Monday, August 17, 2009

Market Fresh Tomatoes

Hello everyone. I'm back from my week long sabbatical. It was nice to not worry about the blog. But I have to admit, I still thought about it a lot. But I did nothing for it!!!!

But I did do some fun stuff around the kitchen, including a new batch of fresh tomato sauce. It's brilliant! You must try it. There is nothing to awesome as taking several pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes and simmering them down for an afternoon until you have rich, delicious, bright, tangy, sweet and luxurious tomato sauce to use to your heart's desire! It takes some time, but if you're planning a lazy Saturday at home, why not!

Give your tomatoes a dip in some water to rinse off any dirty. Then place them on their heads and take a sharp knife and cut an "X" into the bottom of each one. Then give them a dip in boiling water, usually about 30 minutes. These were some large tomatoes, so they took a minute. Pull them out quickly. You can give them a secondary dip into some ice water, or just let them sit on the cutting board or a bowl. I skipped the ice water this time around...I had some rubber kitchen gloves on my hands, so I was able to work with the hot tomatoes. The reason for the "X" and the boiling water is to remove the skins. It's highly advisable to do so! Once the tomatoes have had a dip in the hot water, the skins slip off! For more instructions on peeling a tomato check out this entry I did awhile back. Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them open, squeeze out the seeds and dice them up. Dump them in a large pot and simmer!

Simmer the sauce for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Stir every 15-20 minutes. Make sure you have the tomatoes at a steady simmer, but not a boil. They can burn to the bottom of the pot. After about an hour you're start to want to taste the sauce. Here's what you need for seasoning. Salt. That's it. Give it a few pinches until it tastes right to you. Keep simmering and tasting. You'll find the right moment. Careful if you're going to salt the tomatoes right up front, when you start simmering them. You may think there's not enough salt and want to add more...then as the sauce simmers and reduces and thickens...that extra salt will start to become more and more obvious. The water will evaporate from the sauce...the salt wont. If you want you can add some fresh cracked pepper.

In the last few minutes you can dress the sauce a little more. I tossed in some fresh chopped basil. No garlic. No onions. Nothing, but pure tomatoes, salt and basil. Brilliant. Beautiful and absolutely delicious. Here's hoping I make a few more pots of sauce over the rest of the summer.

BTW: I think I had 14 large tomatoes. That was about 12 cups of peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes. That cooked down to 4 cups of finished sauce. That in turn gave us two meals.


DancerInDC said...

Actually 2 meals plus 1 leftover lunch for me!

It really is delicious, and the smell in your house (particularly after the basil goes in) is just divine.

Tony said...

I've been peeling tomaters with an actual peeler... I'll have to give this method a shot!