Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spice Rack Challenge August: Cumin

Michael has had a distaste for Mexican and Southwestern food ever since he roomed for a few years with a blonde haired, blue eyed, Hispaniophile.  Dan was a great guy and pretty much the perfect room mate except for his love of all things south of the border touristy kitsch.  Dan's idea of great Mexican/southwestern cuisine was pretty much on a taco hell level and so every time it was his turn to cook that's what he imitated.  It's close to twenty years since Michael roomed with Dan and only in the past year or so that he's actually started to enjoy food with a southwestern flair.  I'm a lot okay with that because the boys and I used to have to wait for Michael to go away on business to indulge our cravings and since they've grown up and moved out I haven't had a reason to cook it.  Now I can!

This is the first year I've canned salsa since I met Michael.  We like it straight with chips, stirred into our guacamole, and I like it on eggs.  It was a happy coincidence that the tomato lime salsa I decided to put up contained cumin and I happened to be ready to can it at the same time as the challenge!
Tomato Lime Salsa
This is a very easy recipe if you're a novice canner and it has a double bonus of having a goodly amount (I had about a quart) of flavorful juice left over for drinking as is or making some very tasty cocktails!

7 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small can tomato paste or, if possible, 4 oz jar of your homemade tomato paste
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup bottled lime juice
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
finely grated zest of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients except the lime zest in a non-reactive sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over high heat stirring continually, then turn the heat down to a fast simmer, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes.
Ladle the hot salsa into half pint or pint jars leaving 1/2" head space.  Place a pinch of lime zest in each jar.  Wipe rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (adjust time for your altitude).  When cool, remove rings, test seals, wash, label and date.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds delicious! I grew up in Texas, so I pretty much love anything with good salsa or cumin in it. I've made refrigerator salsa before, but not canned...thanks for the inspiration!