Tomatocalypse 2015

You may have noticed lighter-than-usual posting the past couple of weeks. That's partly because a lot of my regular subject matter is on break, but it's also because the annual Tomatocalypse was nigh.

The Tomatocalypse is an annual event wherein I take several weeks worth of CSA box tomatoes, several weeks worth of home-grown tomatoes, and a 20 pound box of bonus CSA Roma tomatoes and make things out of them that I can freeze. This year included a few old standbys and a couple of new concoctions.

Roasted Tomato Puree

This was actually a pre-Tomatocalypse creation, to use up even older CSA tomatoes. Just roasted off in a 450 degree oven for half an hour with a little salt and olive oil, then pureed to use as a base for future stuff.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Based off the Alton Brown roasted tomato sauce. Tomatoes are halved, sprinkled with salt, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, then roasted off as above. Unlike Alton, I don't put the result through a food mill to discard the skins. I like the skins, so I just puree everything, then back into a saucepan with some white wine and finished with fresh basil. Ended up with three quarts.

Raw Tomato Sauce

This is my own creation. Just a puree of red tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil. This gets frozen and then warmed or cooked down when I need to use it. Got two quarts of this plus a little extra that got used right away.

Charred Cherry Tomato Salsa

I grew "Christmas Grape" tomatoes this year, and got an incredible yield. So much so that I probably lost a third of them to counter rot before I could get to them. I finished off the bulk of them in this salsa, which had onions, garlic, jalapeno, and cherry tomatoes all charred and blistered in hot cast iron, then blended with salt and red wine vinegar. Ended up with a quart.

Enchilada Sauce

I had to do a lot of searching for an enchilada sauce recipe that used fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. I found one here, then took it one step farther by replacing the dried chiles with fresh ones plus a little powdered ancho to replace some of that dried chile smokiness. It came out way less spicy than I was expecting, but good. Ended up with three pints, plus a bit extra for a dinner.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

This is a chunky salsa, so I actually had to seed the damn Romas before I chopped them. I also had a lot of extra sweet corn, so I roasted that off in the oven before adding it to canned black beans, diced tomato, shallot, garlic, salt, a little olive oil, and lime juice. Got three pints of this too after I used a bunch of it in dinner.

Yellow Tomato Coconut Curry Sauce

I had just enough yellow tomato this time to separate them out, chop them up, and cook them down with onions, garlic, lots of ginger, fresh chiles, coconut milk, and a little curry powder to make two quarts of blender sauce.

At this point, I need to triage the remaining Romas to see which ones didn't survive the week, then use those and this week's CSA tomatoes. There's been a request for tomato soup to go with grilled cheese sandwiches, so that may well be on the horizon.


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Dried Tomato for....

Hey there!
Nice to see a food-related post nestled in amongst the new "open format" of subjects.

We have fixated on drying tomatoes this year, over pickling like last year, and have found some awesome options that do NOT require peeling them.

Seasoned "Peppers" and Salts:

Our favorite blend was, using a spice grinder:
20 parts dried green tomatoes (unpeeled)
20 parts dried mustard greens
10 parts dried tomatillos (unpeeled)
1 part dried red chilies
2 parts dried garlic
1/4 part cilantro
1 part Bitter Orange Adobo

We ground it super fine (to remove the need of peeling), then put it in a sealable shaker, with TINY holes, then added dry rice to prevent clumping AND spoilage. We call it a "Chimichurri Pepper", despite it having almost nothing in common...
(It just was the sauce we were trying to take inspiration from, hence the tang of the Bitter Orange Adobo to replace vinegar)

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