Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fresh Garden Salsa/ Healthy "Refried" Beans~Cheap!

I have discovered that this recipe is unbelievable! Be sure to remove the seeds from your peppers~it's here where the "heat" is in the pepper and dice them really really tiny. Do this with the garlic too. I made the onion small, but it could be bigger. I did use a small amount, about 1/4 cup of bell pepper and a few (2-3) diced banana peppers too. For a variation, I also chopped some the tougher crook neck portion of yellow summer squash and added~Oh MAN-Oh Man~YUM!!! (NOTE: If I were waterbath canning, I would follow the recipe exactly so that the risk of spoilage is eliminated, but since I am freezing witch increases the heat but otherwise uneffects the results, I can change the recipe just a bit as I have noted. The recipe given below is the Ball Canning Recipe and suitable for waterbath canning.)

I can't BELIEVE just how good this stuff tastes! I've been a PACE fan for years, but my own is BETTER~I am amazed! It wasn't that hard how I save some money was that our own veggie garden has produced the tomatoes, and I had a good deal of the spicing already. We love Tex-Mex foods so except for some jalapenos, which NEXT year I plan to grow and some garlic, which I also need to put on a NEED SEEDS list~I tell ya~whoohoo! It was just a matter of scalding the tomatoes in hot low rolling boiling water for about a minute, letting them cool and coring/peeling/chopping. My son has been bringing these garden fresh juicy tomatoes inside each day, and we've been eating them fresh, but a day or so back he brought in a load that was huge~so hence the need to make the salsa, and instead of waterbath canning in Ball jars, I am freezing it in quart zipper bags. It will do fine this way, and I can thaw it to use it. The only down side to this method is that it will get hotter in the freezer, but since this is a mild batch already, this is not a problem. We like it medium anyway! Not jaring actually has saved me money because I don't own jars and I do have a freezer. Tomatoes do well frozen~so will salsa! Yum!

Here's the Ball Recipe:

Tomatillo Salsa

Makes about 4 (8 oz) half pints

You will need:
� 5-1/2 cups chopped cored husked tomatillos (about 2 lbs or 27 medium)
� 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large)
� 1 cup chopped green chilies (about 2 medium)
� 4 cloves garlic, minced
� 2 Tbsp minced cilantro
� 2 tsp ground cumin
� 1/2 tsp salt
� 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
� 1/2 cup vinegar
� 4 Tbsp lime juice
� 4 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE all ingredients in a large saucepan.
3.) HEAT to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
4.) LADLE hot salsa in to hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
5.) PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Quick Tip
When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

Since I didn't "can" or jar it, my steps were really shortened...NOW I am going to soak some pintos for some homemade yummy "refried" beans! Here's my secret...

*Clean and pick through the dried pintos to remove stones and bad beans.

*Wash with cool water in a colander until cleansed.

*Place in a pot or bowl and cover with cool water~I like to put a dish towel or paper towel over the container to prevent something from contaminating the beans as they soak.

*After at least 8 hours, or overnight, rinse beans~DO NOT cook in the soak water!

*Cover beans with water and bring to boil, cooking until bean is tender. You may add ginger root as it does give a nice flavor. Salt if you desire~I do not.

*When beans are done~notice there is no fat used in cooking these, strain in the colander saving the juice from the cooking.

*Mash or food process beans until desired smoothness, using juice to liquify.

*Serve hot on tortilla chips, in burritos, you would the high fat variety~these are very healthy and good!

I hope you enjoy these, and find that making your own is less costly and so healthy too!

Still watching OUT for my $$ so it will hang around~I don't want it to leave! ;-))

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