Tag Archives: cumin

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

7 May
Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

We have a nice stash of jumbo (16-20 count) shrimp in the freezer, and this tasty/tangy shrimp dish caught my eye in my blog readerboard a couple of weeks ago. It is right up my alley using Mexican-inspired ingredients, and is served over something other than a tortilla, ha!

I adapted this from Josette’s Shrimp in Green Mole over at thebrookcook, and the vibrant green sauce did not disappoint. I halved the shrimp amount since there were only two of us eating it, but kept the sauce amount the same since she said she would have enjoyed more sauce. I substituted pepitas, which are pre-roasted baby pumpkin seeds and ground cumin for seeds, so that eliminated a couple of steps. I’m all about easy. I also omitted the romaine lettuce in the sauce, which admittedly was a mistake but the sauce came out delish all the same! Here’s how I did it:

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from Shrimp in Green Mole at thebrookcook

1/2 cup hulled pepitas
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2 serrano or jalapeño, stemmed
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup tightly pack chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound jumbo tail-on shrimp, shelled and deveined
Pepitas and cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving

Place the pepitas, tomatillos, chile pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down sides as necessary.

Heat the oil in a skillet (cast-iron if available) over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillo mixture, which will spatter so be prepared with a screen or lid! Cook, stirring often, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low, simmering softly and stirring often until sauce is thick and creamy, about another 10 minutes. Season to taste, with salt if necessary.

Season shrimp with kosher salt and pepper, then add to the simmering sauce. Cook on each side for 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through. Serve over rice garnished with pepitas and cilantro.

 

 

 

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Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

24 Mar
Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

You’d think being unemployed would have all kinds of perks, like lots of free time for cooking and blogging, right? Long story short, that is not the case, so my quest for easy and delicious dinners remains the same.

Here’s one I made a few weeks ago I had waiting in the wings (thank goodness because my spare time has been minimal) that is chock full of flavor and spice! This hearty soup was one of those welcome, warming dinners on a cold and dreary evening. I hope you think so too.

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

8 ounces dried black beans, soaked overnight (or sub two cans)
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled, tips removed
Olive oil for garlic
1 tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
4 ounces ground spicy Italian sausage
1 chipotle in Adobo sauce, minced plus one tablespoon of the sauce
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups ham or chicken stock
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes with liquid (I used my homemade canned tomatoes)
1 tablespoon dry sherry or apple cider vinegar
Salt, to taste
Lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, for garnish

Garlic Ready for Roasting

Garlic Ready for Roasting

Drain and rinse beans (dried or canned) and set aside. Nestle cloves of garlic cut tips up in aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over top. Wrap tightly and place in 350-degree toaster oven (or oven) for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and ground sausage, stirring until sausage is cooked through. Drain any grease, if necessary. Stir in the chipotle and sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper until combined and fragrant.

Sausage and Veggie Mixture

Sausage and Veggie Mixture

Pour in the stock, then squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic out of their skins into the soup. Now add the beans. Bring up to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the beans are cooked through. For dried beans, this could take an hour or more depending on how old the beans are. Canned beans are ready when heated through.

Pureed Tomatoes

Pureed Tomatoes

Puree the tomatoes with liquid in a container using an immersion blender stick, or a blender or food processor. (I used my new Cuisinart stick!) Once the beans are tender, pour in the tomatoes and sherry or vinegar. Taste for salt, and add if necessary.

Puree about half the soup using an immersion stick, or add to blender or food processor in batches. I like mine a bit chunky. Once soup has warmed through again, serve immediately and pass with lime wedges, cilantro, and sour cream.

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

 

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

16 Oct
Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

After we got back from our trip to the coast for our anniversary, I harvested the last of my chile peppers and the wee tomatillos and poblanos I managed to eke out with our short summer weather. Half the hot peppers had turned red while we were gone, but that’s OK as I like spicy!

Cooking is quite the challenge one-handed, but I’ve figured out some hacks to where I don’t ask for much assistance any more in food prep. Dicing a fresh onion is the hardest I’ve found, but luckily I have a bag of diced onion in the freezer that I brought home from a work potluck, which can be used in soups and stews.

Tips: A mini food processor can be used for a rough dice of carrots, celery, and onion, and a pair of kitchen shears does quick work on green onions. I do have limited use of my left thumb and forefinger, so I place the green onion between those two fingers and snip away!

This soup was the culmination of wanting to use my peppers and tomatillos in something as well as a large leek that needed to be cooked stat. I roasted the poblanos, tomatillos, and a serrano until charred, then had my daughter peel and mince them for me. I then scrounged the freezer and pantry and came up with a half pound of burger, black beans, and golden hominy. Combined with my homemade beef stock, a filling Mexican-style soup was on the horizon!

I’m still limiting my prep photos until I have two hands again but this is a pretty straight-forward soup recipe. Note: I used all my very small poblano peppers and tomatillos in this, but have adjusted the recipe below for standard grocery-sized produce.

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

1 large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 peeled, rinsed and roasted tomatillos
1 large roasted and peeled poblano, minced
1 roasted and peeled serrano pepper, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
4 cups homemade or low sodium beef stock or broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can golden hominy, drained and rinsed
2 soft corn tortillas, diced large
Juice squeezed from a large lime wedge
Tortilla chips, sour cream, and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Roast and prep the peppers and tomatillos. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and leeks in 1 teaspoon olive oil until burger is browned and leeks have softened. Add the minced garlic in the last minute of cooking them.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the garnishes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until the tortillas have dissolved and soup thickens, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into bowls and serve with desired garnishes. This soup was even better the next day!

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Wildcard Contest Winner ~ Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

4 Feb
Wildcard Winner Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

Wildcard Winner Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style

What better way to lead into the Mardis Gras celebrations than with a surprise Wildcard Contest Winner Cajun recipe over at Food52 website??? I’ve never been a finalist and contest winner with prizes, but at least with a Wildcard Win you get braggin’ rights, yes? I actually got awarded this three days ago, but have been so busy only just found out today. YAY! (With a wildcard win you get a nice note from the editors of the website on the recipe why they picked it.) 🙂

Linky to the recipe here ———–>  Cajun Roasted Chickpeas

We’ll see you again this weekend with a new recipe!

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing

7 Sep
Southwest Taco Salad with Guacamole Dressing

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Ahhh, where oh where did the summer go? School starts this week in my neck of the woods and temperatures have gone from sizzling hot to almost frosty. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying this zesty and crunchy salad filled with summer bounty topped with a smooth avocado dressing.

We’ve just returned this weekend from nine glorious days camping and fishing at the beautiful Oregon coast. What a wonderful way to end the summer!

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing
Adapted from Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing at Carlsbad Cravings

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

1 small avocado, peeled and roughly diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 salsa, homemade or store-bought (I used my Hatch chile salsa)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Southwest Taco Salad

Grilled chicken breast, sliced (or deli rotisserie)
Corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet white corn
Chopped/shredded lettuce of choice
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup roasted pepitas
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
Creamy Guacamole Dressing
Tortilla chips, for serving

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Add all of the Creamy Guacamole Dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. You will have to scrape down the sides a few times. Add additional milk, if needed, to thin to desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Next, grill the chicken breast, if it isn’t already cooked.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken

Remove the kernels from the ear of corn, using a Bundt-pan to catch the kernels, if you have one. (That’s a pretty cool tip I picked up from Pinterest.)

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Add all the salad ingredients except dressing and chips to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Southwest Taco Salad Ingredients

Southwest Taco Salad Ingredients

Add tossed salad to individual bowls, then top with guacamole dressing and serve with tortilla chips.

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Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

14 Mar
Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

I’ve been eying similar tomato sauce and egg dishes lately from the Middle East region, but “Shakshuka” uses quite a few spices that I simply don’t have. (And I have a LOT of spices!) But the ingredients and spices I almost always have on hand are Mexican in origin. Hence, I bring to you a riff on Shakshuka, Tex-Mex style!

My husband and I were disappointed I only cooked four of the six eggs. We both had large lunches, and decided one egg each would suffice. Oh boy, were we wrong! While are daughter munched happily on her second egg, we longed in silence. However, there was plenty of sauce leftover to make a repeat for lunch the next day!

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

For the Ranchero Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Serrano (or jalapeño) pepper, diced small
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon New Mexico ground chile (or chili powder)
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the Rest of It:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-inch corn tortillas
Sea salt, to taste
4 to 6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh-grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup fresh-grated cheddar cheese
Handful fresh cilantro, (chopped) for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

Simmering the Rancheros Sauce

Simmering the Rancheros Sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To make the sauce, add a tablespoon of oil to a cast iron or oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the spicy pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 7 minutes until onions are softened. Pour in the can of tomatoes, then bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the black beans, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Prepping the Tortilla Strips

Prepping the Tortilla Strips

While the sauce is simmering, brush both sides of the corn tortillas with oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Cut into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. (I tried making the strips before the sauce, and got so busy that I burnt my first batch. Lucky for me I always have a large bag of corn tortillas in the pantry!)

Eggs Nestled in Tomato Sauce

Eggs Nestled in Tomato Sauce (LOOK! There is plenty of room for two more eggs, silly!)

When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Make indentations in the sauce with the back of a large spoon, and crack each egg into the wells. Return the pan to the heat and cover. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the whites are partially set.

Skillet Eggs Ready for the Broiler

Skillet Eggs Ready for the Broiler

Turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the dish, then place the skillet under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the eggs are cooked to your liking. This shouldn’t be more than a few minutes, unless you like hard-cooked eggs. Remove the skillet (carefully!) from the oven. Garnish with the tortilla strips and cilantro, scoop out your eggs and sauce, and serve with sour cream if you want.

Skillet Huevos Rancheros

Skillet Huevos Rancheros

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

7 Mar
Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I’ve been keen on making one-pot meals these days. I had a hankering for enchiladas, but I sure mess up a lot of dishes in that process. I’ve done the enchilada casserole before, which does use a few less dishes, but that is still too many when you just want to throw everything into ONE dish and cook it. Yes, a slow cooker works like that, but it was 6 pm and no time for that. A few interwebz searches yielded the brainchild for the following recipe. I’ve decided to call it Chicken Enchilada Skillet, because that is exactly what it is. And you could make it with ground burger, steak, or pork too! A cheesy, filling dish that tastes like enchiladas, but made in only a skillet! Win-win.

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (white or dark)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles (off-brands are now available)
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce (freeze the rest if larger)
1 cup frozen corn
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2.25 ounce can sliced black olives
Cilantro, diced green onions, for garnish
Sour cream and warmed tortillas, for serving

Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces, then season with the pepper, cumin, and chile powder.

Seasoned Chicken and Onions

Seasoned Chicken and Onions

Add the oil to a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken and onion until browned, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Browning the Chicken and Onions

Browning the Chicken and Onions

Add the rice to the skillet and cook about 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauteeing the Rice with Chicken

Sauteing the Rice with Chicken

Next add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes with green chiles, enchilada sauce, and corn. Heat up to a low boil, then turn down to a simmer.

Simmering the Enchilada Misture

Simmering the Enchilada Mixture

Cover the skillet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and absorbed most of the liquid.

Enchilada Skillet Ready for Garnishes

Enchilada Skillet Ready for Garnishes

Remove from the heat, then add the black beans. Top with the grated cheese and black olives. Put under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the green onions and cilantro, and serve with sour cream and tortillas.

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

You can add the mixture to a tortilla and roll into a burrito, or just use it to dip into the enchilada skillet surprise!

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

21 Feb
Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada1

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

I don’t have any prep photos of this recipe, because I was almost certain we would be ordering pizza after we tasted this. I couldn’t be MORE WRONG! It was simply amazing!! I was so astounded that I did snap a shot of my bowl of it (sans the flour tortilla for dipping, because I was still so non-plussed how great this tasted.) Then for grins I took a shot of my hubby’s interpretation of how this should be eaten.

I was going through the freezer and found a half a tube of Mexican ground chorizo sausage and decided to do something with it.  I also had two gallon bags of frozen tomatoes from our last harvest and I had to use at least SOME of them soon. I had made brined pork chops the night before, which were a total failure, I tell you. Hardly anyone touched the pork, so you won’t get any info on that except for my brining shot of it, sigh. I will not make THAT recipe again. Kitchn website, you failed me this time…

Brining Pork

Here I am brining pork, all fanchy schmancy. Little did I know….

I threw caution to the wind, and stuck the frozen chorizo, peeled frozen tomatoes, and almost a pound of the failed pork (cut up) into the crock pot, thinking if I just cook the hell out of something it might be decent. In went some chicken broth, potatoes, onions, spices and such. Just whatever sounded good. Then covered it up and cooked it all day long, hoping it wouldn’t be a last-minute pizza night.

I almost feel like I painted a masterpiece with this. Almost. This was INCREDIBLY delicious! My daughter and I couldn’t stop warming up more tortillas to slop up every last morsel of goodness. We also stirred in some cheddar cheese into the bowls, for garnish. My husband, on the other hand, made rolled up cheese quesadillas/burrito type things, stuck some of the mixture inside, and then slathered them over with more stew and mounds of sour cream. Mounds, I tell you. A little odd, but I let him do it. It’s his mouth.

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew ~ or something like that. I really don’t know what to call this.

You may adapt however you like, because it’s not like I followed any semblance of a recipe to start with. (p.s. it is the ground chorizo that makes this recipe and sets it apart from my other Carne Guisada recipe, so at least don’t skip that ingredient!)

Hints: Whenever a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste or chipotle chiles, I freeze the rest (labeled) for later use. Just nuke for a tad and take what you need and refreeze. Yes, I got mine out of the freezer for this.

Now on to the (sort of) recipe!

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

1 pound of pork, cooked or uncooked, cut into small pieces
7 ounces ground Mexican pork chorizo, uncooked
2 cups diced tomatoes, frozen, from a can, fresh, whatever
1 medium potato, any kind, unpeeled, washed and diced
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, or water
1/2 cup chopped onion, any kind (I used red)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon of sauce from a can of Adobo Chipotle peppers
Juice from 1/2 small lime (maybe a couple of teaspoons?)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or any other kind)
Large pinch of cumin powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish if you want)
Warmed flour tortilla, for slopping up
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
Mounds of sour cream, for garnish (or not)

Prep your pork and veggies and such, throw them all in a crock pot, give it a good stir to mix, and cook on low about 8 to 10 hours or high on 4 to 6 hours. Give it another good stir at the end. That’s it! Serve with garnishes. Easy, huh?

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)

14 Feb
Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

I think I’ve said the adage “Do as I Say and Not as I Do” many times here. Please listen to this advice. Not once, but TWICE I added the sliced sausage to the mix before blending the soup. I’m a bit daft that way, sometimes. So take my advice, and DO NOT ADD THE SAUSAGE to the soup until after you’ve blended it, OK? Otherwise you have to keep fishing it out of everything and placing it in a bowl. Good, we got that out of the way now.

This creamy soup was absolutely delicious, and nary a potato in sight for it which is the usual method to make it. Instead, cauliflower is first roasted and then blended with the stock to make a rich base for spinach and sausage. The flavors in this are complex and dreamy. I will make this again and not forget my own advice. 😉

p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)
Adapted from “Cauldo-Verde” by Bogre on the Food52 website

1 pound of cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for roasting the cauliflower)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
7 ounces (1/2 link) of a smoked turkey Kielbasa
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 to 6 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
5 ounce bag baby spinach
Large handful Italian parsley, chopped
Large handful of cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and some good splashes of olive oil. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. Remove from oven and set aside.

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

In a soup pot or Dutch over medium-high heat, saute the onion and Kielbasa in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are tender and sausage is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for about a minute more. Remove the mixture to a bowl. Now. Do not forget this step.

Add the roasted cauliflower and chicken broth to the pot (not the Kielbasa yet!), bring to a boil, reduce heat then simmer for about a half hour. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender, which I don’t have.)

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Return the blended soup to the pot over low heat. Add the sausage and onion mixture, the spinach, and the parsley and heat for about another 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and soft. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with thick slices of crusty, buttered bread. Welcome to my mouth, you complex creamy soup!

Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Homemade Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

27 Aug
Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Serranos and Peppers

Serranos, Jalapeno, and Pasilla Peppers

I am reblogging this recipe from last summer for you. I made another batch of this last weekend. This year, though, I had some beautiful heirloom tomatoes and my very own Serrano peppers that I grew to make it with! My husband said I didn’t make it spicy enough last year so I tossed in three Serranos this year instead of two, and one of them was the hotter fiery red and another one was already turning red. I also substituted the spicier Pasilla peppers instead of using Anaheim. He had no complaints this year. I hope you enjoy!

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

It was so much fun to get back into canning again! I have not canned anything in several years, but this year we have a bumper crop from my husband’s Hanging Tomato Plant Experiment. He got this crazy idea to plant a gazillion tomato seedlings (OK about 70) in hanging flower pot baskets upside-down, then sell them.

Hanging Tomato Plants on Side of House

Hanging Tomato Plants on Side of House

Well, the idea worked, except he didn’t sell nearly enough of them. We have about 50 of them left, all hooked up to this crazy hanging basket contraption on two sides of our house, with an automated watering system he devised, which thank goodness works because we do go out of town time to time.

Hanging Tomato Plants on Deck

Hanging Tomato Plants on Deck

That being said, I harvested a bunch of our ripe beefsteak tomatoes for this canning project. I looked up a bunch of recipes online, and settled on one that fit my taste but then of course adapted it. I barely eeked out 5 full pint jars of this, and was hoping for some partially leftover to snack on the day I made it fresh, but that will have to wait, as I wanted full jars. However, my taste test passed with flying colors! If you have an abundance of tomatoes this year from your crop, you can make some too! Here is what I did:

Basket of Ripe Tomatoes

Basket of Ripe Tomatoes

Homemade Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa
Adapted from Simply Recipes

5 to 6 pounds fresh tomatoes (I used 5 1/2)
3 large Anaheim peppers
2 large Serrano peppers
1 large Jalapeño pepper
1 large onion (I used sweet Walla-Walla), diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (this took about 2 largish limes)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped, including stems (fresh from my herb garden!)
2 teaspoons dried, crushed, Mexican Oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground Sea Salt
1 teaspoon sugar

OK now you have the ingredients list.  Next is the prep for the canning process, which is the one of the longest parts. Here is the special equipment stuff you need:

Canning Equipment:

5 or 6 pint canning jars (I used 5 but prepped 6 of them just in case)
Large stockpot for for canning (mine is 15-quart or so)
Flat steamer rack to fit pot (so cans don’t touch glass on metal directly, which can crack them)
Canning tongs for adding and removing jars from boiling water (you can do without but be careful!)

First I started prepping the jars and lids. Fill your stockpot about three-quarters of the way full with water, then put on high heat to boil. Meanwhile, go pick those ‘maters! Since it takes a long while for that much water to boil, now you can inspect your just-picked tomatoes for defects, then core and score them. Core the tomatoes and stems, then cut/slice off any bad spots. Score them lightly through the skin in half to make peeling easier. Now boil the jars for at least 10 minutes. At that point, go ahead and turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water for now.

Anaheim, Serrano, and Jalapeno Peppers

Anaheim, Serrano, and Jalapeno Peppers

This next job I assigned to by dear husband Paul, who has been towing the line for me in the cooking category recently with my workload. Lightly grease a hot grill with oil, then roast the peppers on all sides until blackened and charred all over. Put them in a paper or plastic bag for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, (again) roast those tomatoes on broil in your oven on a large rimmed cookie sheet for about 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. I would have had hubby do them on the grill with the peppers but didn’t want to overwhelm him with the task at hand. I think it worked out better that way as I needed the juice from the tomatoes.

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Once the peppers and tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel the skins off the peppers (with latex gloves!) then peel the skins from the  tomatoes. Dice both of them up now (you might need to reserve the juices from tomatoes when chopping, as you need a minimum of 7 cups of diced tomatoes and their liquid to balance the acidity) and add to a very large saucepan or skillet with all the rest of the ingredients. ( p.s. do not use an aluminum pot, as it can leach the aluminum from the acid from the tomatoes.) Bring all of this up to a good boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.

While all that is simmering, place the lids and caps in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Oh yeah, put a teakettle of water on to boil about 10 minutes ago. Oops! I forgot that too. I hope you read this all the way through before attempting.

Pot of Simmering Salsa

Pot of Simmering Salsa

After simmering, place half the salsa in a blender and puree, then add it back to the pot. If you like chunkier salsa , then you don’t have to do this. I decided on half and half. The original recipe recommends tasting the salsa at this point to either add  more sugar if too bitter or more vinegar if too sweet, but I found this to be the perfect balance!

Now remove the jars one at a time from the canning pot and ladle the salsa into the jars, leaving  a half-inch or more head space from the lid. Wipe the rim of the jars to remove any spilled salsa on them (which is easy to do!).  Tighten the lids only hand tight, and do not over-tighten them. Place all the jars back into the canning pot still filled with hot water, then bring up to a roiling boil. Big boil OK? Not just a few bubbles.  Process at a full boil for 15 minutes for 0-1000 ft. altitude, 20 minutes for 1000- 6,000 ft. altitude, and 25 minutes above that. I fell into the second category in case you are interested.

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

At your recommended boiling mark, turn off the heat and let sit five minutes.  Remove the jars from the pot, then place them on some thick towels to cool down. The lids will “POP” when they have cooled when creating the suction for the canning process. I did not get to hear this phenomenon this time as I had to go upstairs to my home office to work for the remainder of the day.

So there it is! This took me a little under four hours from start to finish. Yes, it’s a half-day project, but it was completely satisfying to turn our homegrown tomatoes into some delicious salsa for future snacks and meals.

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