Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Feeling Saucy

I had a bunch of tomatoes from the garden that were threatening to go bad, so Sunday I figured it was time to make something with them.

Last year I canned them (halved, not whole), but I decided I should make sauce this time. It would be nice to just open a can and heat it up for dinner.

I started off by blanching the tomatoes so I could peel them easily.

Get a large pot (you can see we're using our crab pot) and fill it with water. Bring it to a boil.

Once the water boils, add some tomatoes and let them stay in the water for 30-60 seconds (as recommended by the Ball Blue Book of Preserving-a must have in any kitchen). I actually only like mine to stay in the water for a maximum of 30 seconds. The longer they stay in, the mushier they get.

When they're ready to come out, immediately put them in COLD water to stop the cooking.

After they cool, they're ready for peeling and coring. I like to de-seed mine too, because I really don't care for the seeds, especially in sauce.

There's a secret to de-seeding them though. Roma tomatoes are usually slightly oval on top. You want to cut it lengthwise so the knife goes through the longer side of the oval. In this picture, I would make the cut horizonally, not vertically.

When you do it right, the seeds are exposed and easy to get out. If you do it the wrong way, it's no big deal, it's just a little harder to get the seeds out without mashing the tomato.

Get the seeds out and cut out the core (stem part) at the top. Go ahead and skin them now. The skin should peel off easily in one piece.

You're left with halves of seed and peel free tomatoes.

Put them in a large pot. Usually they're juicy enough to not add water, but it won't hurt to add just a bit of water to keep them from burning. Turn the heat on low and let them simmer. And simmer. And simmer. Mine simmered for a few hours at least.

Once the tomatoes cook down pretty well, add what you like to make a sauce. I sauteed onions and garlic to add to mine. I also added oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and sugar. Sugar keeps it from being too acidic. I should have added mushrooms, but I didn't have any.

Let the sauce simmer for a while until you're happy with it. Unfortunately, mine only made 2 quarts of sauce. If I had made more, I would have canned it. I didn't feel like going through all the hassle for 2 measly quarts.

I also made some zucchini bread. Yum.

And my coworker gave me some new potatoes. Blue ones! I decided I wanted to make homemade chips with them!

I used my new mandolin type slicer. Be sure to always use the guard because these babies are sharp!

Don't those blue potatoes look so neat?

I sliced them thinly and added them to a pot of hot oil. They fried for few minutes. After they're done, just take them out and put them on a plate with paper towels (or brown paper bags) so they can drain some of that oil. And salt them pretty quickly!

Here they are. Some are more crisp than others. They were pretty tasty though!


Kelly or Alex said...

The sauce looks great and the potato chips are so cool. I bet kids love the blue chips. Anything different gets them.

Becky said...

The sauce looks so good! Too bad it only made 2 quarts. It's amazing how much it cooks down.
I wish I could taste some of those chips and the zucchini bread! I love those blue potatoes. How cool!
(I love your title too :)

debajohnson said...

OK - between Becky's squash soup and your blue chips and sauce, I'm starving!!! How am I supposed to stay on my 'life plan' with all that good cooking???? Way to go Katie!! Love you, Momma

katiegirl said...

Thanks Momma. Squash soup is good for you! But Becky sure does show some good food on her blog!

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