Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crock Pot Salsa

Yesterday I cooked up another batch of salsa. This was my third batch this year. The 15 pints that I made in August lasted a month. Yes, only ONE month! It was major salsa indulgence!!

After we ran out of the first batch Daughter #3 was having some serious withdrawal symptoms and decided to get out the big jug of picante sauce that had been sitting, neglected, in the fridge for weeks--and poured some into a small bowl. A couple of chips later she set the bowl down angrily and exclaimed “This is NOT the same!!!” I had to smile, partly because I knew exactly how she felt and partly because she didn't realize that anyone was party to her discontentment (she is my least likely of children to complain--this was a big deal).

So I made up a second batch--only I pressure canned it. I had concerns about the safety of just doing water bath canning and I decided to go the safest route. It was terrible. We couldn’t really tell the difference between it and store bought salsa.  No one will eat it.  Alas, we’ve become salsa snobs!!

For this newest batch I halved the recipe I’ve been using and cooked it in my Crock Pot. I decided to freeze it instead of canning this time. The flavor is awesome and my family is happy again.

Here’s my yummy salsa recipe…

Crock Pot Salsa
  • 15-20 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5 cups onions, chopped 
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (my kids actually prefer salsa without garlic but since I've been up to my armpits in minced garlic I put some in this time.)
  • ½ cup jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (Be sure to use rubber gloves when chopping hot peppers and make sure that you are careful not to touch your face while chopping.  I speak from painful experience!!  Respect the hot pepper!!)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
Combine all ingredients and cook for approximately 4 hours on high in a large Crock Pot, stirring occasionally.  At the end of cooking time add a handful of cilantro if desired. Allow to cool. Place in desired freezer containers and freeze. Thaw when ready to use. Enjoy.  Makes 8 pints (give or take).

I chop everything by hand (as opposed to using a food processor) so when making the standard size batch it's an all day adventure for me.  I've also chopped all the veggies except for the tomatoes on one day and did the tomatoes and cooking on the next--to break up the tedium.  It's a labor intensive project but oh, so worth it!!  :-)

The beauty of this recipe is that, since it goes into the freezer, you can vary any of the vegetables to your own taste. I used the peppers I had available which were red, white, brown and orange and my tomatoes were red, green (the ripe kind of green), and orange. If you like your salsa hot just add hotter peppers. If you like it super child-mild add fewer hot peppers--or even omit them completely.  Experiment.  Have fun. There's a lot of play in this recipe--since it goes into the freezer.

Be sure that if you are canning salsa to follow a proven canning recipe so you don't get sick--or worse!!

This salsa turns out pleasantly chunky and is also a great substitute for canned Rotel tomatoes.  If you don't like "chunks" just toss it into the blender for a bit before packing it away in the freezer. 

Before I run out of tomatoes and peppers this harvest season I plan to cook up a nice big batch of Black Bean and Corn Salsa as well. It’s my absolute favorite salsa--especially spooned over scrambled eggs and cheese!! Oh the deliciousness!! Hopefully I’ll have enough ripe veggies soon!

1 comment:

Chatty Crone said...

Crock pot salsa?? That does sound good. You know when we first got married we must have gotten about ten crock pots and that was 40 years ago.