Fire Roasted Salsa

As I was up to my elbows in food prep yesterday I got a little notice from WordPress saying Happy Anniversary!  A whole year has passed in a blink.  A year ago I took a deep breath, threw caution to the wind, and became an official blogger. I had no idea what to expect but I remember doing my first post and then wondering if anyone would read it.  To my surprise I quickly got a comment, and then another, and I got to discover some amazing bloggers out there and find out what a wonderful community it is.  So a big thank you to all who take the time out of your busy schedule to read and comment on my posts.  It means a lot.  🙂

We had another round of harvesting a ton of tomatoes so it was the salsa’s turn to be made.  We first made my husband’s salsa which is a raw salsa and great for a quick dish before heading to a party.  To make his we processed tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, onion and peaches.  It is seasoned with salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.  For his we used the grinder on the Kitchen Aid then we drained the salsa a bit to thicken it.  It is always a hit whenever we bring it to BBQs.  Something about fresh out of the garden veg to make this so tasty.

That only took a portion of the harvested tomatoes so I wanted to try a new salsa with similiar veg but a different technique.  Richard from REMCooks posted this salsa and I thought I would take his technique and apply it to the ingredients I wanted to use.  It is not a hard salsa to make but given the volume of veg I had it took me all afternoon as I had to stage various ingredients and process them in stages but I got there in the end!

I started with the tomatoes first and instead of roasting them on the grill I had to do it in the oven as the cookie sheet was much bigger than my grill pan and even then I had to do two batches.  I heated the oven to 350F/ 177C.  On the large cookie sheet I did one layer of tomatoes and drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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I roasted the tomatoes until they looked like this:

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I like Richard’s tip about roasting the garlic in the skins on the grill so I gave that a shot.  Per his advice I started those first then about halfway through I added the onion.  For this I used one very large red onion.

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Remove and set aside.  While the onions and garlic were cooking I gathered the peppers from the garden and the peaches from the co-op.  Found some nice white peaches.  The peppers I used were cayenne from the co-op and hot wax, jalapeno, poblano, and sweet peppers from the garden.  I sliced the hot peppers lengthwise and cleaned them to prep them for the grill.

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While I was roasting them on the grill I got out a large bowl and chopped the onion and put that in the bowl.  I also chopped up the sweet peppers and put them in the bowl.  I left them uncooked for a bit of texture.  I then put together the food processor and put in the first batch of tomatoes, half the garlic (skins removed), a handful of cilantro and set aside for the peaches and hot peppers.

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When I went out to check on the peppers I discovered I ran out of gas.  My first thought this was now going to be a two day process but my daughter reminded me the cast iron griddle has a grill side to it.  Thank goodness!  I got that heated up and brought the peppers in to finish.

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Once they were done I took the smaller hot peppers and added them to the food processor and then chopped the rest of the larger hot peppers and added those to the bowl.  The trick is to have a bit of heat but make it so most people can eat it.  I wanted the hotter peppers to be evenly distributed through the salsa.

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The last ingredient to grill was the peach.  I love grilled peaches and will have to make some as a dessert as my daughter requested some soon.  They impart a lovely flavour.

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Add half to the to the food processor and process until it’s a bit chunky.  Repeat with the second half of the ingredients and add all to the bowl.  Then add lime juice to taste.  If it needs a bit more salt add that as well and then stir it all together.

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We like to have our salsa with lime flavoured tortilla chips.  We also had some last night with tacos.  It was pretty yummy!

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My 9 year old son’s take on this was that there was a punch of heat but it didn’t take away from all the flavours.  🙂

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Can You Stand the Heat? Hot Pepper Jelly Coming Right Up!

I had a fabulous day with my husband in the kitchen.  Every once in awhile we’ll just make a bunch of stuff which means good things for upcoming posts!  The first thing we made was hot pepper jelly.  It’s that time of year where our peppers are bursting with hot and sweet.  And it is also a jelly that is very easy and fast to make.

The recipe calls for mostly sweet peppers but as this is supposed to be hot pepper jelly I ignore that and just make sure I have 4 cups total of peppers.  The guide I use came from allrecipes.com.  It only called for 1/4 cup of hot peppers!  You have to have some zing in this.

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I grabbed poblano, hot wax, and jalapeno peppers as well as a few bell peppers.  I chopped them and then let them drain for a bit.  You don’t want this overly watery.

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In a saucepan add the peppers, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1.5 oz of pectin.  As you cook this if you need more pectin add a bit more.  I found this amount to work for these peppers.

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Stir well then bring to a simmer.  I have it simmer while the water for the jars is coming to a boil.  It allows the flavours of the peppers to come out nicely.

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Bring it to a boil then add 5 cups of sugar.  Sounds like an insane amount doesn’t it.  But it works.  But because of all the sugar I definitely want some heat to come through with the hot peppers.

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Keep stirring as the sugar blends in.  Then bring it to a boil for about a minute or so.

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Can in the jars after you sterelise them.  Then boil for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.

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It is lovely on some nice aged cheddar.

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Enjoy!  🙂