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Annie's Salsa question...

Posted by ccaggiano (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 8, 08 at 22:36

Okay - summer is over and tomatoes are long gone. And so is my Annie's Salsa!!! I can't believe how quickly I went through it!!!

Have any of you had any success with making salsa with canned tomatoes??? I know I can buy fresh tomatoes from the supermarket but I look at them and shudder. After a full summer of heirlooms and fresh tomatoes, I don't think I can ever eat a store bought beefsteak again!!!

Suggestions???


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Sure you can make salsa from canned tomatoes - it is how most folks are forced to do it since they don't can from the garden like all of us. ;) You are making it for refrigeration and fresh eating though, not re-canning the canned tomatoes.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

That's alot of chopping and cooking for a single serving of salsa. If I am making this, I would love to triple or quadruple the recipe. Any ideas for this with canned tomatoes???


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

To repeat what Annie said, the Extension agency no longer recommends canning in quarts or pressure canning her salsa (probably because they don't have the resources to test it). For those who have made it in the past, the pressure canned recipe called for a smaller amount of vinegar.

So, to update, make Annie's salsa with a full cup of vinegar, can only in pints and boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

If anyone has an updated update beyond what I've mentioned, please post it.

If Annie sees this, perhaps she can verify or correct.

Carol


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Any ideas for this with canned tomatoes???

Sure. Freeze it.

Thanks so much Carol. I knew you had posted this on another thread but I couldn't find it. Hope you don't mind if I copy it and attach it to the other salsa thread currently running.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Did the change to BWB only for Annie's salsa happen very recently? I thought we were all still talking about safely PCing it this season.

Annie or Carol, had they not tested the PC version before? I'm confused about why it was recommended and now it's rescinded.

Melissa


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

I think it was meant for the BWB canning process as not being tested for quarts.


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Good examples of my concerns - we all seem to have different interpretations. ;)

I didn't think that quarts were EVER tested or approved regardless of the method of processing. Pints only in other words. But I know many wanted to do it in quarts whether it was approved or not.

And the option to use less vinegar and pressure can was an "add-on modification" to the original recipe because some didn't want to have to use that much vinegar. Using lemon/lime juice was another modification to the original as was altering the garlic amounts and the cumin and the other seasonings and the type/amounts of peppers. End result is posted recipes that vary from the original tested one.

From what all my saved notes on the history of its development show, the original approved recipe was, as Carol said, the 1 cup of vinegar and BWB pints for 15 mins.

But there has been tons of modifications discussed since then and I fear that in the process some "modifications" have become "gospel" when they shouldn't have.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

If we had an FAQ or a way to pin a thread to the top of the page we could post some of these most popular recipes in their approved versions and keep them available for reference.

Unfortunately at the present that isn't possible. Questions about Annie's salsa come up time and time again as do threads discussing various modifactions posters have made. With the proliferation of threads it's become even more challenging as a search now brings up so many options it can be extremely difficult to find the most up-to-date information.

Some Extension agencies (and agents) are more flexible than others and once her salsa was approved, Annie's agency did say it was OK to can quarts and can in the PC with reduced vinegar.

But that salsa recipe has been around for a while. Now it's SOP for Extension agencies to make only recommendations which have been verified through lab testing. Think of the liabilities if they went on the record approving anything other than that and a problem developed.

Also, as Dave has mentioned in the past, salsa is opened and eaten without re-heating, so it really falls into a different category than say, a marinara sauce.

Forum members may choose to process following earlier "approved" standards, but none of us can recommend it.

Carol


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Back to the original question in this topic, why wouldn't you be able to can Annie's salsa using canned tomatoes? Especially commercially canned ones? If you treated them as you do the fresh tomatoes and followed the directions? I know it won't have the same quality as fresh from the garden tomatoes but would it be safe and edible if canned? Just had to ask this for curiosity.


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

why wouldn't you be able to can Annie's salsa using canned tomatoes?

Because like re-freezing of previously frozen foods, re-canning of canned foods - commercial or otherwise - is not approved due to the possibility of contamination.

Plus you would be altering the acidic level of the canned tomatoes and the salsa so there is no way to know if long-term storage would be safe.

Freezing is approved. Re-canning is not.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

I'm not sure I understand this Dave. If you look at the directions for salsa making, you will see that adding canned tomato paste to a salsa product is approved. It's explicitly considered a safe thickener. So your rule for recanning is not quite as firm as you state it.

As for altering the acidic level, both commercial and home-canned tomatoes are already acidified. I should think recanning these products in salsa with the additional acid required for safe salsa made from unprocessed tomatoes with no additional acid would only make it more acidic, not less and therefore more *safe.*

Regarding contamination, salsa is cooked prior to canning. The canning process itself is also intended to destroy contaminants.

ccaggiano and vic01, I have made Annie's salsa with home-canned tomatoes and suffered no spoilage and no ill effects. My texture was not really altered, but I don't drain tomatoes when making salsa, as I prefer the flavor of the whole tomato, including juice. Annie developed her recipe to result in a thicker, chunkier salsa which is why her instructions require draining.

Petro


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

As to a FAQ, 'we' means 'us'. We, are sometimes very busy when it comes to spending many many hours trying to piece together a FAQ of any kind. It requires a lot of research, scanning and copying of many threads info, a good solid knowledge of the information supplied and a means at which to get the GW to offer a FAQ type page site. Right now, I personally spend an average of about 6-10 hours per day in the internet, and most is in this forum. I do realize that many questions posed are repeated time and time again and tend to be redundent, but thats what we get when we post new threads about a current issue and didn't do any search beforehand. I would expect that if a new poster wanted to know in a minute or two about a 'quick' question, they could choose some key words and use the search window. But thats not usually the case, so you can probably chalk it up to being lazy or just not familiar with web browsing for a few. Recently, I got an email from a poster here asking about where to get Mason jars.. I guess that person just wanted the info handed directly to them, as opposed to looking around a bit on the forum and finding almost every possible source for getting canning jars. I do hope that the poster was planning on doing more searching here. Keep in mind that the space limitations on this Harvest forum have been expanded and can have many more threads. Even for that, however, a new thread (title) will push the oldest thread off the end, never to be read or seen again. Oddly, a web search for Mason jars, brought up a GW post I made here, so this person decided to write me directly. Hopefully, they are reading more info and learning like we all do.

There is a big distiction between the words 'unsafe' and 'untested'. Unsafe is defined in home canning as no heat processing, very dense foods (pumpkin), and the forbidden ingredients like dairy and oils. Untested is defined as not having sufficient data to evaulate a safe canning process. This untested could be safe, provided common sense is used, as well as proper adjustments in acidity and the processing. Knowing that no sugar jellies and jams are going to spoil quicker once opened, has given me the idea to increase the acidty as it will reduce spoilage quite a lot. Even for a thick salsa, or sauce, if dried ingredients are used, like onions, tomato, peppers, they will absorb the same acidic liquids already present in the tomato based product where added acid has already been done. They also soak up water, so thats also a benefit as its going to give a naturally thicker sauce. I don't think there would be any problems using any previously commercial canned tomato product in a recipe you use for making salsa.
Recently, on a TV show, I heard that Italian tomatoes packed in cans are not filled with the tomato juice. They are, instead filled with tomato puree. According to to some strange tax law, Italy will charge the maker double the cost per can exported to the US or elsewhere. Thats why most all Italian brands of whole tomatoes are not in a watery liquid. Addionally, whole canned tomatoes are now getting a dose of calcium chloride to help keep firmness of the tomatoes. Its not just for vinegar brine pickles anymore..


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Personally, I would feel comfortable with canning salsa made with previously canned tomatoes. I don't see how a previously canned tomato is any more prone to contamination than a fresh one. I would suspect less prone because most (not all) canned tomatoes are already acidified and the most common sources of contamination (stems and peel) have been removed. Then you add the vinegar called for and process. So where's the problem?

But that's a personal decision. I don't have any standing to recommend it, just saying I'd feel comfortable with that option.

I do feel most times re-processing is a poor idea due to the energy cost. There are a lot of requests on the forum about canning sauces and such that are essentially assemblages of various canned products. To me that's a waste of energy, materials and effort.

Carol


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

I'm not sure I understand this Dave. If you look at the directions for salsa making, you will see that adding canned tomato paste to a salsa product is approved.

In some tested and approved recipes yes, but that doesn't mean you can assume that adding already canned ingredients to ANY recipe is safe. The addition of pre-canned products is not included in any of the NCHFP approved recipes for salsa with the exception of bottled lemon juice.

It's explicitly considered a safe thickener. So your rule for recanning is not quite as firm as you state it.

It isn't "my rule". It is the recommendation of the USDA and NCHFP based on their testing. And no where is it explicitly approved. It has at best presumed approval. If a tested and approved recipe include the addition of a cnned product then that canned product was included in the testing. But it doesn't mean you can generalize. It only means that like all the USDA/NCHFP recommendations you can choose to follow them or not but you can't ignore that they exist. ;)

As for altering the acidic level, both commercial and home-canned tomatoes are already acidified. I should think recanning these products in salsa with the additional acid required for safe salsa made from unprocessed tomatoes with no additional acid would only make it more acidic, not less and therefore more *safe.*

Please note that I didn't use the word "unsafe". I only said it isn't approved. And it isn't except in those few tested and approved recipes that call for and included in the testing, the addition of some canned ingredient.

Sure Annie's calls for adding a can of tomato paste if you wish but that is a great deal different than using the predominant ingredient - all the tomatoes - from a can. The acidification levels used commercially are unknown unlike in home canning because commercial canned products also use preservatives and higher pressures that can't be duplicated at home and aren't required to include acid amounts on the label. So it isn't a valid comparison.

And no one said you can't make salsa using canned tomatoes. Of course you can. ;) You can eat it fresh or you can freeze it. I suppose you can also choose to re-freeze thawed meats and fish if you wish. It's your choice but that doesn't make it safe to do and it certainly isn't approved.

What I said was that re-canning salsa made with previously canned tomatoes has never been tested and so is not approved.

The important point here is that salsa is very popular. Salsa is also eaten straight from jar without any further cooking. Whatever went into the jar - good or bad - comes out of the jar and straight into your family. So unlike many other home canned products that have a little safety "wiggle room", salsa doesn't. Common sense says make your salsa as safe as possible.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Publications: Canning Your Own Salsa Recipe


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Then there is the issue of buying large 3 pound cans of mushrooms and home canning them in 8-16 ounce jars. No one recommedned that, even though they got a lot of heat in their first commercial canning process, and your filling small jars with the boiling hot mushrooms. The cost savings for these large cans vs. small 4 ounce ones is much more.


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

"I would expect that if a new poster wanted to know in a minute or two about a 'quick' question, they could choose some key words and use the search window. But thats not usually the case, so you can probably chalk it up to being lazy or just not familiar with web browsing for a few."

And on the other hand, I've entered several different search terms trying to find the actual recipe for Annies Salsa, only to be rewarded with an overwhelming amount of messages that discuss various aspects of it but not the actual recipe. I still have not found the actual recipe.


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Here you go:

ANNIES SALSA

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 cups chopped onion
1 cups chopped green pepper
3 5 chopped jalapenos
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
16 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz tomato paste
Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars, process at 10 lbs of pressure for 30 minutes for pints.

Makes 6 pints

if I want to process in a BWB up the vinegar to one cup and process 10 minutes in BWB.

You can safely leave out the cumin abd/or the green peppers but do not increase the cilantro

NOTE: To repeat what Annie said, the Extension agency no longer recommends canning in quarts or pressure canning her salsa (probably because they don't have the resources to test it). For those who have made it in the past, the pressure canned recipe called for a smaller amount of vinegar.

So, to update, make Annie's salsa with a full cup of vinegar, can only in pints and boiling water bath for 15 minutes. (From Carol)

Use the Harvest forum search at the bottom of the front page not the GW-wide search at the top of the page.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

OK, here's another question: I'm allergic to onions. If I leave them out what should I increase to keep overall proportions the same? Or should I just leave out the onions and freeze instead of can?


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

leaving out onions is just fine and it can be canned without them without any safety concerns. If you can tolerate garlic, try adding a bit of that to take the place of onions as to taste. Ive never heard of any allergy to onions..?


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

It's not just onions, it's any member of the allium family. And trust me, it's not fun. Have you ever read the list of ingredients for just about anything? Another reason I had to take up canning - in self defense! (I told DH one day that it wouldn't surprise me any to find that there are onions in oatmeal!!!)


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RE: Annie's Salsa question, garlic this time...

Oops, I forgot to also ask about leaving out the garlic. If I leave out both, do I then need to add in a substitute? I know, the taste will be different, but at least I could eat it!


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

No, adding low acid items to replace other low acid items is fine in moderation, provided the amounts are the same. I wonder if you could tolerate onion juice or garlic juice instead. I would suggest also adding cider vinegar and some lime juice as opposed to white vinegar. Adding fresh cilantro is fine if its eaten fresh within a couple of days. But if you are canning it, leave out the cilantro and add that at time of serving. Cilantro is quite volitile and loses 90% of its taste within 2 days. Adding it to canned salsa will just give you more green bits with no noticable flavor.


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

If I leave out both, do I then need to add in a substitute?

No, you can leave out any low acid ingredients without replacing them. What you CANNOT alter or leave out is any high acid ingredients. The high acidity level must be maintained.

Remember that tomatoes are borderline low-acid so do NOT increase the tomatoes.

Dave


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Can't wait to try Annie's Salsa recipe!


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Annie,
Seems so strange to see a thread about your recipe without your comments. Are you OK?
Shared with friends 2 pints of your salsa this weekend done the old way in the pressure canner. Everyone loved it!
Jim in So. Calif.


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RE: Annie's Salsa question...

Annie is quite busy right now. You do see her posts once in a while, but because the salsa recipe has been here a couple of years now, pretty much everything ever asked about it has been done already.


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