1 lb. (3 1/2 c.) onions, chopped (2 large)
2 pounds chile peppers of your choice (choose varieties for spiciness) OR 4-6 1/2 oz. cans green chilies
5 lbs. (10 c. peeled, chopped) tomatoes (13 large)
3 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 c. tomato paste
1 c. vinegar (5%)
1/2 c. Ultra Gel®
Chop onions. Prepare tomatoes: Wash and remove stems. Dip briefly (30 seconds to 1 minute according to ripeness) in large pan of boiling water, then in cold water until cool enough to handle. The skins should slip off quite easily. Remove cores and chop coarsely.
Prepare peppers (if using fresh): PROTECT YOUR HANDS WITH CLEAN RUBBER GLOVES. Wash peppers and place on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Broil, turning frequently, until skins are charred and blistered all the way around. Immediately place in a heavy paper bag and close tightly and allow to steam about ten minutes. Remove peppers from the bag. Peel and discard stems and seeds and chop coarsely.
Combine vegetables in a heavy 8-10 quart pan. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, and vinegar, stirring until blended, and bring to a boil. Stir in Ultra Gel® with a wire whisk and simmer 10 minutes. Fill jars, leaving 1/2" headspace. Adjust lids and process in water bath canner for 35 minutes (sea level). Add five minutes processing time for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and ten minutes for elevations from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.
Makes 6-8 pints.
This recipe has been carefully tested for proper acidity level and is well within the levels approved for water bath canning. DO NOT increase the amounts of onions, peppers, or tomatoes or decrease the amount of vinegar. Salt may be added or omitted and small amounts of seasonings such as garlic powder, cumin, etc. may be added.
-Some people prefer to prepare the peppers on a barbeque grill. If you have a large amount to prepare, it is probably faster and certainly cleaner! (The peppers tend to pop and spit in the oven). If you only have a few, a propane torch can be a quick alternative.
--The types of peppers used will determine the flavor and intensity of the heat. Anaheim type (canned as "green chiles") are quite mild, whereas jalapenos and serranos are very hot. For a mild salsa, use mostly Anaheim type with about 2-3 jalapenos. For a hot salsa, use as many as half and half. Pickled jalapenos are easily available and can be an easy way to add some fire!
--Some people choose not to roast the chiles and remove the skins. This is not a safety problem, but there will be a flavor difference and the texture will be less smooth.
--If any salsa is ever thinner than you prefer, just stir in a tablespoon or two of Ultra Gel® before you serve it. Whether a salsa is fresh, home-canned, or commercially canned, it will only take a few minutes to thicken up, and you can be sure it will be stick to a chip long enough to preserve your new silk shirt...!