Its harvest time people, and today I brace myself for hours in the kitchen. I have visited the orchard, worked the farmer’s market up and down, and helped save innocent tomatoes from their demise in last week’s frost. I have thousands of lbs. of apples, tomatoes, corn, basil, garlic and peppers to turn into tasty treats that will fill the gaping abyss that is my freezer. If my husband brings down a deer today, I’m screwed. Happy, but screwed.
I love to cook. It is my therapy. But who spends 8 hours in therapy? I tend to get squirrely after Hour 3. Squirrely is a nice euphemism for royally bitchy and resentful.
Am I alone? I don’t think so…admit it people, no one likes kitchen confinement. So today I will do what I can to make this a pleasant experience. Crank the music, make up cookin’ songs that don’t rhyme, take breaks…Maybe send the mister out for a six-pack of Wisconsin’s finest.
And I will roast the majority of my tomatoes. It’s less mess and time than chopping.
Here’s my latest and greatest basic tomato sauce recipe:
- Fill a couple of 13 x 9 glass dishes with whole tomatoes, cores cut out
- Grease ‘em up with olive oil
- Throw in a whole head of garlic, divided & peeled (or roughly chopped)
- Roughly chop a medium onion
- Sprinkle with 1-2 tsp. of salt and 2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Season – I do one dish salsa and one dish Italian:
- Salsa 2 tsp each of cumin & chile powder, a dried chipotle pepper, fresh squeezed lime, li’l bit o’ oregano (2 Tbsp. fresh or 2 tsp. dried)
- Italian 3-4 Tbsp fresh (or 3-4 tsp dried) total of a herb mix that can include oregano,thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram…you know, the Italiany herbs
- Roast at 400 for about 45 min., stirring once or twice
- Cool and remove skins from tomatoes.
- Strain the liquid & save for a soup base or cooking broth
- Mash or roughly blend the works, depending how chunky or smooth you like your salsa and sauces.
- Add more seasoning (salt, sweet & spicy),fresh onion, garlic or herbs to your liking. I add fresh chopped cilantro and sometimes grilled corn to my salsa.
- Voila! And you’ve hardly chopped nuthin’. Eat or freeze.