Roasted some tomatoes we got from our garden. Tossed in some basil we grow, chopped garlic, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
The whole house smelled wonderful...
...I've had my spicy tomato sauce on the stove overnight.
Shelby said we need to go through the freezer and get rid of anything that's been hanging out in there too long. When it was around dinner time last night I thought I'd take a look and see what we had in there:
Bag of venison cut into stew meat.
Three clusters of snow crab legs.
Two slices of pork loin (these will be marinating in some mojo this week.)
Bags of cheese rinds.
Frozen egg rolls that really need to be friend up soon.
Some prepared tomatoes from several months ago...
There is a bunch of other stuff in there but it would take up a couple of pages to list. There is even a bag of mystery meat labelled "Chayce". No worries, I can assure you our son Chayce is alive and well in Hawaii. He's even married now! Here's proof from a Facetime we did last month, he wanted instructions on how to cook steak and potatoes.
Ok, for dinner I didn't have time to thaw out much so the crabs legs are pretty much cooked already and will be easy to prep. I had a head of broccoli I wanted to try a recipe on so there's the green. Easy!
I figured while I was making dinner I might as well take out the frozen tomatoes get those simmering. Tomato sauce is easy to make and this bag of tomatoes, about 3 lbs. worth, have been neglected for so long.
Since I wasn't using the sauce last night I planned on letting it stew overnight. While I was awake I had it set on a low simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping the sides. Shelby was out and when she walked in she said, "Mmm...what's that?" Told her what the deal was and unfortunately there would be no tomato sauce eating on this night. At bedtime I add some extra water and set it on low, barely a bubble here and there, covered the pot (to halt reduction), and then went to sleep.
Woke up and like the title of the post says, the whole house smelled wonderful. Checked on the sauce, stirred it, uncovered it, and turned it back up to a very low simmer. I'll check on it later at lunchtime when I'm on break. Reason I'm cooking it for so long is to let the tomato flesh breakdown on its own. I'm stirring it to keep it from sticking to the pot and to help break up the tomatoes that way too. If I'm here to tend to the sauce I'll keep it uncovered to concentrate and thicken. I'll probably store it in the fridge and have it Thursday night, we're going to my mother's house for dinner tonight.
Here's my recipe so you can make this spicy sauce at home. You'll notice I put onion down as optional, but I always add onion to everything! Love them. I had to adjust the recipe a tad bit since I didn't use the 4 lbs. of tomatoes I usually use.
Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 4 pounds tomatoes, prepared
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 cloves Garlic, smashed
- 1 small Onion, diced (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- ½ cup of White Wine, Dry
- 1 tablespoon of Fennel Seed
- 2 tablespoons Dried Basil
- 1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
- 1 tablespoon Dried Dill
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flake
- 2 teaspoons Cumin
- 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- 2 medium Bay Leaves
Before you Start:
- Some people use whole tomatoes, pulp, skin, and all. I blanch and squeeze mine before I freeze them. The tomatoes used in this recipe were prepared this way.
- I used an 8 qt. pot to keep spatter from making a mess and keep the heat even.
- If you don't want to wait hours for sauce, just cook it all thoroughly then use a immersion blender to smooth it out.
- Add heat oil to a large sauce pan at low-med heat.
- Add garlic, onions, salt, pepper. Cooke till translucent.
- Add the wine and scrape any bits from the pan, cook for 3 minutes.
- Now add the rest of the ingredients and turn stove down to a low simmer.
- Let simmer for 4-6 hours, stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to help break up the tomatoes.
We planted our garden boxes later than we should each year and then we cross our fingers and hope for a huge bounty. We plan on canning and jarring enough homegrown goodness to last us a lifetime!
This hasn't happened yet, but we're working on it. <promise!>
This year we have been picking some decent Roma tomatoes and small cucumbers from the garden. We figured we could clean and blanch the tomatoes and put them in the freezer to make sauce later. The cucumbers were made into refrigerator pickles. Shelby made some last season and they turned out great. She used a different recipe this time and they should be about ready.
I was checking out the tomatoes from our own garden when my mother called and said she had some a customer brought into her barber shop. She'll trade produce, seafood, venison, etc... all kinds of stuff if someone wants a haircut. She dropped off a box of of huge, ripe tomatoes with some other vegetables! I picked out a few that were too "ripe" and washed them off. The rest I put aside till we decided what we were going to do with them.
After a day or two we decided to go ahead and blanch, then freeze the tomatoes. Shelby likes to make her own tomato sauce at home, she'll put them in a pot all to stew and it makes the whole house smell great. We had a bunch of tomatoes so I blanched them in a couple of batches. Here's all you'll need:
- 1 Large Pot
- 1 Large Bowl with ice water
That's it--of course water and tomatoes but I really don't need to say that right?
Fill the pot enough to cover the tomatoes with about 2 inches of water and for every cup of water put about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 30 seconds then removed them from the pot and immediately places them in the ice bath. This will stop the cooking process and keep the tomatoes firm.
After they sit in the ice bath for approximately 45 seconds remove them from the ice bath and remove the skins. You'll notice that the skin has started to peel by itself, it will easily separate from the flesh. Pick off stem or other parts you don't want to save from the outside.
What I do afterwards is cut the tomato in half and then gently squeeze it to remove the seeds from the inside chambers. That's it. I ended up with about 4 1/2 pounds of prepared tomatoes that were put in the freezer for later use. Easy!
Last night Shelby made chicken meatballs, she used to use ground turkey for them but I like the chicken more. Better texture, firm and the seasoning takes to them.
The sauce she made from a bag of late tomatoes my mother brought over from her garden. She prepped them and cooked them with onions, garlic and her own blend of seasoning which uses whatever we have available. The house smelled great.
She made the spaghetti and with everything finished up, we ate. Thanks Shelby.