Tuesday, September 28, 2010

STUFFING THE FREEZER


My husband and I went to Juneau for a short
shopping trip last week. As luck would have
it there was a farmer from WA state selling
organic vegetables at the church parking lot
across the street from the store we were at.

The produce was really nice and there were
apples, peppers, nectarines, pears and nice
beefsteak tomatoes. The cases of tomatoes
were marked as seconds because some had
very minor marks on the skin but they could
not sell them to restaurants that way.

So I bought the whole case with plans to
put them in the freezer.

I started off by boiling a big pot of water.
I made an X in the bottom of each tomato
with a sharp knife, then plunged them
into the boiling water for just a few
seconds. I immediately took them out
and plunged them into a sink of icy water.

The skins easily slid off:



Then I took my largest stockpot and sauteed
2 onions in butter until they were soft:



While the onions were cooking I chopped the
tomatoes into chunks and processed them in
my food processor until they were almost pureed.
I did leave some chunks of tomato so I can use
this for pizza as well as spaghetti sauce and
for casseroles:



When the onions were softened I added 2 pounds
of caribou burger to the pot, along with a whole
bunch of garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper:



Once the burger was browned I started pouring the
processed tomatoes into the bucket:



I had a little too much for my stockpot, so the overflow
went into a smaller pan so it wouldn't boil all over. At
this point I added more spices and just kept tasting and
tasting as it cooked. I always figure that if it needs more
I can always add it, but if I add too much I may ruin
the whole pot!

This step takes awhile because you want to cook
everything together for flavor, but you are also
reducing the amount of liquid in the pot to make
a thicker sauce and to concentrate the tomato flavor.
I just left it on low and watched it throughout the
day, stirring it often as it slowly boiled the
water away.

I still added more seasoning at this point and
when it was as thick as I wanted it was done:



And here is the end result; 6 large bags of delicious
sauce that I can use for spaghetti, casseroles, pizza
or I can just pour it over hot pasta for a quick dinner.

Nobody is going to call this gourmet food, but it is
all organic and sticks to the ribs quite nicely when
it's cold outside and we've been working all day.

5 comments:

Niki said...

nothing like a homemade stash in the freezer! :-)

Anonymous said...

Just a neat and tasty tip I learned on a gourmet canning site, for tomato sauce. Is to put everything ( tomatoes, herbs onions etc) coarsely chopped in a roasting pan or electric roaster...at 350 for about 4 hours til edges get dark..... then use a stick blender to make the sauce, I can it... not freeze..but is the easiest way and tastiest to make tomato sauce! Usually there is no need to further boil it down....it is usually the perfect thickness! And YES all homemade tomato sauce is gourmet!!
Corisa

Laura ~Peach~ said...

yes that looks gourmet to me :) YUMMMMMMMMMMM

The Stricklands said...

Your sauce looks so yummy! How was your summer?

Bowen said...

YUMMMMMMM!!!!!