We love fresh tomatoes – and we love salsa! Every year we make a bit of salsa with our tomato harvest. The following post is about preparing Fiesta Salsa, with a recipe and canning instructions.
Fiesta Salsa uses a pre-made spice mix, which seems a little bit like cheating to me – but it works really well, and it allows us to use up just the quantity of tomatoes that we have available at the time. This is important at the end of harvest time, when we never have the exact quantity of tomatoes ready to produce a whole batch – or maybe we do – who knows?
It’s Tomato Week! A few days ago, I posted about harvesting all those garden tomatoes. Today here is yet another recipe post about preserving tomatoes. There is a printable recipe card at the end from RecipesGenerator.
Now finally, I have a few tomatoes left – not the prettiest things either – as they have had a little bit of frost here and there.
A few years ago a friend told me about FIESTA SALSA MIX, and I thought – that’s not real canning! I was snooty and superior. But then I tried it and I was hooked. What I like about it is that when I don’t have the time or produce to harvest exactly the right quantity of tomatoes, I can used the pre-mixed spices and process exactly the quantity of tomatoes that I have.
To make Fiesta Salsa, you just need tomatoes, vinegar, mason jars and Fiesta Salsa Mix. This time around, I had about 6 cups of tomatoes – in various stages of freshness. I had some lovely red ones, that needed to be processed right away, some green ones that I had been trying to ripen with bananas in a paper bag , and some slightly less beautiful tomatoes, that were a little orange, but had some frost damage, which I cut out. When chopped up – they yielded 6 cups. I like that I can start with how many cups of tomatoes I have and then go from there – as opposed to trying to follow a recipe that calls for a certain number of pounds of tomatoes and then trying to convert from how many cups I have – and then of course I don’t have enough!
So then I opened the jar of Fiesta Salsa mix and measured out the amount that I needed. The mix has very clear and simple instructions – If you used the whole container you would make 8 500ml jars – using 18 cups of chopped tomatoes. It gives instructions for every 4 1/2 cups of tomatoes – which yield two 500ml jars. As I had about 6 cups of tomatoes – I used about 1/3 of a cup of the Salsa mix, and 4 tablespoons of 5% vinegar. Then, because I like my salsa spicy – I added a sprinkling of extra chili pepper flakes – but this isn’t necessary – just 3 ingredients makes this easy.
I had sterilized the leftover mason jars that I had on hand – I had a 500ml, and 2 650ml jars and rings, which I had boiled for 10 minutes in my large stainless steel pot.
To prepare Fiesta Salsa, bring tomatoes, vinegar and salsa mix to a boil in a large stainless steel pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Turn off heat.- and ladle the sauce into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar. Wipe down the tops of the jars. Heat sealing discs in hot water. Apply sealing discs to the jars and screw on rings to finger tight. Return the sealed jars to the hot water, making sure they are covered by at least one inch of water. Bring to a full boil 1 and process for 35 minutes. Turn off heat. After 5 minutes, remove jars from water and set aside to cool. As they cool, the tops should retract and curve inward, making a popping noise, indicating that a vacuum seal has occurred.
My 6 cups of tomatoes yielded 1 500ml, 1 650ml properly canned jars, and about 1/4 of another 650ml jar which I put straight into the refrigerator to enjoy soon.
Using the Fiesta Salsa Mix helps me to quickly process some tomatoes, when I don’t have a full batch to process, and use what I have one hand.
The Printable Recipe Card below is for a full batch of Salsa – one whole jar of Fiesta Salsa Mix – but you don’t need my recipe – just read the label! It’s all there!
You can buy Fiesta Salsa Mix where you buy canning supplies, possibly at your grocery or hardware store, or you can find it at Walmart. It will be either labelled as from Bernardin or Ball – depending on where you live!
I have used up all my red tomatoes now – but what about the green ones? Stay tuned for the last (finally) tomato post (I promise!).
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