Friday nights at our place invariably used to mean some sort of Mexican food. Not real Mexican brimming with fresh flavours and interesting textures, but the very Tex Mex variety found in handy meal packs in the supermarket. A packet of seasoning, a jar of salsa, a bit of mince and voila! dinner was on the table. It was one of the very few preprepared foods we ate. I always used to make plenty more than was required as burritos were highly sought after leftovers for breakfast the following day and for every meal as long as they would last. I often used to think as I was spooning the salsa out of the jar, that I really should make my own, but it never seemed to happen. It probably wouldn’t have been appreciated – the girls were quite enamoured with the supermarket version.
However, now that neither of the girls are at home any longer I’m able to break with family tradition a bit and have at long last decided to make my own salsa. I should have done it a long time ago. There is no comparison between this chargrilled version and that which is found in the ‘Mexican’ section of the supermarket. The tomato and capsicum flavour is intensified by the chargrilling and the jalapenos pack a punch, but not overwhelmingly. It would be a shame to restrict your use of this salsa to corn chips, it’s much more versatile than that. It’s delicious with eggs, would be great on a sandwich as a relish type option and a spoonful in a soup or casserole would add some great flavour. Thank you to Liana Krissoff and Canning for a New Generation for the inspiration.
- 1.5kg Roma tomatoes, halved
- 2 red capsicums, cut into large pieces
- 3 red onions, cut into wedges
- 250g jalapeno chillies, halved length ways (I used about 6 large ones)
- 12 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
Line several baking trays with foil. Place the tomatoes cut side down on a tray and grill under a high heat for about 10 minutes or until the skins are charred. You will need to do this in batches. Do this with the remaining vegetables. When the tomatoes and capsicums have cooled, remove the skins. They should come off very easily. Put all of the vegetables in a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.
Add the chopped vegetables to a large pan with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Boil for five minutes. Bottle in sterilised jars. You will need to store these in the fridge as there really isn’t enough sugar and vinegar in the recipe to preserve the vegetables. Alternatively you could process the filled jars in a water bath and then keeping them on the pantry shelf will be no problem.