One of my favorite things about summer is our vegetable garden. This year wasn't too unbearably hot, so we were blessed with a variety of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon and a variety of squash.
August and September is the time of year when we start getting overloaded with tomatoes, squash and peppers. This year our squash plants did very well, so we have tons of squash to deal with. I've made squash casserole a few times, canned zucchini pickles and grilled zucchini.
Our tomato plants seemed to take off a bit late, so now we have tomatoes coming from everywhere. It's funny how we spend all summer tending to our gardens trying to get everything to grow, and then before we know it we are in garden overload.
To help conquer the abundance of all the tomatoes and peppers in our garden I searched around online for a few tomato recipes. I came across this recipe for Homemade Rotel from Canning Granny. We use Rotel a lot, so I thought this was the perfect idea.
I did adapted the recipe slightly by using a variety of peppers (bell pepper, anaheims, and jalapenos). I also decreased the amount of sugar in the recipe, because I thought my first batch was a bit sweet. Also original Rotel doesn't contain onions, but I thought it was a nice touch.
I have used a couple jars in a Queso dip, and in chili and both were very good. I will definitely be making this again with next years tomato crops. I hope you will give this recipe a try.
DIY Rotel (Tomatoes & Green Chilies)
12 - cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 - green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 - Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
5 - small jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 - small onion, chopped
2/3 - cup apple cider vinegar
2 - tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 - tablespoons canning salt
1 - tablespoon lemon juice
First you need to remove the skin from the tomatoes. Do this by preparing a large pot of boiling water. Cut a "x" on one side of the skin of each tomato.
Place the tomatoes in the boiling water bath for 30-60 seconds. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and add to a ice water bath. Remove after about 5 minutes.
Peel the skin (it should slide off easily), chop the tomatoes and add to a large stock pot. Chop the peppers and onion, and add to the pot. Add the vinegar, sugar and canning salt.
Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes. While the mixture is cooking, wash and sterilize the half pint canning jars (about 7-8).
When the mixture is done cooking remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Using a ladle fill each half pint jar leaving a half-inch head space.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and add a sterilized lid. Screw on a ring to each jar and tighten each ring.
Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (for half pints). Make sure the jars are completely covered with water. Start the timer once the water starts boiling.
Using canning tongs, remove and place each jar on a dishcloth to cool completely. Listen for each jar to pop or ping, and make sure each jar is sealed. Store jars in your pantry.
recipe yields: 7-8 half pint jars
adapted from: canning granny