Salsa

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I’ve been doing a lot of canning this last month.  I did a bushel of beets (now pickled) and a bushel of cucumbers (now bread and butter and dill pickles).  image

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I put up 2 1/2 bushels of tomatoes.  Some just plain diced tomatoes, some stewed tomatoes, and, this year, salsa.  Nothing is better than a winter of making chili or tomatoe sauce or soup with tomatoes that you canned yourself.  And we enjoy a lot of tomato dishes.  Salsa was a new experiment this year and, if I say so myself, it turned out quite well.

Ingredients:

15 cups diced tomatoes

1 each red, yellow and orange pepper small diced

1/2 each of a red, white, and sweet yellow onion small diced

3 jalapeno peppers seeded and small diced (use the seeds if you like a spicier salsa)

2 serrano peppers seeded and small diced

2 anaheim peppers seeded and small diced

1 1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 T salt

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Core the tomatoes, put them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to split and loosen the skin and transfer them to an ice water bath.

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Peel and dice the tomatoes.

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Wash, core and dice the peppers and peel and dice the onions.

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Combine the tomatoes and onion and pepper mix in a heavy, non-aluminum kettle.  Add the salt and vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occastionlly.

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Put the salsa in sterilized pint jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth.  Put the a lid on each jar and process in a hot water bath canner for 25 minutes.

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Remove jars from the water bath, place on a heavy towel and allow to cool.  Wait 24 hours and test each jar to be sure it has sealed by pressing down on the lid.

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The “heat” level may increase over time.  I like medium salsa.  If you like yours hotter don’t seed the peppers and/or add additional hot peppers.  We ate some of the salsa while it was still warm on tortilla chips and later on tacos.  It was great!  I haven’t tried this yet but I’m thinking a jar of this salsa would be a perfect addition to a pot of chili.

Pork Tenderloin

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Pork tenderloin is one of our favorite pork dishes.  It’s relatively easy to prepare and, when done properly, is extremely tender.  The  small loins I get from my favorite organic market are perfect for the two of us with a little left over.  It tastes awesome cold and thin sliced the next day.  I’m always happy when no one requests additional seasoning or sauce.  None was necessary for this dish.

Ingredients:

Pork loin (mine was a little over one pound)

1 red bell pepper sliced thin

1 sweet yellow onion sliced thin

1 cup baby portabellas rough chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic sliced thin

1 T rosemary

1 T thyme

1 T course ground pepper

1 T course sea salt or kosher salt

2 T olive oil

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Preheat oven to 325.

Slice onion and pepper and rough chop mushrooms.  Heat 1 T oil in a cast iron pan or dutch oven.  Cook vegetables over medium heat until tender.   About 5 minutes.

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Slice garlic cloves.  Combine rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt and mix together.

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Add garlic to the other vegetables and cook until fragrant.  Another minute or so.  Remove vegetables to a plate.  Rub the pork loin with the other tablespoon of oil and coat both sides of the loin with the spice mix.  Heat the skillet over high heat and sear the loin on both sides.

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Remove the loin from the pan and return the vegetables to the skillet.  Place the loin atop the vegetables and put the pan in the oven.  Heat to 160 degrees.

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Remove from the oven and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice and serve on top of a generous spoonful of the vegetables.

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I served the pork loin with potatoes mashed with goat cheese and fresh spinach wilted with garlic and red pepper flakes.  The pork is also excellent served with smashed sweet potatoes.  Enjoy!  We did.