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I grew 4kg of tomatoes... now what?

 
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mdgates



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: I grew 4kg of tomatoes... now what? Reply with quote

I suppose I'm looking for a simple recipe for spaghetti sauce from homegrown Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes, and a method for preserving sauce for months. The tomatoes I grew this year might keep me in sauce for three months, but I could grow enough next year for twelve months of sauce.

My digestive system is unimpressive in its handling of onions and acidic foods, so I wouldn't mind substituting baking soda for sugar, and I'd like to hear about onion alternatives for Mirepoix.

Thanks in advance.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for long term storage, the options are freezing or canning - unless you happen to have a spare freeze-drying chamber in the garage....

if you're going to can - I would recommend NOT adjusting the pH of tomatoes when canning - only at the time you use them. all of the tomato canning advice/methods/times/etc are predicated on tomatoes being on the acid side - change that and you could have canning disaster.

I have several gallons of garden tomatoes in the freezer for the off season (g) all I do is wash/quarter/core/de-stem them, into a pot and simmer down - in my case with onion / green pepper / celery / bay leaf / of nothing at all - bit of salt & pepper.

since I don't know how I'm going to eventually use any specific quart, most of them are just tomato with a dash of salt. I process it further for smooth & lumpy sauces, pizza, Italian style dishes of all kinds....

as for an onion replacement - would leeks work?
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mdgates



Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leeks, onions, garlic, and chives are all close genetic relatives. Every one of them except perhaps chives give me a stomachache and often a headache as well. It's annoying how pervasive onion and garlic are in recipes and in other people's cooking.

4.2kg of tomatoes reduced to 0.97 kg of watery tomato paste, with the beefsteaks reducing to 28% of their mass, and Roma to 43%. Beefsteak = water balloon.

I made one batch of spaghetti/pizza sauce, but it's not nearly as good as the stuff I buy in a jar. Limiting myself to ingredients I had on hand, I sweetened it with a scoop (72g in 1300g of sauce, actually) of brown sugar, and now it's way too sweet and tastes like molasses. I guess sugar is way more potent than I realized. Perhaps I should add some salt to balance it out?

Aside from that, I'm not sure if I have the correct spices in there, or whether I should care about that. I really don't understand spices.

In defense of my sauce, I do like the chunks of carrot and celery, and the tomato seeds. So, it's not the best I've had, but it is edible.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like a good start - you do have a challenge duplicating ye' olde' 'taste' without the onion & garlic - those are rather pervasive in Italian dishes - altho Italy is not the only cuisine that uses tomato sauce.

have you tried onion or garlic powder? (not onion/garlic salt) I have no clue if that "should" lessen the effects of the fresh but it might be worth a try.

if you check out the ingredients on store bought type sauces you like that may give you a pointer for further experiments. I use bay leaf, paprika (there's also a smoke paprika - pretty strong . . .) wee bits of cayenne for 'kick', celery seed, caraway. gosh, need to think abit on what all might work.

there are any number of "spice charts" on the web - most of them list "by spice to dish" vs "by dish to spice" so it takes some reverse engineering to glean out good suggestions.

as for the overpowering sugar, my thought would be to make another batch without sugar and dilute it. salt is use to enhance the sweet sensation - chocolate stuff is a good example - but I'd be leery of just loading it up with salt. vinegars, soy sauce?
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