Piquante sauce

This is a must-make condiment at our house.
I found the recipe on the Bernardin website when I first began canning seven years ago and made it as a way to use up an abundance of tomatoes. (Oh, how I wish I had that problem this year.)
We were hooked. It’s great with eggs, meatloaf or chicken. We put it on fajitas or quesadillas instead of salsa and use it as a dip. We ate the few spoonfuls left after canning this year’s batch scooped up with some Parmesan and garlic flavoured Triscuit thin crisps.
It’s well worth the effort required to peel, seed and chop 2.25 kg of plum tomatoes.
The final flavour depends largely on the peppers. I usually add jalapenos from my garden, which can vary in heat from year to year. If I see appealing not-too-hot peppers in the market, I buy them. Depending on the heat of the hot peppers, I sometimes chop and add them to the mix rather than piercing, tasting and removing.
I always keep the total amount of fresh peppers the same. Tried and true canning recipes work because of the balance of acidic (tomatoes, vinegar) and non-acidic (peppers, onions) ingredients. Changing that balance could mean the end result is not safe for canning.
This year’s double batch featured the last half or so of a green pepper from another recipe, two poblanos (large, dark green peppers with a little heat), four jalapenos and enough chopped red shepherd peppers to make up the difference.
Note, the Bernardin website features a new recipe that includes red pepper flakes, coriander and cumin, omits the dried pepper and paprika and features malt vinegar instead of white I’m sticking with the original here.

Piquante sauce.

Piquante sauce
Recipe from Bernardin, bernardin.ca

Ingredients
2.25 kg (5 lb) peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped tomatoes
4 mild green chilies, finely chopped
2 to 6 hot chilies, fresh or dried
375 mL (1-1/2 cups) chopped onion
375 mL (1-1/2 cups) chopped green pepper
250 mL (1 cup) chopped red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (5 -1/2 oz/156 mL) tomato paste
250 mL (1 cup) white vinegar
45 mL (3 tbsp) sugar
15 mL (1 tbsp) pickling salt
10 mL (2 tsp) paprika

Note 1: The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to score the bottoms with a sharp knife then drop a few at a time into a pot of boiling water. When the skin starts to peel back at the scoring, remove from pot and submerge in an ice water bath for a few seconds. The skin will peel off easily.
Note 2: Don’t put the discarded seeds in your compost or you will end up with hundreds of tiny tomato plants in your garden. (Trust me, I know this from experience.)

Method
Pierce hot chilies with a toothpick.
Place all ingredients into large saucepan, mix well. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, 1-1/2 hours or until desired consistency is reached. Taste occasionally and remove hot chilies when sauce reaches desired heat.
Remove hot, sterilized jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1 cm (1/2 inch) of rim (head space). Process for 20 minutes.
Makes about 7 250 mL jars.

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