Monday, August 22, 2011

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

This is another version of saving and preserving tomatoes. Dried tomatoes are really good addition to sandwiches, pasta and to a lot of dishes. This recipe is from Mario Batali’s “Molto Italiano” cookbook and I just loved it!!!
Oven-Dried Tomatoes
  • 4 lbs ripe Plum Tomatoes
  • 3 tbsps Kosher Salt
  • 3 tbsps Sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 150F.
  2. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise in half and place cut side up on baking sheets. Combine the salt and sugar and sprinkle a little it over tomatoes.
  3. Place in the oven and cook slowly for 10 hours.

sliced tomatoes....sprinkle with salt and sugar

10 hours later... the smaller ones were perfect but i have to put back the bigger ones

transferred to a cooling rack and put back for a little longer in the oven to make it a little drier
I did all of these before going to bed and by morning, I have oven-dried tomatoes. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tomato-Basil Simmer Sauce

It is the time of the year where pickling, canning and brining is a must for me. Why I say it’s a must because after I learned how to make my own tomato sauce, I just don’t want to use any canned tomatoes at all. It tastes so much better without any preservatives and you know where and how it is being made. I usually do at least 10 bushels of tomato a year and that’s just for our regular consumption. With my events now, I have to triple that amount at least. I haven’t started the “real thing” yet but since I have tomatoes from our garden, I have to do this small batch. I’m sharing with you this recipe from the Canning Magazine.
So here you go: 
Tomato-Basil Simmer Sauce
  • 12 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tbsps packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 1 cup assorted fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, parsley)
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
Tomatoes from our backyard
Basil, Italian parsley, oregano and thyme --- from our backyard too!
  • Blanch tomatoes and peel.
  • Put tomatoes in food processor and process until chopped.
  • Transfer tomatoes to a big pot.
  • Add brown sugar, salt, vinegar, and black pepper to the tomatoes.
  • Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 70-80 minutes and reduced sauce until desired consistency is reach.
  • Removed from heat and stir in basil and other herbs.
  • Spoon 1 tbsp of lemon juice on each jar. Laddle hot sauce into jar, adjust lids and close properly. Makes 6 pints or 3 quarts jars.
  • Process in a canner or into big pot of boiling water for 35 minutes. Start timing when water starts boiling.
  • Remove from canner and let it cool.
Don't forget to label them and put the date :)