Picante Sauce

Submitted by: Christine Doyle
From Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving

Dietary guidance: v 

Ingredients

5 lb tomaotes (about 15 medium)
4 mild green chilies or 1 can (114mL) green chilies, drained
2 to 6 hot chilies (fresh or dried) **note** Our family found the 6 hot chilies for 5 jars of sauce was not nearly enough - store bought medium burns our tongues more. I added an extra 4 chilies to spice things up.**
1-1/2 cups chopped spanish onion
1-1/2 cups chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (5-1/2 oz/156mL) tomato paste
1 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp pickling salt
2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves

Method

Note: Be sure to follow recipes for tomoato-vegetable blends EXACTLY as directed. These recipes have been developed to ensure they are acidic enough to process in a boiling water canner. Altering the ingredients could make these products unsafe!

• Blanch, peel, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes; place tomatoes in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.

• Remove cores from mild chilies. Chop chilies. Scrape most of seeds from cores. Add chopped chilies and seeds to tomatoes.

• Pierce hot chilies with a toothpick and add to tomatoes.

• Add remaining ingredients - except cilantro; mix well. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered for 1 hour.

• Fill boiling water canner with water. Place 5 clean pint (500 mL) mason jars in canner over high heat.

• Add cilantro and continue cooking 15 to 30 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Taste and remove hot chilies when sauce reaches desired "hot" flavour.

• Place new Snap lids in boiling water, boil 5 minutes to activate sealing compound.

• Ladle sauce into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (head space).
•• If a "hot" Picante Sauce is desired, place 1 thoroughly washed, drained, dried hot chili pepper in jar.**
Remove air bubbles by sliding rubber spatula between glass and food (do not use metal); readjust head space to 1/2 inch. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center Snap Lid on jar: apply screw band just until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat for remaining sauce.

• Cover canner; return water to a boil; process 20 minutes at altitudes up to 1000 ft. Remove jars. Cool 24 hours. Check jar seals (sealed lids curve downwards). Remove screw bands, wipe jars, label and store in a cool, dark place.

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