Homemade Tomato-less Sweet Corn Salsa

Every few months whether on personal or business travel I find myself near a Trader Joe’s and cannot help myself to a few bags of products.  I am sure that some of my TJ’s love is a direct function of the fact that I do not have a store near, so many of the products seem unusual or new to me.  Heck, to a lot of regular customers the rapidity and randomness of items’ arrival and disappearance is a mystery to them as well.

One item in particular—Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa—was a true find.  Not only was this stuff good on chips by itself, but it was a great addition to a bowl of quinoa along with some black beans to make a knockout quick lunch.  Too bad my couple of jars did not last that long.

This is where my desire to bust out the canning supplies comes in handy.  I checked out the ingredients:

corn, sugar, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, distilled vinegar, spices, salt, guar gum.

Nothing revelatory or really odd.  Seems like a lot of sugar, but that is easy to take care of when I make my own version at home.  I can axe the guar gum because that is to help the appearance and I could care less.  So, really, we are talking about an ingredient set that I could pretty much rustle up from my pantry.  Why exactly did I buy this stuff again?

The internet delivered lots of recipe variations.  Apparently, people are pretty much obsessed with Trader Joe’s.  My gain.  I combed through the recipes to get the ratios right and added my own “spin” because I like a little more heat.  I also did not know what I was going to do with ½ of a red pepper and jalapeno, so I upped the amount to an entire one of each.  Here’s what I started with for a recipe:

2 cups corn

1 cup onion

½ sweet bell pepper

½ jalapeno pepper

1 Tbsp. salt

¾ tsp. ground mustard

¼ tsp. Pepper

¼ tsp. cumin

Sugar to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan on the stove, and heat until almost boiling. Let cool and then transfer into a resealable container. Store in fridge for up to a month.

Some recipes called for up to a half cup of sugar, which I felt was a little excessive.  I probably put a quarter cup into this batch to balance out some of the extra heat from the whole jalapeno, but your palate may be different.

Here’s what it looked like in jars:

corn salsa

There is not a lot of liquid in the corn  salsa because you do not add anything extra, so it is just the result of the sugar and released water combining to make a sweet, syrupy binder.  I prefer it this way because it makes for a useful addition to so many recipes and quick meals without watering things down or making everything taste like tomato liquid.

I also chose not to can this batch because I wanted to see how it turned out.  This summer, when I am swimming in fresh corn, I am going to have to can some of this because storage space in the refrigerator will be at a premium.  Oh, I cannot wait for late summer.



One response to “Homemade Tomato-less Sweet Corn Salsa

  1. Could this be frozen, do you think? Ihave CKD and have to watch my phosphorus and potassium so looking for recipes tgat can be preserved for winter use.

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