Picante Sauce

posted by Nancy K 07-25-98 3:37 PM

Picante Sauce
5 pint (500 mL) jars

5 lb. tomatoes, about 15 medium 2.25 kg.
4 mild green chilies or 1 can (114 mL.) green chilies, drained 4
2 to 6 hot chilies, fresh or dried 2 to 6
1 1/2 cups chopped Spanish onion 375 mL.
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper 375 mL.
1 cup chopped red pepper 250 mL.
3 cloves garlic, chopped 3
1 can (5 1/2 oz./156 mL.) tomato paste 1
1 cup white vinegar 250 mL.
3 tbsp. sugar 45 mL.
1 tbsp. pickling salt 15 mL.
2 tsp. paprika 10 mL.
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves 45 mL.

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 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" flavor.

Place Bernardin Snap LidsŪ 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; readjust head space to 1/2 inch (1 cm.). Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center 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 1,000 ft (305 m). Remove jars. Cool 24 hours. Check jar seals. (Sealed lids curve downward.) Remove screw bands; store separately. Wipe jars, label and store in a cool, dark place.

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