Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hot Sauce or Salsa from Garden Tomatoes

I'm almost ready to go back to work!  After an hour in the garden, another hour washing, coring and getting tomatoes into pots on my stove, then the process of peeling off the tomato skins and making salsa...I'm almost ready my garden to stop bearing or to step away from the kitchen and back to work.  I know you are now thinking...this recipe is way to intense for me...but's easy!

Each year I set a few goals of putting up fresh salsa, squash, peppers and peas in my freezer.  This morning all before noon I'd managed with a little help from my Bethany, to almost put up the amount of hot sauce or salsa as some call it to carry us through the winter and tailgates parties at Texas A&M in the fall. We even made enough quart sized bags on the side for Bethany's best friend Molly Dutton who is a really loves our Nolana's Family Hot Sauce.  Molly likes to take a few tablespoons out of the freezer bags at a time and microwave it to eat with her chips.  I would make it go further and not waste any from thawing out too much. 

This process of making salsa from scratch is labor intensive, but you can easily do it while accomplishing other tasks around your house. I however have never been able to do too much of that.

Below I have some pictures that were part of the process.  Since on my recipe page I can only include one picture per recipe, these pictures will help detail out starting from fresh tomatoes to prepared hot sauce - salsa.  

Serve this hot sauce - salsa along side tortilla chips, as a side for cooked peas or Mexican food.  


Step 1: Place cored tomatoes (tomatoes that have the top and bottoms sliced out of them) in a pot of hot water.  Bring the water to a boil and then turn off.  Allow tomatoes to sit for twenty minutes and then carefully drain off hot water and replace with cold water on top of the tomatoes.  This will allow your tomatoes to cook before pealing off the skins.  You won't find a picture here as I forgot to take imagine a large (HUGE) pasta pot filled to the brim with tomatoes and hot, boiling water!

Step 2:  Peel skins off tomatoes all while holding them over a colander over a pot. This will allow you to save the tomato juice and freeze seperately to use in soups and stews for later.

You can see how easily the skins come off.  This is why you want to core your tomatoes before you place them in the hot water. 

Tomato skins should peal off easily once they have cooled. 

My helpers in the form of my neice Alex and daughter Audrey who went to get onions from our barn that my husband had put up for us to use throughout the year.  You can tell from the floor that they didn't remember to dust off the dirt from them before placing them in my potatoe holder! 

Fresh ingredients like these limes, onions, and peppers make a huge difference when making fresh hot sauce.  Below you'll see how to deseed a jalapeno if you don't want your salsa too hot.  The seeds and pith hold most of the heat in peppers, so removing this will help those of you who like your salsa or hot sauce a little milder.  Just remember to wash your hands immediately after handling peppers or wear kitchen gloves to work with them.  You'll thank me later and so will your eyes...

My handy dandy Cuisinart that I couldn't live without.  Just make sure you remember to place the removable top back in the lid....I got in a hurry and had a small disaster....  I used about 10 to 12 tomatoes to each recipe thereby doubling my recipe that you will find below.  Make sure you are careful to clean all the skin off your tomatoes as you don't want anyone to possible choke on them as they do get a bit sticky.  Some people choose to make their salsa or hot sauce with the skins on,  but I've found that freezing the tomatoes in this way in the salsa is better with the skins removed. If you choose to leave the skins on, then do not use the hot water method with the pots as described above. 

I also made a fresh batch with the skins on that we ate immediately, but as I said I don't recommend freezing them this way.  The tomato skins do crazy things when frozen and to me it changes the flavor and consistency.

 Click on the name here for Nolana's Family Hot Sauce

Note: The only thing you'll need to leave out of the recipe is the sugar as with fresh, garden tomatoes you get plenty of natural sweetness.  ***You'll see the tomato juice to the left in the top, first picture that I also froze up to use later in stews and soups. 


Hope you'll try making your own hot sauce -salsa from fresh ingredients you have from your garden or from your local grocery story or farmers market. Nothing compares to it and you'll find if you are like us, that you will rarely ever buy store bought salsa again.

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen


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