes 6 pints

12 dried Pasilla chiles
12 dried Guajillo chiles
2 lbs tomatillos
2 lbs tomatoes
2 small yellow onions
1 head garlic
1 cup white vinegar
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt

Note: Although I am all for substitutions and using recipes as a starting off point for cooking whatever you want, in this case it's important to stick to the books. The ingredients and amounts specified are tested for home canning; altering the recipe can change the acidity and therefore the safety of the final product.

1. Remove stems from chiles and put 2 cups of hot water on to boil. Heat a large dry skillet over medium and roast the dry peppers until they are fragrant (about 30 seconds to a minute per side). Work in batches until all chiles are toasted and set aside in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over chiles and cover with a plate so that the chiles are weighed down and stay submerged. Let sit for 15 minutes to hydrate.

2. Meanwhile, husk tomatillos and break the garlic head into cloves, leaving them in their skins. Roast tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic and onions under a broiler for about 15 minutes, until the tomato and tomatillo skins begin to blacken. Keep a close eye on the veggies and turn occasionally so that they roast on all sides. When done, the veggies will be fragrant and should start to release their juices. Remove from oven and place the tomatillos and tomatoes in a paper bag. Close bag tightly and allow to sit until cool.

 3. When the rehyrdated chiles have cooled, puree with soaking water until smooth in a blender or food processor. Pour into a large stainless steel saucepan and set aside. Next, puree tomatillos, tomatoes, and garlic until mostly smooth with just a little chunkiness for texture. Add to saucepan with the chiles. Finely dice the roasted onion and add the the saucepan. Add vinegar, sugar and salt and stir constantly while you bring the salsa to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes.

4. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Remove salsa from heat and carefully ladle into prepped hot jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles by sliding a non-metallic spautla in the jar and gently pressing food to the side of the jar. Wipe rim clean and center a new lid on the jar. Screw band down until fingertip tight, but be sure not to go too tight; air must be able to escape while processing.

Kite trying to be helpful

5. Carefully lower jars into canner, making sure that jars are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes before removing from canner. Let the jars cool upright on a rack or towel for 12 hours before storing. Check all jars to make sure they sealed properly. If lid flexes when pushed, the jar did not seal. You can still use that salsa, just store it in the fridge to use right away. For the ones that sealed (and most likely, they all will) it's best to wait about a month before using this salsa, as the flavors mellow out and develop during storage.

1 comment:

  1. You're so inspiring, girl. I've done two things so far too, rhubarb jam and spruce tip syrup, but knowing myself, since we're about to enter the busy season it'll take a lot of effort to keep going. Kudos to you.