Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 4: What Do I Do With 20 Pounds Of Tomatoes? Share

Tomatoes, Basil, Burrata Cheese With A Little Olive Oil

Today, Tish came over to write, so around lunchtime I threw this together.  Perfect on a hot day in Burbank, I love the Burrata Cheese in place of Mozzarella, so creamy it melts in your mouth. Hours later Tish left with a bag of tomatoes, just as my little guy's play date arrived. I made a plate of this for our guests and everything was gone in minutes. 

Hubby took a bag of tomatoes to our neighbors and tomorrow I'm taking some to my friend, Lisa. 

I figured I'd be done by tomorrow but then Hubby told me to go look in our backyard garden. I found a huge volunteer tomato plant with about 40 green tomatoes on it! 

I have so many more ideas for tomatoes. I want to make bbq sauce, a French tart, stuffed tomatoes, fried green tomatoes!....

Mmmm I'm hungry now. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 3: What do I do with 20 pounds of tomatoes? The Sauce that cannot be named.

 Let's make homemade ketchup!

I know, I know, that's so not French! I will be kicked out of Paris if they find out. Please don't tell on me. Let's call it the 'Sauce that cannot be named'.

So, now that we've established I'm breaking all the rules by making the forbidden sauce. Let's go.

I checked out 7 different recipes for homemade ketchup. Threw them all together and came up with my own.

First I took all of these gorgeous cherry tomatoes and one big Beef Steak tomato, some olive oil and put them in a pot. I smished them with a giant spoon and cooked them on high for 15 minutes.

Then I strained them through the mesh. 

I added 2 cloves of garlic.

Half a sweet onion. 

One beautiful pepper from our garden. (Seeded)

One stock of celery.
2 whole cloves.
A little coriander.
And cook for another 30 minutes. 

Then I took the immersion blender and went to town.

I strained again. 

And again.

Then put 3/4 cup of vinegar in the pot with 1/3 cup of brown sugar. 
I put the pot back on the stove to cook.
And cook.
And cook. 
It took about an hour to get to ketchup  'Sauce that cannot be named' consistency.

But it's good.
It's real good.
Even if it only yielded about a 1/2 a cup when all is said and done.

I don't even want dinner. I just want to eat this...'Sauce that can not be named.' 

I feel so naughty.

But that's French, right?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 2: What do I do with 20 pounds of tomatoes?

  Smoked Mozzarella, Swiss cheese, Gruyere, Onion and Basil Pizza. 

 So... when I was at my momma's house the other day, along with all the tomatoes we picked that day, she handed one bag of tomatoes to me with specific directions.

"Karen, these lovelies were picked a week ago and have to be used immediately or they'll go bad."
"Yes, Momma."

Execute new plan. Clock is ticking.

I decide to make a sauce. Okay, good, but pasta sauce sounds so safe. What haven't I done? Pizza! I've never made a homemade pizza! Pizza dough and all.
I relay this brilliance to my six year old while we are shopping. Clearly, he will be thrilled to make pizza dough from scratch with his momma! We will bond and share a memory forever.

"Hey Buddy, just one more store and we can go home and make pizza dough!"
"Mom, I'm not that psyched about it but I'll help if you need me."

Bubble popped, I still need to use these tomatoes. Go!

I blanch the tomatoes. Blanch = Putting them in a pot of boiling water for one minute then transferring them to pot of ice water for one minute. The skin literally falls off.) Remove skin, top and any weird bits.

 I add some onion from our lovely neighbor's garden. Then add some chopped fresh garlic, fresh basil, dried oregano, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, olive oil and...whatever else strikes your fancy.

Once that cooked for awhile, I get out the immersion blender and use it. (I totally get what guys see in power tools.)  I keet cooking the sauce and start on the pizza dough.

I look to the experts and randomly pick Bobby Flay's recipe. It seems easy and he knows what he's doing.

Instead of dividing it in two, I divide the dough into four.  

 I  put a little cornmeal on the pan then, pound the first crust out for my little guy. 

Pour sauce on top.

Add four different cheeses. 
(Why not?)

15 minutes later. 
My little guy said it was the best pizza ever.
(Of course, at six, he's a master manipulator and knows how to play me...but it was good!) 

The next one is for me. 
I take one of the 4 balls of dough and split in in half again. 
I store the rest of the dough in the fridge. 

I put parchment paper down, then the cornmeal, then put the dough on top. 
I add sauce, swiss, gruyere, and smoked mozzarella cheese, onion and fresh basil. 

Well... it was mine...until Hubby nabbed it. 

Oh well, there's always tomorrow. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

What do I do with 20 pounds of tomatoes? Day One

Tomato Salad

Grandma Dee has done it again. AMAZING tomatoes. I brought home at least 20 pounds of tomatoes and now I get to figure out what to do with them. (After I give a few to my closest friends)

I couldn't wait to start. I just put this tomato salad together with what I had at hand and it is delightful.

Fresh tomatoes
Red Onion
Lime Juice
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mint
Olive Oil


What will I do with the other 19 pounds?