Monday, September 9, 2013

“Salsa is now the #1 condiment in America.”

I finally made the lazy cherry tomato salsa today. It worked out pretty well. I had 3 types of tomatoes to work with—the chocolate cherry tomato which is herbal and intense, the green zebra which is more delicate in its herbal flavor, and the Japanese black, which has turned out to be a more standard red tomato.

The recipe calls for 12 cups of chopped tomatoes. I had no idea what that translated to in pounds/ounces. I posted a comment on the recipe post, and one commenter thought 12 cups would translate to about 4 ½ lbs. I’d already done a general google search that stated that 4 cups translated to about 2 lbs of chopped tomatoes. I did a relatively fine chop, and it consistently came out to 2 lbs of tomatoes for every 4 cups. So that’s what I ended up going with.

I also used 4 different chilis: a fresh habanero, 2 dried cascabels (they had an amazing smoky scent), 2 dried anchos, and a canned chipotle with the adobo sauce rinsed off. The rest of the recipe I kept as written. Gotta say when I put it all together and started cooking it up it smelled awesome almost immediately.

After 20 minutes of cooking I pureed it. I cooked for 20 more minutes as stated in the recipe and then started ladling it into the jars. It was really runny. I had a few moments of intense fretting where I struggled to decide whether to keep going or transfer the salsa back into the pot for more cooking. But I’d already tasted the salsa and really liked the flavor—I didn’t want it to end up tasting too “cooked” during the thickening process. So once again I just grit my teeth, finished portioning out the product, and canned those little bastards.

I gotta say I really like the flavor on this. Has some bite that creeps up on you, and a nice rounded tomato flavor that stands out on its own. I’ll be interested to see how it ages as the different pepper tastes integrates. It ended up making 6 ½ pints, so I have a half pint in the fridge I’ll eat through. I agree with the original blogger who posted the recipe—I think it’s gonna go great with eggs. But it’ll also do great with corn chips and on enchiladas. It’s good enough that I’ll consider making another batch—if I don’t find other purposes for the tomatoes to come.

Because I still have 3 lbs of tomatoes waiting for something. And a lot more on the plants.

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