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Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 21, 12 at 14:36

Since it's salsa season, I thought I would post some additional notes I've made since the 2009 thread.

As far as I can tell, the NCHFP hasn't done any additional testing, so I am "assuming" this is the most current recipe and acidity requirements.

Please feel free to add any other notes - I've tried to address most of the other commonly asked questions.

Annie's Salsa Recipe

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cups (16 oz.) tomato paste

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes.

Makes about 6 pints.

Additional Notes for Ingredients and Processing:

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
*Any type or color of tomato may be used (paste, canning, beefsteak, a combination of different types, etc.) The paste types will be meatier, the canners such as Rutgers are somewhat juicier than paste types and the beefsteaks the juiciest of all.
*Some prefer, as Annie does, to remove the tomato seeds and gel sacks. Some don't remove the seeds - this is personal preference.
*Measure after peeling, chopping and draining.

2-1/2 cups onion, chopped
*Roughly a 1/4" chopped size (this is the size used in the NCHFP testing - a little larger won't matter, but try not to have the pieces larger than 1/2" maximum).

1-1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
*Roughly a 1/4" chopped size.

3 - 5 jalapenos, chopped

**Pepper Notes: Any combination of green, red, whatever color peppers is fine. 3-5 jalapenos equates to roughly 1/4 cup, so total peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups. For a spicier salsa, you can decrease the sweet peppers and increase the hot peppers by the same amount. Or you can use hotter peppers (such as habaneros or serranos) but the TOTAL amount of peppers cannot exceed 1-3/4 cups.

6 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced
*Do not increase. Small differences in size of cloves should not matter.

2 teaspoons cumin
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

2 teaspoons ground black pepper
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely. Any dried ground pepper such as cayenne may be substituted for a portion of or all of the black pepper.

2 tablespoons (same measurement as 1/8 cup) canning salt
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
*Can be reduced or left out entirely. Do not increase. Dried cilantro or other dried herbs may be added, but not more fresh herbs (fresh herbs change the pH - dried herbs do not). Add additional fresh herbs only after you open the jar.

1/3 cup sugar
*For taste only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
*Can use any flavor vinegar (white, cider, etc.) as long as acidity is at least 5%.
*However, you can substitute bottled lemon or lime juice in any proportions according to taste (for example, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup lime juice) as long as the total equals one cup.

2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
*Can be reduced slightly. See "Density" notes below.

2 cups (16 oz.) tomato paste
*For texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely.

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars leaving 1/2" headspace, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

Makes about 6-7 pints (I always seem to get 7 pints).

JAR SIZES:
You may:
Process in pint jars (either regular or wide mouth) or smaller (12 oz., 8 oz. half pints, or 4 oz. quarter pints). Process all smaller sizes at the same processing time for pints.
You may NOT:
Process in larger jars (24 oz., 32 oz. quarts or 1/2 gallon jars). Testing was done only in pint jars.

PRESSURE CANNING PROCESSING:
The recipe for pressure canning originally specified 1/3 cup vinegar and copies of that recipe are still available on the Internet. Pressure canning salsa has not been tested, therefore it is not officially recommended.

If you wish to pressure can the salsa, you must include full 1 cup of vinegar. Processing time that is currently used by some is 10 lbs. pressure for 30 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

DENSITY:
Because salsa is eaten out of the jar without heating and includes low acid vegetables such as garlic, onions and peppers, it is one of the riskier products to can at home due to two factors: the pH or acidity level (the normal cutoff point for boiling water bath vs. pressure canning is a pH of 4.6 and salsa can edge very close to that) and the density of the product.

The salsa should be thin enough for the liquid portion to thoroughly suspend the chopped vegetables so the very center of the jar heats up to the same temperature as the outer portion next to the glass during processing.

If you want it thicker, puree it AFTER you open the jar. DO NOT puree before processing - this would affect the density. Or add a thickener such as Clear Jel or cornstarch AFTER you open the jar.
DO NOT add other low acid vegetables before processing, such as corn or black beans. Only add them after you open the jar.

ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENTS:

If you live above 1000' in elevation, you need to calculate your altitude adjustments for both boiling water bath (BWB) and pressure canning (PC). As your altitude goes above 1000 feet the atmospheric pressure is reduced. This causes water to boil at temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

For safety in water bath canning, you must bring the contents of your jar to at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To compensate for the lower boiling temperature at altitude, you must increase processing time.

For this salsa recipe, BWB times at altitudes of (per the Ball Blue Book):

Up to 1000 ft. Processing time is 15 minutes.
1001 - 3000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 5 minutes to 20 minutes total.
3001 - 6000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 10 minutes to 25 minutes total.
6001 - 8000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 15 minutes to 30 minutes total.
8001 - 10,000 ft. Increase processing time an extra 20 minutes to 35 minutes total.

Adjustments for pressure canning can be found in the Ball Blue Book or on their website.

Do make sure you know the altitude where you do your canning. People that live in Denver know they are in the Mile High City and have to make adjustments, but portions of cities like Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma City are all above 1000' and it may be something you're not aware of and need to be compensating for.

WHY DO I HAVE TO USE BOTTLED LEMON JUICE????

The pH scale runs from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline).

Each increment from 0 to 14 is 10 times more acidic/alkaline (remember the "magic" number of pH 4.6 for BWB vs. pressure canning). pH testing on fresh lemons ranged from 2.20 to 3.20, so one variety of lemon or even an individual lemon grown in a different orchard might be 10 times LESS acidic than another. Bottled lemon juice, which is processed to a standard acidity, is used for testing in recipes and is also pasteurized, therefore it also will not create any further enzyme reactions in your canned goods (per the folks at ReaLemon a couple of years ago).

Note: Bottled lemon or lime juices are only called for when canning borderline pH foods (tomatoes and salsa usually). If you are making jams and jellies with high acid fruits (any fruit excluding Asian pears, bananas, mangoes, figs and melons), feel free to use fresh lemon or lime juice.

Do I personally like using bottled lemon juice? Not particularly, but when a canning procedure SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR IT, I use it without questioning it.

A very good explanation is in this publication from North Dakota State University - "Why add lemon juice to tomatoes and salsa before canning?"

Especially note the different pH values of individual varieties of tomatoes (and there are thousands more varieties).

and for the more science oriented, this 2004 paper from the NCHFP:

Studies on safe acidification of salsa for home boiling water canning

Hope this helps :-)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I don't care for cilantro, I suppose it would be safe and fine to leave it out? And would it be ok to put in an equivalent amount of basil? I know it's a salsa recipe but I like basil.

I believe in following recipes exactly but I am thinking that something that minor would be ok??


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Thank you so much for posting this. I was just looking for a salsa recipe with bell peppers that would let me use another color of bell peppers instead of green. (I really hate green peppers). This is so detailed and clear, and it is extremely helpful how you spell everything out with all the comments on how to do things and what variations are allowed (e.g. the type of peppers). I am printing this post right now!


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 21, 12 at 15:53

Gene,
Yes, the notes clearly say you can reduce the cilantro or leave it out entirely. A caveat about using basil instead - I seem to recall a number of posters said that using basil in canning (I think it was in reference to Chunky Basil Tomato Sauce, though) made it bitter and they didn't care for it, and preferred to add it it fresh when they opened it or stirred in some pesto instead.

Your taste buds may differ. And I don't know if fresh basil vs. fresh cilantro would make a difference in the total acidity of the salsa. I'd just be guessing.

Hubcap, you are very welcome. I do hope these notes help.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Thanks for all the info! I love Annie's Salsa. Last year (new at canning) I canned 85 pints and looking forward to make more this year. I didn't grow any peppers this year cuz I have many peppers in the freezer.

QUESTION:
What about using frozen peppers? I know it's okay BUT doesn't the measured amount change so less would be needed? The thawed frozen ones are soggy and flat. I used less than the amount called for in the recipe. Thanks for your wisdom!


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Agree with Malna - go very light on the basil. Too much can ruin a whole batch and 1/4 cup of it would be way too much IMO. You can add more after opening the jars if needed.

Frozen peppers would need to be measured before they thaw if they weren't measured before freezing. If you measured after they thaw it would be way too much and skew the pH.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Can the tomato sauce be left out? I'm using my garden harvest and trying to avoid adding too many canned products into my salsa.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

The salsa must be thin enough to ensure proper heat penetration during processing. If you are using juicier tomatoes like beefsteaks, you might not have to add very much sauce at all.

It doesn't have to be canned sauce - I use my homemade sauce. At this time of year, I always have a pot of tomatoes cooking down for sauce (I freeze it totally unseasoned so I can use it a lot of different ways in the winter).


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Thanks. I'm not using any paste tomatoes - only heirloom eating and beefsteak varieties so there is actually a LOT of juice I'll only also use 1 can of tomato paste which I think will make the right consistency. I made a different recipe and that ratio seemed to be watery enough.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Personally I'd use the sauce cans and leave the paste cans - both of them - out. I know Annie has said before that the paste is optional. But including the cans of sauce insures the correct thickness and gives it a boost of citric acid safety at the same time.

Dave

PS: I never use paste tomatoes in mine either, just slicers.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 25, 12 at 14:14

Personally, I'd use the tomato paste (which is nothing but tomato pulp according to the can I have on my shelf) and leave out the tomato sauce IF you are using juicier tomatoes. Canned tomato sauce usually has additional salt, "natural flavor" whatever that is, and additional water.

Either way, I think you're fine (safety wise).


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Ok, I'm new to canning & made the salsa last night/early this morning. I had seen the other recipe that called for 1/3 c. Vinegar & saw where Annie had mentioned that she uses the pressure canner instead of BWB, & On that thread, I had read where the vinegar has to be increased for BWB instead of the other way around? This is why I chose to do the pressure canning even though it was my first time pressure canning & I was scared of it....& even though its a longer processing time (much less waiting on pressure to go down & such)...I wanted to use less vinegar to not have a vinegary taste.

Now I'm wondering about it since I read this.

Also, when I opened the pressure canner, I smelled the salsa first thing & the water was tinted a little...a little orange like tomatoey but just a hint. I at first thought a jar had burst, but it hadn't. There was none of the actual salsa in the PC water& no broken jars, but it did have a slight orange tint.

Also, when I lifted the jars out of the PC, each of them had liquid (water?) in the bottom of the jars....just like 1/4-1/2" or so. I wasn't sure if this was normal? That, along with the slight orange tint of the water made me wonder if some of the canner water had went into the jars somehow?

Today I noticed they had all sealed ( still gotta do the other seal tests like taking the bands off & holding it by the lid & all), but they seemed to have sealed. Most of them were sealed when they came out of the PC. But, I noticed air bubbles or liquid looking bubbles throughout the salsa, even though I had used the tool to remove air bubbles & measured the 1/2" headspace (hope I did it correctly).

Is this going to be safe to eat? I only made 6 pints so I know it won't be long term storage..we will go through it pretty quickly.

What do I need to do differently the next time I make it? I'm especially concerned about the vinegar amount differences between PC & BWB because I know I read that it is to be increased if using BWB vs. PC. I need clarification on that.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Oh, & I forgot to mention. This salsa was AWESOME!! After i filled the 6 pints, there was a little bit left for me to try & it was absolutely GREAT! I think I will decrease the sugar just a tad next time, but not if I have to add more vinegar (will probably increase if adding more vinegar).


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

From the notes above:

PRESSURE CANNING PROCESSING:
The recipe for pressure canning originally specified 1/3 cup vinegar and copies of that recipe are still available on the Internet. Pressure canning salsa has not been tested, therefore it is not officially recommended.

If you wish to pressure can the salsa, you must include full 1 cup of vinegar. Processing time that is currently used by some is 10 lbs. pressure for 30 minutes. Adjust for your altitude (see below).

As far as the tint in the water, liquid siphoned out of the jars a little. Nothing to worry about - it's a common thing with pressure canning until you practice a few times. Sometimes, the salsa separates, and you'll see a thin layer of clear liquid at the bottom. Either twirl the jars back and forth to stir it back in (you don't need to turn it upside down and shake it) or just stir the salsa when you open it.

If it was me, I'd put it in the refrigerator and eat it pretty quickly, since it only has 1/3 cup of vinegar in it. It's more than likely perfectly OK, but why take a chance?

If it's too vinegary for you with the full 1 cup, try some lemon or lime juice. For instance, I use 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup of lime juice.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I was very nervous about canning salsa a couple of years ago after reading lots of threads on this site about "following recipes exactly". This always seemed difficult because the recipes use volume and not weights, and because of different ways of cutting/chopping that might result in more or less of the ingredient than intended. While safety and botulism issues are real, I've come to the conclusion that there must be a large margin of safety built into tested recipes to protect us from ourselves!

So I follow the recipe as exactly as I can. I make the salsa with a combo of tomato types. But I choose to use 12 oz of paste and 12 oz of canned tomato sauce. I have no idea how thick or thin my sauce is compared to others, but it mimics a pace picante salsa -- what my husband likes.

I was terrified of this 2 years ago, but I've relaxed somewhat knowing that there has to be a huge margin of safety built in.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I'd have to disagree about the max amount of peppers being 1 3/4 cups. personally I cannot eat onions. I sub out the onions with peppers, 4 cups total, I also leave out the hot peppers so my kids can eat the salsa. (I'll add some Sriracha to my own salsa when I open the jar, if desired). Been making salsa this way for 3-4 seasons now, never had any issues, no problems, not a jar gone bad yet (knock on wood).


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

can i add corn and green beans to this salsa or if i make a different salsa with corn and beans
1= if use a pressure canner
2= freeze the salsa then thaw it out to use it
ty


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

'd have to disagree about the max amount of peppers being 1 3/4 cups. personally I cannot eat onions. I sub out the onions with peppers, 4 cups total, I also leave out the hot peppers so my kids can eat the salsa.

Your choice of course, your risk to take. But subbing peppers for onions would not be approved per the guidelines as it would change the pH from 5.3 to 5.9 and that is a BIG change. It would change the density as well. So it is not something to be advocated to others. Only like can be subbed for like - peppers for peppers. Leaving out the hots is no problem. One can always reduce low-acid ingredients but you cannot increase low-acid ingredients and remain within the safety guidelines.

Been making salsa this way for 3-4 seasons now, never had any issues, no problems, not a jar gone bad yet (knock on wood).

May your luck continue. But most don't subscribe to the "no one has died yet" school of thought. Especially when it comes to salsa since it is eaten fresh from the jar with no further cooking to kill any toxins that may have developed.

can i add corn and green beans to this salsa or if i make a different salsa with corn and beans
1= if use a pressure canner
2= freeze the salsa then thaw it out to use it

If you freeze it you can add anything you wish. If you mean to can it, no. Those are additional low-acid ingredients and they would make the salsa totally unsafe for canning, even pressure canning if there was a computed time to pressure can it, which there isn't.

You may add any additional ingredients you prefer AFTER you open the jar but they cannot be included in the jars for canning.

Salsa is one of the most risky canned items there is to play around with simply because it has had very limited testing and, as I said above, it is eaten fresh from the jar.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I also posted this in the 2009 thread before I found this one :)
I just started getting into canning because of my prolific garden this year and wanted to say that this recipe is great! I ended up using my new pressure canner as a BWB and made 6 pints with just enough left over to try. Its a hit already. My first time canning and all 6 sealed! Great recipe! I left out the cilantro and used some tomato paste, no sauce, but otherwise followed the directions exactly :)


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I have been making this salsa recipe for years, found it on this site when I started to can years ago. I find it very confusing that the recipe changes year to year, depending on who's posting the thread. I have always pressure canned it and followed the recipe to the letter. However,I am finding that things change from year to year. Now I read that the vinegar must be increased to one cup if you are pressure canning. Who has decided the recipe changes and why was it always a 1/3 cup vinegar before. I realize that recipes MUST be tested and followed. So...here is my question, if you stick with recipes from the NCHFP you should be good to go? It must be very confusing for those newbies out there.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

1C vinegar is news to me as well, and I just completed another yesterday with 1/3.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

It isn't that the recipes changes. It doesn't. It is just that rather than use it as originally listed people keep trying to make modifications to it as well as to the processing. They then want to post those modifications, debate/discuss them etc. and sometimes post them incorrectly and all that only contributes to the confusion.

Now if I were to post the original recipe and the subsequent changes it would only create more confusion as it differs from some of the above.

So it boils down to your choice. Pressure canning time approval was withdrawn by the extension office that did the testing. If you want to pressure can it - I do - then use either amount of vinegar you prefer as long as you understand that it is not approved by the extension and wouldn't be no matter which amount of vinegar you use simply because they didn't test it for pressure canning.

Dave

PS: Logic should tell you that BWB canning requires more vinegar than pressure canning does not LESS and that pressure canned recipes require LESS vinegar, not more.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by cziga Zone 5 -Toronto (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 12 at 13:47

This is a really good summary of the salsa recipe and all the adjustments that people ask about ... It can be overwhelming and confusing to try to sift through everything to find the proper way to do it. I've been trying :)

Reading above, the only question I still have is about the tomato sauce. You say the paste can be left out entirely, but the sauce can only be reduced slightly? I look under density and still don't really understand. I thought the sauce was there to make it thicker, if you wanted a thicker consistency. Shouldn't that mean that you can choose to leave it out? I was thinking of making the salsa with some added tomato paste (probably less than the 2 cups called for in the recipe) but with NO tomato sauce. I didn't want to use someone else's sauce. Would this be ok, or not? I thought it would be fine, but re-reading the instructions, I am now confused again. Do I have to use the added tomato sauce to make the recipe safe?


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Another example of trying to modify the recipe. Have you tried making and tasting it just as the recipe is written?

The recipe was tested and approved as it is written. Any modifications, any attempts to change, add, and/or delete things affects that safety and is done at your own risk. How much affect has so many variables that it is just guessing and NCHFP makes it very clear that salsa is not something to be guessing about.

Sauce makes things thinner when added to solids. It adds more liquid since it is still 40-50% water. Paste contains minimal water, is primarily composed of solids, so it thickens what it is added to. Both affect density but in opposite ways. It is important for home canned salsa to be sloshy in the jars for proper heat penetration.

I didn't want to use someone else's sauce.

Then why would you want to use someone else's paste? Most of us make our own canned sauce but very few people make their own canned tomato paste. There are high quality tomato sauces and tomato pastes available commercially so if using one type is acceptable then there is no reason why using the other would not be acceptable.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by cziga Zone 5 -Toronto (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 12 at 16:05

lol, I know ... we should just use the recipes as written. And if sauce is important to the recipe, then I would use the sauce ... it just seems that some things are optional and I thought sauce might be one of them.

The (small) problem I have is that tomato paste, while commercial and canned, has only 1 ingredient: tomatoes

Tomato Sauce, commercial and canned, has quite a few more and not all that I would necessarily put in my own.

But if the sauce is important to thin out the salsa, then I understand that it would be fairly essential. I was just wondering if it was one of the "optional" ingredients. Some do seem to be ...


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by cziga Zone 5 -Toronto (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 12 at 16:11

I was just reading the 2009 thread, and notice that in that thread, both the SAUCE and PASTE are marked as "for texture only. Can be reduced or left out entirely". In this thread, the PASTE still says that but the SAUCE says "can be reduced slightly".

Maybe this is why I'm confused. Is this change based on more recent discoveries in terms of safety in the last couple years ... or is this just a result of too many people asking too many questions, and things getting a bit muddled, lol?


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 12 at 16:45

I based the change in MY notes about the sauce being optional due to this post:

Posted by digdirt 6 -7 AR (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 26, 10 at 14:07

Best to check with Annie then because as far as I know the paste is optional - Annie has said that many times - but the sauce isn't or the salsa is too think for canning. There have been several recent discussions about how too-thick salsa isn't safe to can. It is supposed to be soupy or it is too dense for safe heat penetration.

My BS in Food Science credentials are probably older than most of you and, back then, we'd never even heard of salsa - much less tried to can it at home :-)


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 12 at 17:21

I realized after I accidentally hit the "Submit" button a little too soon that I forgot the quotes:

So it should read:

I based the change in MY notes about the sauce being optional due to this post:

Posted by digdirt 6 -7 AR (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 26, 10 at 14:07

"Best to check with Annie then because as far as I know the paste is optional - Annie has said that many times - but the sauce isn't or the salsa is too think for canning. There have been several recent discussions about how too-thick salsa isn't safe to can. It is supposed to be soupy or it is too dense for safe heat penetration."

This is a comment from ME: My BS in Food Science credentials are probably older than most of you and, back then, we'd never even heard of salsa - much less tried to can it at home :-)

Sorry if that further confused anyone.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

... or is this just a result of too many people asking too many questions, and things getting a bit muddled, lol?

Exactly. There are likely 200 threads here about so-called "optional changes". None of them have been approved by the lab that did the original testing, only by guesstimations made by discussions here.

In theory one could claim that ALL the ingredients in the recipe are "optional" but only if you want to accept the associated risks of making the changes. Otherwise you make the recipe as written, as it was approved by the lab testing, and without any changes.

back then, we'd never even heard of salsa - much less tried to can it at home :-)

Agree. The fixation on salsa is definitely a generational thing and it isn't our generation. And canning it instead of making it for fresh eating as it should be? Definitely not my generation of canners.

Which is what makes it so difficult for me to understand why so many insist on trying to "adjust" it when it is so risky to begin with. USDA/NCHFP didn't even take up testing on any home-canned salsa until 2006 so I'm often tempted to say "Hey, just be glad that a tested and approved home-canned salsa recipe even exists!" :)

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by cziga Zone 5 -Toronto (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 12 at 18:58

Ok, so the tomato sauce is an essential ingredient ... I understand ... tomato sauces vary a lot though, even commercial ones you buy in the market. Some are thicker than others, some are very plain and some have a lot of added herbs and flavors (roasted garlic, onion, even meat sometimes). Some people make their own sauce. So which tomato sauces are ok, or are ANY of them ok (and it is just the added liquid that is important)? Even homemade? Could I use my own sauce? Could I use my own canned crushed tomatoes (they are even more liquid, so the salsa would be even looser)? It seems that for something that is borderline safe, there is a lot of variation?

I'm sorry for all the questions, by the way, but I'm just trying to understand :) Salsa is something I'd like to can a lot of, I can use it in lots of things over the winter, and as a snack as well, plus it is something I can give away ... and we have tons of tomatoes ... so I'd like to get it right.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Just plain old Hunts or Contadina (just a couple of the brandnames) tomato sauce, none of the flavored ones. Tomatoes, salt, water and citric acid is all they have in them. Sure you can use your own home canned sauce, many do.

You could use your own canned tomatoes if necessary but that would be double processing so not the best quality or the most efficient, especially since you have tons of tomatoes.

Gifting home canned salsa isn't usually recommended simply because it is one of the most risky home canned foods. It is a low-acid vegetable mixture balanced on a fine line of pH and density that is easy to skew and then BWB canned. Which is why modifying it in any way isn't recommended. On top of that it is eaten fresh from the jar without the added protection of additional cooking. So many recipients will not trust it as they do high acid home canned foods like jams, jellies, pickles and such.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Interesting discussion about updating the recipe. I've been canning Annie's salsa for about four years now- it's definitely my favorite, and I love playing with different hot pepper assortments for different flavors. This year I added a ghost pepper to one batch and I've affectionately called it "Annie's Ghost". That one's getting hotter as it sits...

Anyway, I don't use the tomato sauce- I think it dilutes the flavor of the wonderful heirloom tomatoes and hot peppers I use. But I also don't peel, de-seed or drain my tomatoes- I use every drop of tomato liquid from chopping my tomatoes. The resulting salsa (without added tomato products)is actually quite watery and runny, so then I add one small 5 ounce can of tomato paste per batch. This thickens the salsa very slightly since it's just one small can. This takes it out of the runny/watery category, but it's still not anywhere near as thick as most commercial salsas.

Gosh, the first time I made Annie's Salsa I followed the directions with the added tomato products, but I let it cook down for a good hour or so- it was really thick and chunky. Good thing no one suffered ill effects, and it was only that one batch!


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Boy, this recipe just keeps coming back.

The difference in the pressure canning recipe and the BWB recipe is that I pressure canned the first batches because they had not been approved. I had to add more vinegar/acid because I wanted to BWB it. Lemon and lime juices have been subbed for the vinegar with good results, I understand. Since those ingredients are more acidic than vinegar, it's an OK substitution.

The only version of this recipe that has been approved is the water bath version that calls for one cup of vinegar. I believe the pressure canned version is safe or I wouldn't have done it, but I can't guarantee that. It was not approved. I also cannot guarantee the recipe if changes are made. Again, I believe it's safe, but it's not approved.

As for density, I only use my homegrown tomatoes, such as Bonny Best and Rutgers, plus whatever else I have on hand. This year it's Great White, Golden Jubilee, Mortgage Lifter. I've used the ever prolific SunGold, but I don't peel 'em, that's too tedious, LOL. I have never used Roma or paste tomatoes, so I can't tell you about the density of the sauce if you use those. I probably wouldn't use the additional paste in that case but again, that's not how the recipe was made when approved and it has not been retested. Given the cuts in funding to the state universities, I think the possibility of it ever being retested is pretty slim/next to none, and my friend at the extension service also retired. (sigh)

I'd love to make a batch with just the Great White tomatoes, but I don't think I'll get enough at one time. I think it would make some unusual looking salsa, though.

It's funny, this has been my most popular recipe and I don't even really care for salsa. I make a couple of batches a year and seldom eat it, the tomatoes and onion give me horrific heartburn. I'm sure glad everyone else is enjoying it, though!

Yeah, I'm still around. My tomatoes are finally ripe so I'm canning the Basil Tomato Sauce from Ellie Topp that Readinglady/Carol posted and KatieC's Smokey Chipotle Catsup today Life's been busier now that I've retired than it was before, I don't know how that happened.

Happy Canning.

Annie


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I started to make this last night but has to stop (due to little ones deciding it really wasn't bed time!), so I put the tomatoes (chopped, peeled and measured) and the chopped, measured onions in the pan, covered in the fridge. Do you see ANY reason that would cause a problem if I pick up right where I left off and continue to make & can the salsa? Thanks.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Okay.. so I worked off the 2009 thread which said the sauce was optional... I canned 6 pints without the sauce. Do I have to chuck it? :(


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 10, 12 at 10:21

KerryV,

Sure, you can pick up where you left off. No problem.

Swimcat14,

As long as your salsa wasn't super thick, you're fine.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by cziga Zone 5 -Toronto (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 13, 12 at 20:40

Annie, you mentioned making a batch with Great White tomatoes... funny enough, I'm growing Great White tomatoes this summer and just picked a bunch of them. I thought I'd try it (although I made it for freezing, instead of canning). It sounded very cool ...

As it turns out, the taste is great, but the colour wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. Once you add the peppers (green) and chili pepper (green), and cilantro etc, it pretty much turns out greenish ... not a cool glowing creamy colour like I expected :) You'd really need to find pale peppers as well, then it might be neat.

We have orange peppers/tomatoes, yellow peppers/tomatoes, red peppers/tomatoes, and green peppers/tomatoes (I made a roasted green salsa as well - with green everything) but no pale yellow/white peppers to use for this one ...


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

This might be a nice pepper to use with your Great White tomatoes. Ever since I first saw it, I've wanted this pepper, but I could think of a use for it.

Bellatrix

Here is a link that might be useful: White peppers


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

It is salsa time here!I know this is an older post but I had clipped this to use when I make salsa. In my quest to get prepared for salsa making this coming weekend I pulled up the clip. I must say after reading this I am beyond confused. Could somebody please provide a link to where this recipe was tested and approved.
Thanks so much.
Tina

This post was edited by Christina818 on Thu, Aug 8, 13 at 16:00


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Confused about what specifically?

Annie paid to have the recipe tested, several times and over a 1 or 2 year period as I recall, in a food testing lab available through her local county extension service. Her recipe has since been vetted numerous times.

All of the modifications people keep trying to make in the basic recipe have not. So what has you hung up?

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Ok I guess all of the changes are what got me hung up. I assumed it had been tested. I just did not read on here how it was tested. I guess I just needed to read that it had been tested to feel confident. It is a lot like the one I make at home minus the bell pepper, spices and the sauces. Oh and of course the vinegar. Thanks so much Dave. I will follow the recipe the way it was tested. Thanks again.
Tina


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I understand. It seems every time we turn around someone is trying to "adjust" this or "leave this out" or "add this instead" rather than just making the recipe as written.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Not to spark up the modification debate again, but....do you think it would be fine to skip the cilantro and use coriander seed instead?


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Lori, I think that would be fine, substituting the same amount of another herb is an acceptable modification.

Dave, I didn't pay to have it tested. It was tested via a friend at the local extension service of the state university. It took several modifications and nearly 5 years to get it right and if the National Center for Home Food Preservation changes their recommendations on salsa there will be no way for me to get it tested again.

At least I see on the website for NCHFP that they now say it's safe to re-use mayonnaise jars, etc., so sometimes rules are made more relaxed instead of more stringent. I can only hope it happens with the salsa recommendations but I doubt it.

cziga, it's been a year so it's probably moot, but I used red peppers in place of some of the green, and a mix of red and green jalapenos, so it actually came out really pretty but a bit too sweet although I added no sugar at all. My Great White tomatoes had almost a citrus type flavor, more fruity than my red types.

Annie


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Annie I made your salsa. Funny I did the same thing with the peppers when I made mine. I was planning on leaving the sugar out but I couldn't it was way to vinegary for our taste and I only used a 1/4 c. cup vinegar and 3/4 c. Lemon juice. The sugar cut the vinegar taste completely out. Great recipe! I made 24 pints of this on Saturday and we had salsa chicken for dinner. It was super! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Tina


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

It is great to see Annie's Salsa is still a big hit! I lurk here when I can. Last 2 years my entire gardens been a big bust! This year I think I will have enough tomatoes to get to can a few batches of Annie's salsa! I just finished cutting up my first batch it's in the fridge to finish up in the morning. This batch will be entered into my local fair,and I'm super excited about it as I never entered salsa before! I have entered the Habanero Gold one time and took the top prize which was second in that category,I guess they felt no one made anything worthy of first prize! I did get the top prize money! Which was 3.00! LOL!!! I had never entered before so I was happy I placed at all! Since it has bits in it it has to be entered as a jam!!! Anyway just wanted to say hi, and it's good to see so many of you still come here from when I first found this site!!! Have a great rest of a harvest season!!!! Brenda


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

forgive the additional "noob that wants to modify an approved recipe" question on an already very long thread.

but with all this talk of how borderline safe canned salsa is, could I just add some more lemon or lime juice or more vinegar, to give myself more room for error? I'm more of a hot sauce maker, so salsa is a new frontier for me. when I make hot sauce I always add more vinegar than is necessary, and boil and BWB process for longer than is called for, just to be on the safe side. botulism scares the crap outta me, and I always try to play it safe.

and what about using store bought diced tomatoes instead of fresh? I grow lots and lots of peppers, but I don't grow tomatoes. there is a farmers market up the road, so if it must be fresh tomatoes it's no big deal, I can do that. if I do have to go with fresh, what's the best kind to buy? I see a lot of options up there, I guess i should ask: what's the safest kind of tomato to use? I'm no tomato connoisseur so I probably won't really be able to tell the difference in taste. I just want a safe salsa.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Jude, it's always OK to add more of the acidic ingredient, but not less. Just be careful, you could compromise the flavor with too much vinegar or lemon juice.

As for the "safest" tomato, I don't think that's really definable. I use my old fashioned heirloom tomatoes, a mix of all varieties that grew well that year. This year it was Pineapple, Mortgage Lifter, Rutgers, Great White and Cherokee Purple. Next year it will be something else. Many people like the roma types because they are less juicy, and since there is so much flavor in the other ingredients I think they'd be fine. I'm just not a fan of the roma types, I think they lack flavor, others will disagree. (shrug) Taste is subjective, not objective.

The acidity level in tomatoes will vary based not only on variety, but on growing conditions, soil, weather, your climate, too many uncontrollable factors and variables, so use what grows well that you can get and add the acid, it'll be fine.

I've never tried it with canned tomatoes but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Since they are already cooked, though, you're going to have a different texture at least. I'm going to have to think hard to find any reason it wouldn't be OK, though I think it is not optimal.

Annie (yes, THAT Annie)


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Wow, Annie! What an honor to follow your post... :D This will be my third year making your salsa recipe. I did a grand experiment this summer, planting over 30 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, 2 each, a la Noah's ark...lol Between getting them in very late, with plants too long in their seedling pots...and a screwy growing season this year in Maine...I thought I would be lucky to get a few. Thanks to frost covers several nights, I was able to finish a sizeable late harvest just 5 days ago. So I am happily swimming in maters (and peppers, too).

I just wanted to chiime in with several of the posters here. After finishing a master food preserver course through the U-of-Maine-Extension, I cannot stress enough the importance of following tested recipes and the step-by-step canning instructions. One of the most valuable aspects of food preservation I learned is the "why" behind the way things are done or not done. This really cemented in my brain that there is a definite safety and/or quality reason for each recipe/process. And why ad-lib an approved recipe/technique at the risk of health or spoiling something I spent all season growing from seed?

If there is a master food preserver course in anybody's state, I cannot recommend it highly enough, and the cost was extremely reasonable considering what you are provided in the course.

I can almost hear my tomatoes continuing to ripen off the vine...time to salsify asap! Thanks again, Annie, for a wonderful recipe that is so wildly popular.

Happy canning everyone... :)

This post was edited by drzany on Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 20:27


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

I can't believe I spent the last 2 hours reading this thread! A couple faux pas. Salsa too new to home canning - my "Ball Blue Book", dated 1985, has a recipe for canning salsa. It does NOT call for "draining" tomatoes after they are chopped and it does NOT call for tomato sauce or tomato paste. I suppose if you don't squeeze the juice out of the tomatoes you wouldn't need to add tomato sauce to thin it to a properly slushy consistency for the heat to get to the center of the jar while processing. Otherwise, recipes are very similar.

Mary


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot pint jars, seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 15 minutes.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I am only interested in making just ONE pint and start using it immediately, and refrigerate. I want it to last for at least couple of months. What is the procedure for that ?

I want least amount of vinegar and sugar, because I like to taste the ingredient. That much vinegar and sugar will overwhelm the taste of tomato, pepper, ..etc. Some lemon/lime juice is ok.

I do not believe in cooking cilantro for 25 minute and still have some flavor left in it. Cilantro does not cook well, freeze well and dry well. It is best to be used fresh and raw.
How about some tomatillos?
Thank you


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

You could cut the recipe in half, then half again to achieve your wish to have only a pint of this recipe to can. You can leave out the cilantro, if you wish, and you can sub tomatillos for the red tomatoes. It won't be Annie's Salsa, though. You may find something to your liking in this book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Book-Small-Batch-Preserving/dp/1554072565


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

THANK YOU ..But point was/is that I dont want to "CAN". I want it be refrigerated for immediate use. I know how to change the proportions.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Small Batch has some recipes to be used fresh or frozen, though I can't think off the top of my head whether there are any salsa or tomatillo salsa recipes. NCHFP has a tomatillo salsa recipe. But I don't think anything will last in fridge for a couple of months.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

For refrigerator storage, just make up your own recipe. You don't need to be concerned about acidity levels, etc.

I will tell you though, it won't last a couple of months if you use it. I did a test, albeit not under controlled laboratory conditions, a couple of years ago using 4 small (4 oz.) jars of salsa. I did can them first, however. To close them up, I used the original lid and a plastic storage lid over that. I did sneak a peek every day or whenever I remembered to check them.

Jar A was opened and half the contents removed over a period of three or four days (spoonful at a time like we would usually use it), then closed back up.
Jar B was opened and just a spoonful was removed, then closed back up.
Jar C was opened and a spoonful was removed, but I added a small spoonful of lime juice, stirred it around and closed it back up.
Jar D was opened and immediately closed back up.

All went in the fridge (mine ranges from 34-37 degrees). Now DH will say, on occasion, our fridge does look like a science experiment, but probably no worse than the average one.

Jar A was moldy in 9 days after the last spoonful was removed.
Jar B was moldy in 19 days around the rim and on the sides of the jar that were exposed.
Jar C was moldy in 28 days, so the additional acid seemed to help delay the mold.
Jar D lasted the longest, but still showed signs of mold in 47 days.

I guess the point is, the more you open it and expose it to the environment in the kitchen or on the dinner table, it will get moldy rather quickly.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

But point was/is that I dont want to "CAN". I want it be refrigerated for immediate use. I know how to change the proportions.

Then just change the proportions, make a jar of it and stick it in the fridge.

It won't keep for a "couple of months" without canning it or adding preservatives and stabilizers like commercial products do but you'll find that out for yourself. Just remember that with "least amount of vinegar" pathogenic bacteria can grow in it.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Great experiment Maina.

For Seysonn - So maybe a way to do it is to make a pint of salsa, and divide into 4 servings by filling four 4oz. jars with almost zero headspace to keep out as much oxygen as possible, and make sure there is at least a teaspoon of BOTTLED lime juice in each jar (BOTTLED, not fresh squeezed or in those little plastic squirt bottles, lime juice = totally compatible with salsa flavor, and more acidic than vinegar)...this way, maybe you can delay the mold further. (Note that the fresh salsa's in your deli section are quite vinegary, too) Put them in the coldest part of your refrigerator, and then open them one at a time, as you go through them. Discard anything that develops mold. This way, you can enjoy your salsa and do your own experiment to see how long they CAN last for you. Also, since your modifications/preferences kind of negate using the Annie's Salsa recipe, why not just google "salsa recipes with tomatillo", and you are bound to come up with a zillion for refrigeration. Good luck!

p.s. Not knowing your situation, I think this is fine if you are buying the produce to make the salsa, but if you grow your own tomatoes/peppers/etc. from scratch, why take the chance of premature spoilage? Just CAN it, using a safe tested recipe, whether it's Annies, or any of the many you can find through university extension websites and canning books... :D


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Wait, what, the plastic limes and lemons are not ok?!? Why not?

And Malna, that experiment was awesome :). Are you a scientist?


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Wait, what, the plastic limes and lemons are not ok?!? Why not?

Depends on what they are loaded with. The ones with the ReaLemon/lime tags are the same as the bottled juice but not so with many of the others.

The bottled juices are tested and stabilized to a specific pH while pH varies greatly with fresh and other sources.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Thanks, Dave. The tag is long gone, but I will pull the plastic lime out of the trash and see if there's a name molded into the plastic.


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Yes. Similar thing with vinegars. For canning, acidity level should be at least 5%. This is for safety reasons. If it's not listed on the label someplace, don't use it. This applies to the vinegars only, not the lemon/lime juices...no % is on the label.

This post was edited by drzany on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 12:38


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Is out okay to sub tomatillos for half of the tomatoes in terms of acidity/density etc.?


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

Is out okay to sub tomatillos for half of the tomatoes in terms of acidity/density etc.?

Yes as they are more acidic than tomatoes. But the total amount of tomato ingredients has to be the same and it will be a very different flavor.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa Recipe and Notes 2012

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 10:02

I've linked the recently updated (June 2014) publication from Oregon State University for salsa (scroll down under Fruits and Vegetables). In it, they state that "Underripe green tomatoes or tomatillos can be substituted for ripe tomatoes". Utah State and U of Wisconsin say the same thing, but their publications are older.

So, I would say yes, you can.

I will say that last year, I had some of Annie's Salsa left that wouldn't fill a jar, and some tomatillo salsa that wouldn't quite fill a jar (yeah, I was in marathon canning mode that day). I mixed them together as an experiment, and canned the one 1/2 pint jar. I split the two types 50/50.

I personally didn't care for it. The whole was definitely less than the sum of the parts. But your taste buds may (and probably do) differ from mine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salsa Recipes for Canning (OSU)


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