Tomato Salsa from Colombia
I make my tomato salsa from scratch, because where I live you can't find it in the grocery stores. There maybe some stores that have some salsa but I have not discovered them yet. I live in Cali Colombia. We have a lot less processed foods in Colombia than exists in the United States, but we do have a greater abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits. I purchase all of the ingredients necessary to make this spectacular salsa from the local markets in my neighborhood. You can view the tray full of ingredients that I include in my salsa.
25 medium sized tomatoes
2 medium sweet onions
2 small to medium red onions
2 small to medium sweet peppers
10 good sized garlic cloves
2 bunches of cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tablespoons of oregano
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp Mrs dash
2tsp of Worcestershire sauce
several dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 tsp allspice
¼ to ½ cup sugar
½ to 1 cup tomato paste or thick ketchup
First I start by filling a pot pan full of water, which I use to scald the tomatoes, enough to take the skin off. In this case I am using 26 small to medium sized tomatoes. Here, the tomatoes are smaller and they are grown locally. They aren't the tomatoes on steroids like the ones you can buy in the United States, but they taste like real tomatoes and they are very healthy. When I have peeled all of the tomatoes, I chop them up fairly small and throw them into a large cooking pan. Next I add the vinegar and some spices, the oregano, salt, pepper, Mrs Dash, and allspice. I also add Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and Tabasco sauce. Now I begin to heat the mixture on a medium heat.
Now I prepare the onions. I use two or three medium size onions and two small to medium size red onions. I cut them into pieces, but not a fine chop. I chop up 10 or more garlic cloves as finely as I can. Then I will chop up one to two sweet peppers. I use about 2/3s of cilantro chopped, to add to the pot. I will then add all of this to the mixture that is heating on the stove. I will bring this to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat enough to maintain a very light boil. I let this cook for a couple of hours uncovered.
Near the end of the cooking process, after the salsa has cooked down to thicker liquid, I add the sugar and about 2/3s of the cilantro. At this point I add in the sugar and the tomato paste. The tomato paste that I use is more like a strong and rich ketchup. As I am turning the heat off when I have achieved the consistency of as store bought salsa I add the other third of the cilantro.
All along I stir the salsa while it is cooking. In addition I taste the salsa as I proceed to determine what I might need to add. I am constantly adjusting things as I go, depending on how it is tasting, so don't get too hung up on the quantities. Cooking is an art not an exact science, so make it how you like it.
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