8 quarts plum tomatoes
6 large onions (we do half red and half white)
2 to 3 heads of garlic
1 pound Jalapeño peppers
6 large mild green chili peppers
2 1/2 cups minced cilantro
1/4 cup cumin seed, ground
1 156ml (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
*PER JAR* 3 tablespoons lime juice (I use the store bought, but you could squeeze your own if you want to
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. You will need to do them in batches. Transfer the tomatoes to a sink or tub filled with ice water.
Peel the tomatoes, and chop them coarsely. Layer them in a large strainer with the salt. I try to use about 4 tablespoons, but a bit more is okay. Much of it will run out with the water. Let the tomatoes drain for several hours to overnight, in a cool spot (but not in the fridge.) Don't forget to keep them a little raised from the bottom of whatever pot you strain them into, so they are not sitting in their own water.
When you are ready to proceed, put the canning jars into a large canner with water to cover them by one inch at least, and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions, de-stem and de-seed the Jalapeños (wear gloves!) and other green peppers, and peel and mince the garlic. Squeeze the juice from the limes and set it aside.
Take the strained tomatoes, and chop them to the texture you would like - a food processor is fine for this. Mix them with the chopped onions, garlic, and peppers in a large canning kettle or other large, deep pot. Chop the cilantro and mix it in, along with the ground cumin seed.
Mix the tomato paste with a cupful of the salsa, until it is lump-free. Mix it into the pot of salsa. Taste the salsa, and add some salt if you think it needs some more. Bring the salsa to a boil.
Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them. Half should be emptied into the sink, and half should be emptied back into the pot to keep the boiling water level up.
Add three tablespoons of lime juice to each jar. Fill each jar with salsa, to within 1 cm of the rims. Wipe the rims with a clean paper towel dipped in the boiling water, and seal according the manufacturers directions - i.e by using lids and rims boiled for 5 minutes.
Return the jars to the boiling water bath and boil them for 20 minutes, well covered in water. It will most likely be necessary to do this in 2 batches; put as many into the canner as will fit, when they come out put in the next batch of jars to be sterilized while you fill the first set. Take them out and fill them as the first set of filled jars is being processed.
Remove from the water bath, allow to cool, check seals and label the jars with the date and batch number.
This recipe makes 12 - 14 500mL jars.
Note: To make it hotter, use different hot peppers like Serrano (medium), Chile de Arbol (medium-hot), Arbol (hot), Cayenne (hot), Habanero (super hot).
This recipe is also linked to...
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