One of my goals for the year is to can more things than I did last year (I did two canning projects last year)!
Summer is definitely the season to can. Things are fresh and ripe and putting up a few cans of your favorites is a great way to save money and have great food year-round. So I was really excited to check out a copy of Marisa McClellan’s new book Food in Jars, titled after her popular blog.
I posted a few recipes from her book for the poll last week and you guys picked the roasted corn salsa. Good choice!
Check out the recipe and also read on for info on how you could win one of three copies of the book that I’m giving away!
1) Get a very large pot of water boiling to sterilize cans and to process the jars after filled.
2) Add jars to pot and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes while you make the salsa.
3) Sterilize your jar lids and bands and all your tools in a small pot of boiling water as well. Keep the lids and bands in the boiling water until you are ready to use them to make sure they stay really clean.
4) To make salsa, shuck corn and place under a broiler on high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Turn and continue to broil until corn is nicely charred. You can also grill the corn to get a nice char on it.
5) Dice tomatoes, peppers, and onion and add to a large pot.
6) Toast cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes over medium heat in a dry skillet. Once toasted and fragrant, grind spices. You can also just use ground spices.
7) Once corn is charred, let cool until you can handle it, then slice the corn off the cob and add to pot with tomatoes and peppers. Add spices to pot along with vinegar, sugar, lime juice, and salt.
8) Bring salsa to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes until it starts to reduce and thicken. Taste and adjust spices and seasoning to your liking.
9) Remove jars from water bath and sit on a clean towel. Divide salsa between jars and leave at least 1/2 inch of space at the top of each jar.
10) Wipe rims to ensure they are clean and add lids to jars and tighten bands around lids. Use a magnetic lifter to add the lids so they stay nice and clean.
11) Add filled and sealed jars to a boiling water bath and let process for 15 minutes.
12) Remove jars from pot and let cool for 24 hours. You should hear them "ping" and the center pressure button should be down. If you can press it down and it pops up then the jar isn't sealed correctly and you shouldn't store the jar although you can use it immediately.
13) Once the jars have cooled, you can remove the bands and store for a year in a cool, dry place. Open jars should be used within two weeks.
For more info on canning, the book Food in Jars is excellent.
Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.
I was able to find some excellent looking corn and tomatoes at my local market which are the base for this salsa. Also, in the summer it shouldn’t be hard to find some really fresh peppers to toss into the salsa.
Marisa used just poblanos in her version, but I added some jalapeno to mine for some additional heat.
Besides using really fresh and ripe vegetables, it’s important to get a nice char on your corn. It gives the final salsa an almost smokey flavor.
I roasted mine under the broiler, but you could just as easily do it on the grill. Just crank either up to high heat and keep an eye on the corn as it cooks. Turn them every few minutes and pull them when they are nice and charred.
There’s a ton of great flavors going on in this salsa just from the fresh vegetables, but a few spices never hurt.
Cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes are classic flavors for salsas. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
I toasted mine and then ground them, but you could also just use ground spices.
It turns out that chopping up a few pounds of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and corn took a bit longer than I was expecting.
But don’t let it discourage you from making this. Put on some tunes, get out your best chopping knife, and get to work.
As I chopped stuff, I just added it to a large pot. For the tomatoes, you can add them with skin and juice and everything. Just toss them in. I took the seeds out of my poblanos, but left the seeds in my jalapenos.
Once you add your corn, spices, vinegar, sugar, and salt to this, bring it to a simmer and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
It should reduce down a bit and start to thicken which is what you want.
At that point you can can it in your prepared jars and you’re all set!
A quick word on Canning
I don’t want to focus too much on the exact canning process for this post although I did detail it in the printed version of this post.
A Quick Book Review
Obviously, because I’m giving away a few copies of this book, I think it is excellent. But just to elaborate a bit on it, it’s a seriously stunning book.
For starters, the design is beautiful. The paper quality, layout, and photos are all top notch which just makes it a joy to read and page through.
Probably more important though is the fact that the recipes are all super unique and delicious. Peach Plum Ginger Jam? Pickled Brussel Sprouts? Boozy Canned Peaches? You get the idea!
Maybe most importantly, Marisa does an exceptional job of making a sort of arcane technique (canning) very accessible. There’s a whole section detailing the exact process so you can ensure you are doing it safely. Anybody can start canning regularly with this book.
I want to try to get this book in your hot little hands so I’m giving away three copies of it!
I’ll close the giveaway tomorrow (Friday) at 5PM eastern time and announce winners on Saturday!
Good luck and happy canning everybody!