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Tomatillo Mexican Salsa

September 19, 2010

This morning I got up early and once Matt was gone to work (his 7th straight day) I put in one of my favorite Neko Case cds and got busy in the kitchen.  Working alone does have its advantages (loud music); although, Matt and I do make a great canning team.  Will he ever return to can with me? 

Todays mission…TOMATILLOS.  I’ve never worked with these green little beauties but boy am I glad to get my chance.  On their own they are super tasty; somewhere between a tomato and an apple? or is it an asian pear with seeds like a kiwi?  I like them and between batches I snuck a few on my turkey sandwich.

RECIPE FOR TOMATILLO MEXICAN SALSA (from Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving):

  • 1/2 lb tomatillos (about 7 tomatillos)
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers or 1 hot banana pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup each: apple juice and cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp each: ground cumin and dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  1. Remove husks from tomatillos and discard.  Wash tomatillos well.  They are sticky and may need to be gently scrubbed with a soft brush.  Coarsely chop the tomatillos into uniform size pieces about 1/2″x 1/2″.  Wash and prepare other ingredients. Note: We always use a separate plate when cutting any kind of hot pepper and wearing gloves is also a good idea.  This way you can be sure not to contaminate your cutting board and skin with that burning hot intensity these peppers pack.   
  2. Place tomatillos, chiles, garlic, red pepper, onion, carrot, apple juice, vinegar, salt cumin and oregano in a medium stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in sugar, return to a boil and boil gently, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is thickened.  Stir often to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom.  Remove from heat.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary by adding more salsa.  Wipe rims with a damp paper towel.  Place snaps and lids on each jar, screwing bands down until they are finger-tip tight.  Place jars in hot water bath and bring to a full rollling boil and process for 20 minutes.  When the time is up, turn off heat, remove canning lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars to a folded towel on the counter. 
  5. Check seals, label, and store.  Refrigerate any unsealed jars.

This recipe comes from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Maragret Howard.  I love the recipes in this book as their ingredients often vary from some more familiar recipes.  Part of the reason I chose this recipe was their use of carrots and apple juice.  It seemed like an interesting choice and provides the finished jars with a great taste and a wonderful array of colours.  However, I find the batches too small and I often double or triple the recipes.  I did a triple batch of this salsa.  And, I still did not get the expected yield (500mL per batch).  I tend to thicken my batches down more than usual.  I don’t like especially runny salsa.  Personal preference.

Put up Total (a single batch will yield approximately 375mL):

  • 1 x 500mL wide mouth mason jar
  • 1 x 250mL wide mouth mason jar
  • 2 x 250mL regular mouth mason jar

Note: the recorded Ph is 3.73

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