Friday, November 14, 2008

Perfect, easy chili

A few months ago, during the Bounteous Harvest Bottling Season, I made some homemade salsa. After getting one bowl that was much MUCH too hot, I did the rest very mild and figured that I could just chop up another jalapeƱo when I opened the bottle.

There are lots of great, basic salsa recipes, like this one, this one and this one. Read these handy tips if you've never done it before. My husband's family are big salsa makers/eaters so I just asked him what flavors he liked and started adding things (onions, different peppers, garlic) until it tasted good to me. Once I had a big pot I put it in bottles, ran it through the water-bath canner and now I have a shelf full of salsa downstairs.

I like having the salsa because it's a quick and easy snack to set out if we have guests (and if you know us, we always have guests). But the other night I discovered and even better use for it! I wanted to make chili but I didn't have onions and was too lazy to go to the store. I had made up my mind to make boring chili (because boring chili is better than Tuna Noodle Helper for dinner... again). When I went downstairs to get cans of tomatoes I saw the salsa bottles and figured that they contained all of the ingredients I needed for chili. Plus everything was chopped, mixed and measured already! So I dumped in a bottle of homemade salsa and a can of tomato sauce for extra liquid... perfect. It was slightly spicy but not over-the-top with just the right mix of garlic and onion. I'm never using a recipe again.

I need to remember this for next year during tomato season - it's not just salsa, it's chili-base too!

No comments: