Rotel is a popular canned product composed of fresh tomatoes, chilies and spices that give Mexican and southwestern dishes an authentic flavor. If you are making a recipe that calls for Rotel and you don't have any on hand, you can easily reproduce this product at home, and make your recipe without worrying about compromising its overall flavor.
Canned Diced Tomatoes
The main ingredient in Rotel is tomatoes in tomato juice. When substituting for the tomato flavor in a recipe that calls for Rotel, use canned diced tomatoes. To maintain the same consistency as Ro*tel, do not drain the tomatoes from their juice.
Substitute the second main ingredient in Rotel with fresh or canned, chopped green chilies. Chili peppers are an important ingredient when you are substituting for Rotel, since it provides the "heat" element. If using fresh peppers, start with one chopped chili pepper. If using canned, drain all the water from one small can. For both fresh and canned, add a small amount to the can of tomatoes, taste the mixture and increase the amount according to your personal preference.
The last ingredients that give Ro*tel its classic flavor are salt and a blend of spices. Slowly add salt to the tomato and pepper mixture to taste. Based on your recipe and your personal tastes, add to the mixture pinches of classic Mexican spices such as cilantro, cumin, ancho chili powder and coriander.
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