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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Salsa Seca

We have a little girl coming to stay for a while in a few weeks.  Yay!   The thought still makes me nervous, {many days I still feel like a girl myself, and doesn't it take a woman to raise one?} but at this point I'm much more excited than nervous. 

I also have a few empty canning jars.  When I say a few, it really is a few.  I haven't been able to find them here, so all the jars I have, we have brought from the States.  They total about 40.  But 18 of them where empty and that's almost half.  I have determined that they will be filled in the next couple of weeks, even if the only thing it does is make me feel a little bit on top of things. 

First up?  Salsa seca.  Or chipotle salsa. 

I make a batch of salsa about once a week.  I will use it to cook some type of meat in, and then the leftover salsa goes in the fridge.  Rafa will use it on top of just about any other dish throughout the week...with eggs, on his breakfast sandwiches, mixed in with black beans, on top of potatoes, basically in just about anything.  When it runs out, I make another batch of a different type of salsa. 

I, {patting myself on my back} have had a pretty good success rate with my salsa seca the past year or so.   Meaning it doesn't come out flaming, or with too much salt, or with too little flavor.  I'm confident enough in my abilities to even offer it to people outside our own household.  

But making it in a big batch to can?  That thought scared me.   All recipes here are so "a little of this"  and "a pinch of that."   I had gotten used to eyeballing it for a little bit of salsa, but how do you multiply "a little of this?"

So I got everything ready like I was doing it in small batches.  I set my tomatoes in small groups with the garlic and chilies like I would any normal week.  I ended up with 10 small groups.  I added everything together and came up with the recipe below to use in the future.  

Salsa Seca 

- 3 kilos whole tomatoes, washed.  
- 1 bulb of garlic divided into cloves 
- 20 dried chili chipotles, half with the seeds/hearts removed.  {A word about spiciness- half the chilies with the seeds removed gives it what I would call a medium heat with a kick.  Its not enough to make me cry, but enough flavor/heat that my husband still enjoys it.   If you are American and using this recipe, I would start by removing the insides from 3/4 of your chilies and move up from there.} 
- 2 tablespoons salt.  

* Roast/Toast tomatoes garlic and chilies.  I used my electric grill to do this.  You want the garlic cloves to be brown on all sides, the chiles {if whole} while swell up and brown too.  You also want the tomatoes to have blackened skins on all sides.  The skins should burst and the juices should start to flow out.  Yes, your house will smell wonderful.  Obviously, the tomatoes take the longest to roast.  I put everything on together then take off the garlic/chilies as they finish.  
* Blend in batches and put in a big pot over slow heat.  
* Add in salt.  I ended up adding 2 tablespoons, but its all really to taste. 
{If, at this point, your salsa is too spicy, roast a few more tomatoes, blend them up, and add them in. Keep in mind that each time you reheat your salsa, it will get spicier too.   Stay on the mild side of your tastes.}

Can according to Ball's directions.  

Yield: 5.5 pints canned, plus a little extra in the fridge to use over the next few days.  

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