Saturday, August 3, 2013

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato – August 3, 2013

You know it’s full on summer when you bike to the Farmer’s Market and can see tomatoes, no matter where you look.  Tomatoes are so fun because there is such a variety and everyone has their favorite.  This year we are growing Vincen Watts (an heirloom variety actually brought to the area and kept going by my mother-in-law’s family), Green Stripies, Black Stripies, Yellow Pear Cherries and a Red Cherry.  We also bought a 25 lb. box of Better Boys from the Farmer’s Market for canning.  The first thing I made was tomato jam.  I love it on bruschetta with goat cheese and olive oil and I take tomato jam and sharp cheddar sandwiches to work for lunch.  It’s best on Cake Flour’s hearty wheat bread.  It doesn’t take much tomato jam when serving, but it’s a bit disappointing to see how little it makes after you cook it down, so be prepared and use small canning jars to enjoy it longer.  This recipe was adapted from one shared by Mark Williams, the chef at Brown Foreman.

Tomato Jam

5 c. Tomatoes, boiled and skins removed (also try to remove as much water and seeds as possible)
2 T. olive oil
¾ c. diced onion or shallot
½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. pepper
¾ c. sugar
½ c. red wine

Dice or break up tomatoes.  Warm olive oil in heavy pan and sauté onions with salt and pepper.  Once browned, add sugar and wine.  Cook down until wine evaporates.  Add tomatoes and cook again until it thickens.  Can in jars and refrigerate or boil 10 minutes to seal and make shelf stable.

Then, I made salsa which I posted last year and tried homemade ketchup for the first time.  I had bought some ketchup at a great farm to table restaurant in Bloomington.  It was delicious but a bit too spicy for most uses.  This recipe has a lot of spice unlike Heinz, but it isn’t hot.  It is also fun to make because you just toss everything in a crock pot and wake up to ketchup the next morning.

Homemade Ketchup

10 large tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp. ground fennel seeds
4 cloves garlic
¼ c. sugar
½ c. molasses
¼ c. brown sugar
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 onion thinly sliced and caramelized on the stove top
¾ T. cloves
2 star anise pods
1 1/2 T. salt

Add everything to crock pot and keep cooking until soft and thickened.  Add more vinegar or salt to taste.  Can in jars or bottles.

We tried one other new thing with our tomato bounty this week.  My husband, John, is a big fan – tomato pie.

 Tomato Pie

4 minced shallots
3 minced garlic cloves
2 1/2 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
9 inch pie shell
1 lb. assorted heirloom tomatoes
3 oz. crumbled Gorganzola (or goat cheese)
½ oz. chopped fresh basil
1/2 T. wine vinegar
¼ c. bread crumbs
1 oz. grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small pan sauté shallots and garlic in 1 T. oil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard.  Make holes in bottom of pie crust with fork and cook 5 minutes.  Make a layer of tomatoes on the bottom of the crust and then add salt and pepper before layering on the shallot mixture, goat cheese and half the basil.  Top with another layer of tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with 1/2 T. oil and ½ T. vinegar and remaining basil.  Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and remaining oil.  Sprinkle on top.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden.

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