Happy International Can-It-Forward Day! Organised by Ball, this annual event celebrates the joys of fresh preserving, encouraging gardeners & food enthusiasts to preserve their favourite home-grown or locally sourced ingredients. I am thrilled to be doing my bit this year – looking at my growing collection of homemade preserves I can’t help but feel proud. I have made jams, chutneys, salsas and quick pickles and have shared the wealth with neighbours and friends receiving many equally amazing homemade gifts in return. That big jar in the photo below is full of walnuts my neighbours are pickling – can’t wait for them to be ready.
Makes about 6x490ml (16oz) jars
180ml | 6fl oz red wine vinegar
13 large tomatoes
6 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, finely diced
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely diced
80g | 3oz fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
12 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1. Heat jars and lids in simmering water (follow method here) until ready for use.
2. Blanch the tomatoes for about a minute in boiling water. Transfer to a large bowl filled with cold water and gently peel the skin off.
3. Discard the seeds and chop the tomatoes.
4. Combine all the ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
5. Ladle the hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and wipe the rim clean. Centre lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6. Process the jars in a a large stainless steel pot (hot water bath preserver) for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, remove cover and let the jars cool for 5 minutes. Remove jars without tightening the bands if loose. Cool for 12 hours and test the seals. Lid should not flex up and down when centre is pressed.
Note: for a spicier salsa rehydrate 5-9 dried chilli peppers with hot water, letting them steep for 15 minutes. Drain half the liquid and process the rest with the chillies in a food processor until smooth. Add to the salsa with the other ingredients in step 4.
8 large corn tortillas
olive oil to brush on tortillas
Italian dried herb mix (or herbs of your choice)
Easiest three ingredient party dip
200g | 7oz homemade salsa
200g | 7oz cream cheese
100g | 3.5oz grated mature cheddar cheese
a little olive oil to drizzle (optional)
sprinkling of chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Brush the tortillas with a little olive oil on both sides.
2. Pile the tortillas in a stack and slice into 8 wedges.
3. Spread on a large baking tray in a single layer (you will need to do this in batches). Sprinkle with salt, paprika and herbs.
4. Bake for 5 minutes then flip over. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the tortillas start browning at the edges. Leave the chips to cool down.
5. In a large bowl, combine the salsa, cream cheese and cheddar. Mix everything together and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave. Stir well and heat for another 1-2 minutes and serve hot, drizzled with a little olive oil and some chopped parsley.