Unlike store-bought chunky salsa, Restaurant Style Canned Tomato Salsa, sometimes called Blender Salsa, is a smooth condiment that lends itself to more than just a dip for chips!
Many times over the years, I have admitted to being a dipper. Both me and my daughter are dippers. We love to dip just about everything in a sauce of some sort. Even though we disagree on salsa brands, Restaurant Style Canned Tomato Salsa just might be the one dip we do agree on!
I’ve heard this particular type of salsa referred to as blender salsa as well. And, it’s pretty self explanatory why – the salsa is blended until smooth. I have also heard it referred to as restaurant style salsa too. Most restaurants tend to serve a smoother salsa rather than a chunky alternative.
Do you love salsa? And, do you prefer a smooth or a chunky salsa? How about your spice tolerance? Is your favourite salsa more salty, sweet, or spicy? I like a very balanced salsa with a little bit of kick to it. You can leave the kick out if you prefer.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS SALSA RECIPE:
The one ingredient found in all salsa recipes is tomatoes. This particular recipe will yield 10 jars, so you’ll need a lot of tomatoes. In fact, you’ll need about 1/2 a bushel. That’s about 21-22 pounds of plum (roma) tomatoes.
Salsa works well with a lot of fresh vegetables. In my salsa recipe, you’ll find both red and green bell peppers, as well as onion, and jalapenos. You can leave the jalapenos out if you wish, but to be quite honest, if you take a minute to remove the seeds, the jalapenos won’t be spicy or hot at all.
As I previously mentioned, I do like my salsa to have a little bit of heat, but not too much. There are ten jalapenos in this recipe. I removed the seeds from five of them, but the other five went into the recipe with the seeds intact.
Other than that, you’ll need a little bit of sugar, which will help to balance out the acid from the tomatoes. There’s also tomato paste. The paste adds depth, colour, and helps to thicken. Just add a few spices and that’s it. Not too bad at all, is it!?
HOW TO USE SALSA
We like to eat salsa with nachos. I would think that’s the most common way to eat salsa. But, did you know there’s a million other things you can do with salsa? You can incorporate it into other recipes to enhance flavour and texture.
I love to serve salsa with my Breakfast Sausage and Egg Taquitos. Try adding salsa instead of barbecue sauce to shredded cooked chicken. It makes a delicious sandwich filling. My favourite way to use salsa is as a condiment. Honestly, Dear Reader, salsa is so good on top of scrambled or fried eggs!
You can use it to help make a complete meal too. Brown some ground beef and combine it with cooked and drained pasta. Stir in a jar of salsa and transfer it to a casserole dish. Top with cheese and bake until bubbling and gooey. How’s that for a quick and easy dinner?
Oh – and baked potatoes!!! Bake the potato and slice it in half lengthwise. Fluff up the potato and top it with shredded cheese, salsa, and a bit of sour cream. We just had something similar to this last night for dinner!
PREPPING THE TOMATOES
The most cumbersome part of this recipe is preparing the tomatoes. It’s not hard, but a little time consuming. With that in mind, I thought I would devote a whole section to it. The best way to prep the tomatoes is to char them in the oven. Not only does it help to remove the skin easily, it partially cooks the tomato, and adds so much flavour!
Place all of the tomatoes in your sink. Fill with cold water. Add about a dime-sized dab of dish detergent to your palm and rub it over your hands. Now, use both of your hands to move the tomatoes around. The soap will help wash the tomatoes. Drain the water and rinse each tomato under running water.
Preheat the broiler in your oven. Next, remove the core from each tomato and discard. Slice the tomato in half lengthwise. Place each half cut side down onto a sheet pan. Pack the sheet pan quite full, but don’t overlap the tomatoes. Place on the middle rack in your oven and allow the tomatoes to char. You want the tops to get really black.
Remove from oven and put the next sheet pan in to char. To remove the charred skin, use a pair of metal tongs. The skin will come right off. In some cases, a piece of skin might be stuck to the tomato, or the tomato may have blackened under the skin. Don’t worry about it; that char is flavour!
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Add the prepped tomatoes to a large soup pot. Add all of the other ingredients in and stir to combine. Over medium heat, cook the mixture for 30 minutes.
Once the mixture is cooked, turn off the heat and blend the salsa together to make it smooth. For this process, I like to use a hand-held immersion blender. If you don’t have one, but you have a counter top blender, you can use that. You will need to blend in batches though. Be careful when blending, because the mixture is really hot. You don’t want to splash it onto your skin.
You can blend it a lot or a little. That will depend on you. For my purposes, I blended it until it was as smooth as I could possibly get it. If you want to leave some chunks, then just blend half of the mixture. Pour that back into the pot and stir it into the remaining chunky salsa.
At this point, you should taste the salsa. Sometimes, tomatoes need a bit more salt. Adjust to your personal tastes and then you’re ready to start the canning process!
Restaurant Style Canned Tomato Salsa is going to be your newest addiction. Just as it is, right out of the jar, it’s perfect! But, like all good things, you’ll need to wait a bit first. Once the salsa has cooled after being removed from the canner, it’s safe to eat.
Here’s the thing about canning your own salsa. To get the best results in terms of flavour, it’s always a good idea to wait at least two weeks before digging in. That gives the ingredients time to marry together well in that processed jar. Then, it’s just perfect. Now, enjoy!
Restaurant Style Canned Tomato Salsa
- 10 500 ml mason jars with screw bands and new, unused sealing discs.
- Pressure Canner
- Jar Wrench/Lifter
- Canning Funnel
- Non-metallic Bubble Remover
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- 21 pounds plum (roma) tomatoes cored and sliced in half lengthwise
- 10 large jalapenos, seeds discarded, roughly chopped (may leave seeds in for spicy salsa)
- 3 large white onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 large green bell peppers, chopped
- 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Wash tomatoes well. Remove core and half each tomato lengthwise. Place tomatoes cut side down onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pack the tomatoes tightly, but do not overlap. Broil until skin has charred and blackened. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes. Use metal tongs to pull off the charred skins and discard. Transfer tomatoes to large soup pot. You will need to do these in batches until all tomatoes have been peeled.
- Add all other ingredients to the pot and stir well to combine.
- Cook the salsa mixture for 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
- While the salsa is cooking, wash the mason jars and screw lids in soapy water and rinse soap off well under running hot water. Place clean jars on a baking sheet and place in oven preheated to 200 degrees. Set screw bands aside. Next, boil a kettle of water and pour into a clean glass bowl. Carefully submerge the sealing discs in the bowl of hot water. Set aside.
- Once the salsa is cooked, use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the salsa until smooth. Alternatively, you can puree in batches using a counter-top blender.
- Remove the sterilized jars from the oven. Ladle the salsa into prepared mason jars using a funnel to prevent the mixture from touching the rim of the jars. Leave 1 inch head space.
- Wipe down the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel to ensure none of the salsa has come in contact with the rim.
- Carefully remove the sealing discs from the hot water with a magnetic lid lifter. Position the sealing disc directly onto the lid of the jars. Do not touch the underside of the lid.
- Screw on the screw bands until firm – do not apply pressure! Just use your fingertips to tighten the screw bands.
- Next, prepare your pressure canner according to the instructions for your particular brand, make, or model.
- Using the jar lifter, place the jars into the canner and place the lid on securely.
- Process for 20 minutes using a 10 pound (69 kPa) weighted gauge. Be sure to adjust pressure for your altitude if over 1000 feet. Time the processing from the time the canner has reached full pressure. Once done, turn off the heat and allow canner to de-compress naturally.
- Carefully remove each jar from the canner using the jar lifter. Do not tilt the jars or try to wipe them dry. Place jars onto a wire cooling rack that has been covered with a clean kitchen towel.
- Leave the jars to cool for a minimum of 12 hours. Once cooled, wipe the jars of any residue that might have been transferred to the outside of the jar during the boiling process. Label the jars and store in a dark, cool cabinet.