When I saw that Bountiful Baskets was offering the purchase of 20 pound boxes of fresh tomatoes; I jumped on that. My own garden yielded very few tomatoes itself, so if I wanted to have processed tomatoes ready to make homemade pasta sauce or tomato soup, I needed to buy them. Using canned tomatoes is perfectly fine, but fresh tomatoes, well the taste? Canned cannot compare to fresh tomatoes; there is the lack of preservatives for one, and then the overall knowledge that you know exactly what went into your sauce without having to read any labels. Jarred sauce? Oh, you just don't want to get me started on that; basically that is, in football terms, a "hail mary pass" due to desperation or downright laziness. Making homemade sauce is NOT that hard.
Anyway, this post is geared towards explaining how to process fresh tomatoes for your own present or future usage. The first method is "fire roasting" where the tomatoes are placed in the oven, or on a grill, and roasted until the skin blackens and blisters. After peeling the tomatoes, the flesh itself takes on a richer, deeper flavor making it perfect for meat sauces, salsas and other dishes that look for an outstanding tomato flavor. For the oven, core the tomatoes and place them open side down on an aluminum foil lined tray (jelly roll pan is best). Preheat the oven to 450 F, place the tray on the center rack and the tomatoes are ready when the skin is blackened and blistered. This method takes longer than the grill where you would place the whole (uncored) tomatoes on a very hot grill; watching and turning them as they blacken and blister. Why not remove the core first? As the tomato is blackening, it is, in essence, also cooking and you don't want the insides to come dripping out into your grill.
The second batch of tomatoes I rough chopped and divided up into 4 cup containers which I placed in my upright freezer for future use. Unfortunately, my home is too small (no basement) to devote an area for food canning and storage. Oh how I miss the basement from my old home back in Pennsylvania, but if anyone is interested in buying my current home, so I can move into another larger one, I won't turn down any reasonable offers.
So, buy up those fresh tomatoes when you can and easily home process them for your own use; you won't regret it and your taste buds will love you for it.
and should be enjoyed everyday.
Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Tomato Processing Yields Fresh Results
Posted by Mary Cokenour at 9:57 AM
Labels: crockpot, fire roasted tomatoes, food blog, food porn, four corners foodie, fresh tomatoes, grill, homemade pasta sauce, Mary Cokenour, oven roasted, processing tomatoes, recipes, tomatoes
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