“The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.” Psalms 67:6

My daughter’s menu for her upcoming wedding is one of our family favorites: chicken fajitas with all the fixings.  It has been a crowd pleaser for years: spicy, lime-marinated chicken with peppers, different salsas to fit everyone’s flavor profile, and creamy queso on the side.  I wouldn’t say my recipe is unique, but the key is using my homemade fajita seasoning, Terry’s grilling skills, and freshly grated cheese.  With the wedding only nine months away, I am prepping ahead of time.  I promise none of this prep involves the possibility of food poisoning, but instead canning some homemade salsa for the wedding.

It’s amazing to me how far one $12-box of tomatoes can go when it comes to canning.  I have made 12 pint jars of corn salsa, 10 pint jars of regular salsa, and I still have a lot of tomatoes left!  I plan on quartering the rest of the tomatoes, brushing them with olive oil, then grilling them over medium heat until they blister on all sides.  Next, I put them in a glass bowl and cover them with plastic wrap.  Once they are cool enough to handle, I take the skin off and remove the seeds.  Finally, I pop them into a freezer bag and then into the deep freezer to use later in stews, chili, and soups.

 I want to share my Corn Salsa recipe with you.  I found this recipe a few years ago and have since adapted it to make it my own.  It’s an amazing combination of sweet and spicy heat, with charred corn, poblano peppers and tomatoes.  This was the first recipe where I used coriander seed.  When crushed, this tiny seed packs a big punch with its bright lemony flavor.  This is not a salsa that induces self-control.  I know several people who have devoured a jar of this salsa in one sitting.

Photo credit by Terry Collins

Grilled Corn Salsa

  • 6 ears of corn (about 3 cups)
  • 1-2 T. olive oil
  • 5 c. tomatoes (about 3lbs.)
  •  2 large poblano peppers
  • 1-2 jalapenos, de-seeded, ribs removed, and finely chopped
  • 1 c. diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. cumin seeds
  • 1 t. coriander seed (crushed in a bag with a rolling pin)
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Husk and de-silk the corn.  Brush with olive oil.  Place on grill for 2-4 minutes each side until they get a little char, rotate ears until each side is slightly charred.  After ears cool, cut corn off husk.  After you have 3 cups, set it aside.

Place poblano peppers on grill on medium-high heat.  Grill each side until it blisters.  Take off the grill and place in a bowl, covering it with plastic wrap.  When they are cool enough to handle, take skin and most of the seeds and rib out.  Finely chop and set aside.

Blanch 3-4 tomatoes at a time in boiling water for 1-3 minutes until the skin breaks open.  Place immediately in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain.  After all the tomatoes have been processed, remove skin and seeds.  Dice into small pieces and place in a large stock pot.

Add corn, poblano and jalapeno peppers, onions, tomato paste, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and all the seasonings except the cilantro.  Bring to a boil on medium heat.  Once it reaches a boil, turn down the heat to simmer and let it simmer for 12 minutes until the liquid slightly reduces.  Add cilantro and cook for another two minutes.  Taste, and adjust salt and seasonings if needed.

If you want to can this in a water bath, make sure jars, lids and seals are all processed correctly.  Place in jars leaving a little headspace, seal, and place in a canner with boiling water a few inches above the jars for 15 minutes.  If they properly seal, you can store for 12-18 months.

I recently saw a meme that made me laugh.  The meme was a picture of people running and the caption says, “Quick!  It’s the forty-five minutes a year when tomatoes taste incredible!”  We are on minute 44 of the 45 minutes, so if you have a lot of tomatoes left, give the corn salsa a try!

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