Archive for the ‘Sauces and Condiments’ Category

While out picking the plums today, I figured I would stop and gather some of the last of the tomatoes in the garden as well. I plan to start a fall garden with hope of getting a better yield now that the scorching heat of this past summer is with luck behind us…so green and red tomatoes came into the house in the basket.  As most of the tomatoes were from the Roma plants, salsa was the best use for them I figured.  The jalapeno plant having some peppers remaining, it sealed the deal of their fate.

Fiesta Salsa

Half-bushel of tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, diced

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced fine

4 tbsp lime juice

5 tbsp cider vinegar

4 – 6 jalapenos, diced  ( I don’t remove seeds but if you wish less fire to your salsa, remove the seeds and inner membrane)  DON’T FORGET TO USE GLOVES!!

2 tbsp sugar

Add all ingredients into a pot on stove.  Stir well and bring to boil.  Boil for 5 minutes to incorporate flavors.  Ladle into pint jars and seal.  Hot Water Bath jars for 35 minutes.


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It was 106 degrees today when the tomatoes demanded I not wait on them any longer.  Rather then lose what this year has been precious gold, I decided to bear with the heat and can up spaghetti sauce.  I am certain I sweated off a few pounds today but if the taste test any indication it was well worth it.

The process was easy enough.  Take your tomatoes and blanch them in a hot water bath until the skins split.  Let cool enough to handle and peel off the skin.  At this point a lot of people put them through a food mill, I don’t bother for spaghetti sauce, instead I just put them in a blender and turn them into a pulpy mess.  I then take this mess and put it in a kettle and begin to simmer it down and reduce.  Total amount of tomatoes was 10 cups to begin before reduction.

To this I added:

7 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, diced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (1/4 cup if using dried)

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (2 tbsp if using dried)

2 large green bell peppers, diced.

8 button mushrooms, sliced and diced.

1/2 – 1  cup sugar  (I used 1/2 as I don’t like it so sweet)

2 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients into a pot and cook on medium high heat for 1 hour, stir frequently and let boil down.  Once foam stops, reduce to simmer and let reduce another two hours or longer.   At this point you can ladle into jars and seal.

Hot Water Bath pint jars for 35 minutes, quarts for 40 minutes.

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12 lbs ripe tomatoes

1 lb onions

1/2 lb sweet red peppers

1/2 lb sweet green peppers

4.5 cups vinegar

4.5 cups sugar

1/8 cup canning salt (optional)

Into spice bag or cheesecloth add

1 tbsp dry mustard

1/2 tbsp ground red pepper

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tbsp whole cloves

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Select your tomatoes and put in water to boil.

2. Once skins are split, remove from hot water into ice bath and when cold, peel skins off “meat”.  (Save the skin for tomato powder).

3. Slice tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Place in strainer over catch bowl and let drain out extra waters.

4. Prepare peppers and onions.

5. Put tomatoes, peppers and onions in blender in batches to puree.

6. Place in canning kettle and heat to boiling. Simmer 1 hour.

7. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and spice bag.

8. Move contents to a crock pot and reduce over low heat until ketchup is reduced by half volume (this takes about 12 hours in a crockpot). Stir occasionally.

9. Once reduced, can and seal.

10. Hot water bath 15 minutes.

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I make a lot of pizza’s…we have pizza night once a week at this house which the kids just love.  I also make pizza pockets for my son’s take to school lunch and my daughters eat at home lunch so she can be “just like the big kids”.  I can in pint jars as it seems to be just the right amount for what I need at a given time to make several pizzas and pockets.  This sauce also makes a good dipping sauce for bread sticks and mozzarella sticks.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

5 pints tomato sauce (or make sauce from scratch with what tomatoes you have on hand, recipe follows).
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped sweet peppers or bell peppers
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons salt
5 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 teaspoons basil
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

Place your sauce in a big canning kettle.  Cook the onions, pepper and garlic in a little tomato juice or water until tender.  Place them in blender and puree before adding them to the sauce in kettle.  Add your herbs, sugar, salt and pepper and let cook.  Bring to boil on medium heat stirring frequently to keep from scorching.  Keeping a soft rolling boil going, let the tomatoes cook down and mingle for one hour or longer until reduced and thickened.  Mix cornstarch with a bit of water and add for further thickening if desired or needed.  Ladle into jars and cap.  Process 25 minutes for pints, 35 minutes for quarts in hot water bath.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

20 lbs of tomatoes (1.5 peck)

Put in canning kettle of boiling water and boil until skins split.  Plunge into ice bath and let cool slightly before peeling off the skin.  (Do not discard this as it can be dried, powdered and used in flavorings).  Put the skinned tomatoes into a food processor or blender and puree.  (You can also use a Squeezo if you want to be rid of the pulp and seeds, I personally don’t mind them…again if you do, don’t discard the pulp mix as it can also be dried and powdered).

Place the tomato “juice”  into canning kettle and bring to rolling boil over medium heat.  Stir frequently to keep from burning.  It will boil up and foam, and boil down again.  Keep boiling and stirring until it’s well reduced and thickened.  This will take a while and expect roughly two to three hours.

Once reduced, ladle into jars and process 25 minutes pints, 35 minutes quarts in hot water bath.

**If you like, you may add a cup or two of sugar to the sauce.**

***I like a smoky taste to my tomato sauce I plan to use for pizza or spaghetti, so at point before jarring,  I take the canning kettle out to the grill filled with hickory wood.  Setting it on the grill I let it sit in and over the produced smoke for three hours or longer to allow the smoky flavor to absorb into the sauce. ***

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