Good news! When I opened the pressure canner wendesday morning* I had nine pretty little jars of corn and black bean salsa. (I feel like I should note that I’ve never had a jar shatter in any canner. But I have had older jars blow their bottoms off (twice, and some of my jars are decades old) and I had some “limited edition” ball jars where the lids would jiggle off 50% of the time.)
So YAY! The fresh salsa tastes pretty good (I had half a jar extra which is sitting in my fridge) but I guess I can’t really speak to the texture of the final product, since there is even more cooking during the canning process.
The other thing I should say is that I totally made up the recipe. That’s the great thing about pressure canning. You don’t have to worry about acidity, sugar levels, or anything else. All you have to do is:
Cut stuff up small enough that it heats all the way through.
Cover the stuff in liquid so the heat is distributed evenly.
Don’t add any thickeners that will screw up the heat transfer.
Cook for the full length required for the longest ingredient present.
With those great caveats I’m going to offer up the recipe. I’ll report back when I’ve opened a jar and let you know how the texture turns out.
3C sweet corn
2C cooked black beans
1C diced tomatoes
1C diced onion
1C lime or lemon juice
1/3 of a hot pepper
9 half-pint jars
I’m giving all the ingredients in their final proportions. You can use either canned beans, or dried beans from the store. If you have dried beans rinse and soak them overnight first. Next rinse them and cook in clean water for 45 minutes. They were on the firm side of cooked when I added them to the salsa.
For your sweet corn I’d say 3C is going to be between 3 and 5 ears of corn, depending on how big each ear is, and how carefully you cut off the kernels. There are a lot of tips online for cutting kernels off cobs, but here’s what I’ve found works best:
I have a small cutting board inside a big roasting pan. The kernels fall off the cob in sheets and tend to go EVERYWHERE. The roasting pan is big enough to catch them all.
Ok, ingredient prep is the most hands-on, time-consuming part of this process. Once you’ve gotten everything chopped, diced, rinsed, and measured throw it all into a sauce pan. Bring it up to a quick simmer and adjust the seasonings to your own taste. I’m a wimp when it comes to hot peppers, you might want more. Or you might want basil if you can’t taste cilantro properly**. Good news with pressure canning is you can change anything you want. Heck, you could add water instead of the lemon or lime juice, but I think they add to the flavor.
Prepare your pressure canner according to it’s directions. Get the water up to a simmer, heat your jars, lids, bands, etc…
Spoon the salsa mix into your jars leaving 1 inch of head space. Be CERTAIN to add enough liquid to cover all the ingredients. I know fresh salsa isn’t so wet, but for home canning you need that liquid to spread the heat throughout the jar properly. Check for and get rid of any air bubbles. Place in the canner.
Put the lid on so the steam can vent and bring to a hard boil. Let the steam vent for the correct amount of time (varies based on canner size) Then shut the pressure valve/put the weight on.
Once the canner is up to pressure keep it there for 55 minutes. If you’re using larger jars check the time needed for sweet corn in your jar size and use that. When the time is up turn off the heat and let the pressure drop slowly. (This is the part where I went to bed) After the jars are cool check your seals and take pretty, pretty pictures of your new salsa.
Or just eat it over chips. Your call.
(All these photos were taken with the Nikon D60. I’ve quickly moved passed the “I’m so confused and lost!” stage into the “This is such a cool toy and there’s so much to learn!” stage. The prep photos were all taken in the dark of night, so while the quality isn’t quite as good I think it’s MILES better than my point and shoot could do. I’m pretty sure I need one of these for myself. You should all go buy knitting patterns so I can afford one…)
*It takes a long time for the pressure to let out. I turned that sucker off and just went to bed.
**People who say cilantro tastes like soap are missing the gene that lets the rest of us enjoy it. True fact.