Saturday, September 25, 2010
Our kitchen counter was starting to disappear. The tomatoes from our farm share were taking over the kitchen. Our efforts at putting fresh tomatoes in every dish imaginable was not keeping up with supply. It was time to take action. It was time to make sauce.
People are really passionate about their tomato sauce recipes. They will defend their method like their lives depended on it. I won't claim that this is the best way to make sauce. It's just one way to make it, and the method I chose this time around.
I can only remember making sauce from fresh tomatoes once before. It was years ago, and that time around I chose to ignore the directions to remove the skin and seeds from the tomatoes. I thought it seemed like a big hassle, and didn't believe it would make much difference in the flavor. The resulting sauce was really thin and low on flavor. It took me a long time to admit it, but I do think removing the peels and seeds makes a difference. Removing the seeds also removes the excess liquid which helps produce a thicker sauce.
This was my first time removing tomato skins. I have read about it in cookbooks and blogs, but had never tried it myself. They all assured me that it was a really easy process, but I was skeptical. You know what? They were right! It was a little messy, and it took a bit of time, but it was easy.
Core the tomatoes.
Score an "x" on the bottom of the tomato.
Carefully lower tomatoes into boiling water. When skins begin to split (30 to 60 seconds), use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to ice water.
When tomatoes are cool, peel off the skins. Halve tomatoes. Remove seeds with a spoon, and discard. Finely chop tomatoes.
Saute some onions and garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook the sauce for about 1.5 hours.
Here is the finished sauce.
5 - 8 lbs tomatoes (we used a combination of heirloom and cherry tomatoes)
1/4 C olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and prepare a large bowl of ice water. With a paring knife, core tomatoes, and score an X on the bottoms. Carefully lower tomatoes into boiling water. When skins begin to split (30 to 60 seconds), use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes to ice water.
When tomatoes are cool, remove skins. Halve tomatoes. Remove seeds with a spoon, and discard. Finely chop tomatoes.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, stirring frequently (about 4 to 5 minutes). Add tomatoes, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and saucy, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
We froze a jar of sauce, and set aside a bowl to use tonight.
Thank you to everyone that voted for me in Project Food Blog. The competition was stiff, and only 400 participants made it in to the next round out of 1,800. I am not in that group of 400, but I look forward to following the rest of the competition.