We love versatility in our canning, and Cajun Tomatoes fits the bill perfectly! Your meatloaf will have added flavor when adding it to the mix, it is perfect to use as a dip for chips, and your chili will come alive. You can even add it to your Spaghetti sauce for added flavor!
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The Beginnings of Cajun Tomatoes
We found the original recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. By far, this is my favorite canning book, and rarely do we ever change the recipes – they are just too good as is. But this one, Creole Sauce, we did. As soon as it was ready to sample, we thought it was very good. But, we felt it ‘needed’ something. So we started modifying things, tweaking this, and adding that. After several tries, this is what we were most happy with, and now it is a regular item on our canning list.
Notes on Tweaking Recipes for Canning
One of the first things you need to know before you begin tweaking your own canning recipes, is that you still have rules to follow.
First, you must know and understand safe canning practices. This is necessary whether you are tweaking a recipe or not. Second, you want to understand what can be tweaked, measurements, and what cannot be tweaked. For instance, the Healthy Canning website brings up the issue of acids – where lemon juice can be substituted for apple cider vinegar, because you are increasing the acid levels, you cannot substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon juice, because you are reducing the acid levels.
With the Cajun Tomatoes, two of the changes we made were adding chopped Jalapeno peppers and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. The amounts we used were small, and altered the flavoring but not the safety of canning this recipe.
If you aren’t sure how to make alterations, be sure to read the links above first.
The Recipe for Cajun Tomatoes
- 16 cups Roma Tomatoes, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1-1/2 cups Green Bell Peppers, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups chopped Green Onions
- 1/2 cup Jalapeno Pepper, finely chopped
- 6 Tablespoons White Vinegar
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Oregano (dried, not fresh)
- 5 teaspoons Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
In a large pot, add all the ingredients. Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Once it at boiling stage, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is the consistency of a thin to medium sauce.
Using safe canning practices, ladle the sauce into hot, sterilized pint jars, leaving a 1/2” headspace. Remove air bubbles, and wipe rim clean. Add flats and rings. Tighten to fingertip tightness. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
How to Use your Cajun Tomatoes
Although we use our Cajun Tomatoes in just about anything that calls for tomato sauce, one of our favorite ways is adding it to our Meat Loaf. This is a simple recipe, and can easily be doubled or tripled. Just freeze the extra loaves and place in the freezer for an easy meal later on.
- 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
- 1 Egg
- 1 package French Onion Soup Mix
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup Cajun Tomatoes + 1/2 cup
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Place the ground beef, egg, soup mix and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Cajun Tomatoes in a bowl. Mix just until ingredients are combined. (Don’t overmix, as this can make your Meat Loaf tough!)
Place in a loaf pan, and gently press down until the meat mixture fills the pan. Pour the additional 1/2 cup of Cajun Tomatoes over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until completely cooked through. Drain the grease. Slice and serve!