But let’s say if someone else told me they were doing this I’d be slowly edging towards the door. But hear me out. After I’d Foley food milled the hell out of my tomato sauce, I had a heaping pile of seeds and skin, and while it was not exactly inedible, it wasn’t particularly toothsome either. And yet it seemed a shame to just dump it.
My first thought was to dry it out into something like, well, I’m not sure, like those fruit roll jell things. Not that I’ve ever had one but something like that only savory. Or maybe corn bread with the corn or the bread. The detritus tasted better than unpleasant and the seeds are more edible than raspberry seeds, and barring unforeseen circumstances like, say, diverticulitis, it might be kinda good. My sister leaves all this stuff in her sauce and it’s delicious. I like to strain mine but it seems like all of this shouldn’t go to waste.
After a few hours in the oven at 200° it was still just thick sludge. So I put it in a food processor and after a while I added some olive oil, and then water. When I was done I clearly needed to strain it. Hauled out the Foley again and milled out the seeds. I don’t really don’t know what I ended up with but it is super delicious. Now I think I’m going to make another batch of sauce just so I can make this . . . whatever it is. Maybe I could call it detritisauce.
Another batch of sauce!! What was I supposed to do? Suddenly a load of Roma tomatoes came in and 2 or 3 other ones ripened. I’m leaving for Germany. I had to make sauce. I wasn’t going to eat them. I couldn’t just let them rot. And no one wants Roma tomatoes. The only way to eat them is when they’re sauce. So now they are and you won’t have to hear another thing about them. Although that is not an absolute guarantee.
For the 39th time. I will not make sauce ever again. There is just no point to it. I see all those tomatoes and buy them but then, the process. Oy. And in the end it’s just, well, sauce. And thin sauce at that. Since I wrote this I’ve made yet another batch. I get bags of them from the CSA and I have no idea what to do with them. If I leave them on my counter they go bad pretty quickly and they’re breeding grounds for fruit flies. Literally minutes after I put the tomatoes on the counter there’s a fog of them having a sex party complete with disco balls and poppers.
I don’t know how many times I’ve vowed never to make tomato sauce again. It’s just a plain hassle. It’s messy and it has to happen at the hottest time of the year. Wash the tomatoes, peel the tomatoes (after a minute in boiling water), boil the tomatoes, blend the tomatoes, then simmer the tomatoes until they are sauce like. This takes for-effing-ever. Then you need to can them. Which is actually jarring them and then boil them again. The process takes days. I started on a Sunday (it was 90 degrees) and finished six days later.
The results are stupendous. But I don’t want to use the stuff. It’s too valuable.
Well, it’s all over but the crying. This was a lousy year for tomatoes. But, it turns out, a great one for tomato sauce. The meaty, mealy big tomatoes were great for sauce. Even though I vowed never to make sauce again I was persuaded to do so because I needed to somehow distract myself from the emotional upheaval caused by the disappointment of the dismal tomato season. OK, I’m overstating a bit. I like all the fussy busy work. I removed the skins which is a simple thing unless you, like I, foolishly roasted them first. Removing the skins from a roasted tomato is not as much fun as you might imagine.
The sauce I ended up with is glossy and red/brown and tastes luscious. Now I will have to very thoughtfully decide what to use it for. Like I wouldn’t use it to make chili.
I have, as I may have mentioned, a fruit fly issue from time to time. I have all sorts of produce lounging around on my counter for various reasons; I don’t like to refrigerate tomatoes, I have to let these nectarines ripen at room temperature, garlic and shallots shouldn’t be refrigerated, I forgot to put the limes away, a kohlrabi I have no idea what to do with, and then with all of that produce comes my second favorite house pet, the fruit fly.
In the interest of ridding myself of the miasma of fruit flies that hover around me when I am drinking red wine I decided to rid myself of some of the produce lying about. I had a fair amount of roma tomatoes and decided to make sauce with them. While it is fairly simple, it’s a whole lotta work. There’s a quick boil, the skins have to come off (though I have to admit the peels come off really neatly) the meat of the tomato just poops out if you squeeze them right and then some slow simmering. I dispense with the foley food mill my mother would have used, for the blender.
I got about a cup of sauce from an afternoon of messy work. Not the most profitable use of my time but I got rid of the fruit flies. Kinda.
I decided to make turkey chili one of my go-to, easy, good, diet meals. I use eggplant to create the right mouth feel when I’m making something with ground turkey, a trick I learned on Top Chef. It works well. The eggplant more or less melts into the meat and creates a not-unpleasant, slimy-that-translates-as-greasy feeling. But I also bought some chorizo to put in it which totally ruins the point of the low fat turkey. It also added nothing to the chili. Couldn’t taste it at all. It also negates the need for the eggplant since it was plenty greasy.
I decided on chili because I wanted to try out the hot sauce my sister brought me from Puerto Rico (a place I don’t think of as a destination for spicy food) but I forgot to use it. I did use the tomato sauce I made last summer. Excellentemente. But I didn’t have my go-to chili powder from the Spice House which is the world’s best because I sent it to Ashish in Belgium. Instead I used some really crappy Caputo chili powder, a bag of which I bought at Metro Market rather than try to park near the Spice House. The chili powder was flavorless. I added a lot of cumin. It was edible. Or, in any event, I ate it.