Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Rotel-Style Tomatoes

With the one of the last big harvests of Roma tomatoes from the farm, I decided to try out this recipe for rotel-style tomatoes. Rotel tomatoes, if you do not know, are diced tomatoes mixed with spicy peppers. You can use it in dips or Mexican food or whatever. It's delicious. I buy cans of it all the time so it made sense to try to make them myself.

EXCEPT! WILDCARD! I didn't have any poblano peppers, but I DID have a TON of jalapenos, habaneros, and random other hot peppers from my backyard. So I used those instead! Only one habanero, I swear. I'm sure it isn't as spicy as it sounds...

Anyway the canning process went smoothly. Nothing went wrong and everything was fine. They're all happily sealed in my pantry. I will report back when I open one in a few months to use.


Rotel-Style Tomatoes
The Kitchn

2 poblano peppers
5 pounds Roma or paste tomatoes
8 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 12-ounce jelly jars. Place lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.

Preheat your broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the poblano peppers on the baking sheet and roast under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes. Once one side darkens and blisters, turn the peppers, until all sides are blackened. Remove peppers from oven and cover with another sheet of foil. Let them cool until you are able to handle them without burning yourself. Remove the skins and seeds and dice the peppers.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it heats, remove the cores from your tomatoes and score the bottoms with a shallow "X." Fill a large bowl 2/3 the way with cold water and place near the stove.

Working in batches, blanch all your tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure to give the water a chance to come back up to boiling between batches. If the water isn't hot enough, you will have a hard time removing the skin during peeling. As each batch is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the bowl of ice water; the cold water stops the cooking and cools the tomatoes down enough for you to peel them.

Once all the tomatoes have been blanched and they are cool enough to touch, remove the skins.

Chop the peeled tomatoes and place them in a pot with as much of the tomato juices as you're able to capture during the chopping process. Add the diced poblanos and bring to a boil. Cook at a controlled boil for 30 to 45 minutes to cook off some of the watery liquid, stirring regularly to prevent burning.

Take your prepared jars and add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to the bottom of each jar. Pour the hot chopped tomatoes into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a wooden chopstick to remove any air bubbles and adjust the amount of tomatoes if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

When time is up, slide the pot off the hot burner and remove the lid. Let the jars cool gradually in the water for 10 minutes before lifting them out of the pot and setting them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. This step helps prevent the liquid loss that can occur when you rapidly change the temperature of your freshly processed jars.

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