I am a sucker for sweet salsas. There is just something wonderful about combining a salty crunchy corn chip with the soft sweet taste of mango.
I remember the first time I ever had mango salsa. My mother bought it by accident. At first taste she expected the hot spice she was used to, to hit her but instead it was a nice mellow sweetness, mixed with onion and peppers. BLAH- she said turning her nose up at it. I then received the entire jar to myself. A few days later she asked if there was any left to try again. She was annoyed to find out that I had already eaten all of it.
Sweet salsas are amazing things – but expensive for such a small jar at the shop and often considered a treat. They are great on their own but pour over chicken and pork and bake them in the oven and it becomes a magical dish to serve along side rice. I have even baked it with cream cheese as a fancy appetizer. But who is willing to pour a jar of top dollar salsa over a simple weeknight meal…My parents never did too uneconomical, Salsa was far too expensive to bake into a casserole dish to feed a brood of starving children. So such dishes are reserved for when they felt it “appropriate”.
This magical meal becomes instantly more affordable and less of a luxury item – if you can the salsa yourself. Grab a jar or two off the shelf any time to throw into a casserole. Canning, is not just storing food away, or a cute hobby – It actually can make expensive food affordable, and home made with real ingredients – with a little work.
True Mangos are imported – but in season twice a year, both summer and winter. Choose the time you can find the cheapest. Doing this will help save you even more. Even better if you can find a wholesaler or live in tropical area where mangos are free!
This recipe is from the The National Center for Food preservation. It is safe and makes 6 250ml jars. It can be doubled if your feeling like you really want salsa.
- 6 cups diced unripe mango (about 3 to 4 large, hard green mangoes)
- 1½ cups diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1¼ cups cider vinegar (5%)
- ½ cup water
Yield: About 6 half-pint jars – 250 mls
1. Wash and rinse half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.
2.Wash all produce well. Peel and chop mango into ½-inch cubes. Dice bell pepper into ½-inch pieces. Finely chop yellow onions.
3.Combine all ingredients in an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to simmering, and simmer 5 minutes.
4.Fill hot solids into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cover with hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
5.Process in a boiling water canner approx 15 min. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.