Sunday, July 29, 2012

Farmer's Market: Day 2

Hey folks. How many of you tried my recipe from last week? Was it yummy?

Okay, so for this dish my ingredient was tomatoes. My cherry tomatoes were TINY. They were better used as a snack then a ingredient. Because they were so small, I made Spaghetti sauce. Not the epic recipe I was planning on, but it's a good one. The trouble is, when I cook, I don't measure. This ingredients are going to be aproximate. I would start small and work your way to the full amount.

3 Pounds cherry, pear, or other tomatoes
1 TBS Basil
1 Onion Chopped small, but not minced
2 TBS Garlic Powder or 1 1/4 Garlic Salt
1-2 TBS Cayanne Pepper (Optional if you like heat. I don't)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Like I said originally, this is just to your taste. Feel free to edit this. So, first thing's first. Stem your tomatoes, and steam, boil, blanch, or saute them until they are soft enough for the peel to slide off easily but not mushy. Peel the tomatoes and mash with potato masher. Place your mushy tomato mixture back on the stove on medium to low heat. Let it simmer until it resembles tomato sauce. Add your spices and stir WELL. If you're not going to use this right away, I recommend you bottle or freeze the sauce right away. It will only keep a few days to a week in the fridge. Freezing is most convenient because A) most people don't know how to bottle (unless you come from my family), and B) you just have to pop the frozen sauce in hot water or the microwave and you're ready in minutes. Makes 1-3 Cups depending on how far you reduce it.

Okay, now, this is NOT where I am leaving you. Because this posting did not go live until Monday (for whatever reason), I am throwing in a FREE RECIPE. Aren't you special? This recipe I first discovered via the Nintendo DS and Cooking Chef. After EXTENSIVE searching, I cannot find the exact recipe. There is a massive amount of varieties on this recipe, so feel free to Google another one if you don't like mine. From the best of my memory...

Stuffed Tomatoes

4 Slicing tomatoes, medium sized and firm
1 LB Ground Beef/Pork/Turkey/Chicken/Tofu (there will be leftovers)
1 Small Onion, chopped well
2 TBS AP Flour
2 TBS Oregano
2 OZ Cheese This recipe calls for a french cheese I have NEVER heard of. Mozzarella or a mild cheddar work well in my opinion. Mozzarella is best.
Paper towels
Baking/Casserole Dish
Preheated Oven to 400 Degrees

First things first. Wash your tomatoes and remove the stems and stickers. Take a sharp knife and slice an inch or less off the top. It HAS to be the top. You're making it's hat. Set aside "hats," and with spoon, scoot out the pulp. The recipe calls for you to just toss it, but that's such a waste! I preserve my pulp in a medium container and make omelets with it the next day. Sprinkle the inside bottom of your tomatoes generously with salt. Take your paper towels, place on a plate, and turn your salted tomatoes upside down to drain.

On to the filling. Brown your protein, drain EXTRA well, set a side, and do your BEST to keep it warm. Caramelize your onion, and add your cheese and warm until melted. Reintroduce your protein, and add your flour. The purpose of the flour is to hold the filling together so it does not fall apart. Depending on your protein, you may need more or less. Add your spices and pepper to taste. Notice, I didn't say salt. If you add more salt here, it will wind up over salted because of the salt you added in the first steps.

With your spoon, add one compacted spoonful of mixture to your tomatoes. Keep going until you either are out of filling, or your cannot possible add more for fear of exploding tomatoes (joke). Add back the tops of your tomatoes and place into your UNGREASED casserole dish and into the oven for 9 minutes. 9 minutes will keep the tomatoes firm. I like mine slightly un-firm, so start at 9 and cook longer depending on your personal texture likes. Once cooked, let rest NO MORE than 5 minutes. Serve with a fork and knife. Serves 4.

Okay folks. On to more recipes. I hope you enjoyed day 2!

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