Timothy Leary is Dead (atlanticat) wrote in home_cooking,
Timothy Leary is Dead

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AtlantiCat's World-Famous Salsa

Well, okay, it's not world-famous, but if you like the standard pickled-type of salsa (Pace, Tostito's), it's pretty damned tasty and better by far than any store-brand. This recipe is the non-canned version and it makes about eight or nine cups, or enough for a good-sized party, so you may want to cut the recipe in half for personal use. Also make sure you make it at least 24 hours in advance, preferably 48-72 hours, so the flavors have time to meld with each other into a proper salsa-like flavor. It's also been known to cure a cold-coming-on if you consume it heated. Yeah, it's special stuff. Here goes:


5 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, cored, and chopped
4 Jalapeno Chiles (or hotter, to taste), seeded and diced
2 "Hot" chiles (as hot as you dare, 2 Habaneros is pretty warm), seeded and diced
1.5 cups white or yellow onion, chopped
1.5 cups green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 5.5 or 6oz can of tomato paste
1 cup white or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt (canning or pickling preferred but table or sea salt will do)
2 teaspoons ground paprika


Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and put a bowl full of water and ice cubes in the sink.

Cut the cores out of the tomatoes and cut a large X in the skin of the bottom of each tomato.

When the water comes to a boil, drop the tomatoes into the pot in small batches for about a minute, or until you see the skins start to crack and peel. Immediately pull the tomatoes out and plunge into the bowl of icewater.

When the tomatoes in the icewater bath have cooled sufficiently for you to handle them, remove them and the skins should slip off very easily. Remove the seeds (use your thumbs) and chop the tomatoes, then put them into a large pot on the stove.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well-blended.

Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours or until desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally. Stir more often as the mixture cooks down because it will have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot as it thickens.

When the salsa is ready, pour it into containers of your choice, put a cover on them, and let it cool off on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before consumption.

Since this is not being canned, you can adjust the ingredients in whatever fashion you like entirely to your taste. I would not alter the amount of tomatoes but anything else goes. If you'd like it sweeter, use more red pepper than green pepper. If you'd like it hotter, load it up with Habaneros. If you'd like it milder, omit some of the chiles. If you love garlic, add more. Less acidic, cut the vinegar with water. You get the idea.

If you want to adjust the heat of the salsa on the fly, you can always chop up the chiles and cook them alongside the salsa in a half water-half vinegar mixture with a dash of sugar and a pinch of salt. Then when the salsa is done, add them slowly, stirring well and tasting after each addition. The basic recipe makes a mild to medium salsa.

Enjoy and let me know if you try it. I like to hear how variants turn out. :)
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