Aesthetically, would it have been better to add the basil and oregano after roasting to avoid the black specks?
Thanks! Probably, I suppose you could, but I'm a lazy cook. Plus, I tell myself it tastes better with. LOL 😂 Maybe you could pull the cooked basil and add fresh before freezing or canning it? But, it would turn dark then, too. Maybe just put it back in when you use the sauce.
I take it you are freezing those vac-packed portions for later use?
That's correct! I don't like canning my red sauce, simply because I don't care for the flavor of the extra citric acid you need to add to make it safe for water bath canning. I bought a good pressure canner last year, but I'm not confident using it yet. I can't get a handle on how to maintain the pressure. I either set my heat too high or too low.
So, yesterday I made the first batch of my favorite oven roasted red sauce of the season.
Start with some tomatoes. It doesn't matter what type, or variety of types, you use. If you use sauce type tomatoes, or a lot of them in your mix of tomatoes, you'll get a thicker sauce. I used a combination of a San Marzano and Amish Paste.
Slice them in half lengthwise (pole to pole) and lay them cut side up on a sheet pan or some sort of shallow baking sheet that has edges. A shallow pan will allow your liquid to cook off more quickly than a deeper pan. Sprinkle each pan with salt and pepper (I use only coarse Kosher salt), yesterday I used dried Mediterranean oregano, torn fresh Genovese basil, a big pinch of last year's dried Arbol pepper flakes, 3 or 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves per sheet, then drizzled the whole pan with extra virgin olive.
Roast them at 250F for 4 hours, until the tops are dry and the tomatoes themselves are still meaty and moist. Yesterday, I got impatient and after two hours upped the temp to 300 for an hour.
When I want a chunkier sauce, I use the coarsest blade on my OXO food mill to grind the roasted tomatoes. There were some caramelized bits on the sheet pans, so I used a small amount of really hot water to scrape and dissolve that and put it in the sauce, too. Since it's just my husband and I, I freeze 1/2 cup portions of the sauce.
Usually, I have tons more tomatoes to do in a single sitting. Yesterday, I only did two trays, which made about 5 cups of sauce. Total, that took about 45 minutes of working time.
It was getting a bit late last evening and I was too tired to post the rest of the harvest then, so here it is.
Here are the rest of the "Gourmet" bells, destined to be marinated and canned.
Clockwise, from right: "Elephant Ear," from Uprising Seeds. These need to ripen up a bit more before processing, but there's a Farmers' Market every Sunday next to the Community Gardens and, inevitably, there's always some pilferage over the weekend. There are still a few "Gypsy" on the plants there, and fingers are crossed they are still there this evening when I head back to the Gardens. The Elephant Ears will also be peeled, marinated & canned with Aleppo. Next are a few "Padron," one "Tam" jalapeno, a San Marzano, a couple of "Diva" cucumbers, some "Amish Finger" heirloom hot peppers, the "NuMex Sauve Orange" from the previous post, and in the center, another San Marzano. For those who are interested, I'll post photos of the grill, marinate & canning process in an appropriate thread somewhere else on the site.
A group shot, along with the "Northeaster" pole beans.
FINALLY, the stars were in alignment and I saw my first real harvest today. The peppers are limping along and are dropping lots of leaves from all this rain, but I found a few today.
NuMex Sauve Orange. A not-so-hot habanero.
Clockwise, from the top right:
Dill, "Teddy;" a couple of sun scalded "Gourmet" bells, poblano "Baron," eggplant, "Diamond," "Antoh Romanian," "Gypsy" in the upper left corner, one "Tam" jalapeno, and in the center, a "Sprinter" bell.
Thank you. I try to experiment a little every year, then try to remember what worked better and try to forget the bad results. Sorry to hear your tomatoes didn’t do well, I think I have more than I will get processed. Probably because I planted too many plants!
I know that feeling! Last year, I had 17 tomato plants and went on a 10 day vacation right about the time they should have been suckered. I was overwhelmed when I came home and that's when I developed my oven-roasted tomato sauce. This year, I put in 7 plants and they all croaked!
The recipe uses Aleppo pepper, which is why it caught my eye in the first place. I was looking for a way to preserve my bounty of peppers that year that didn't involve pickling/brining or a pressure canner. Unfortunately, this year's harvest is a bust and I'll be buying most of the peppers I'll be canning.
It is a high acid recipe that doesn't taste like a high acid recipe and the brine/preserving liquid is excellent as a salad dressing, condiment or dressing for an Italian sub sandwich or muffuletta. You'll have some leftover....don't throw it out. This is now my hands-down favorite way to preserve peppers, sweet and hot. Just make certain to use a pepper that will peel easily.
The recipe suggests tearing the peppers into strips, but I have canned halved pepper pieces successfully. The brand of white wine vinegar I use is "Napa Valley Naturals Oak Aged White Wine Vinegar" and has a 6% acidity level. The recipe increases successfully.
1 quart red bell peppers (approximately 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 2 half pint jars. Place lids into a small pan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Heat your oven’s broiler to high. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the peppers on the pan and slide the pan under the broiler.
Cook the peppers for 1 to 2 minutes per side under the broiler, until they are uniformly charred and they have slumped. Remove pan from the broiler and cover the peppers with another length of aluminum foil. Let the peppers rest of until cool enough to handle.
While the peppers cool, make the pickling liquid. Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, Aleppo pepper, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
Once peppers are cool, peel away the blackened skin and remove seeds and cores.
Pack the peeled peppers into the prepared jars and cover with the pickling liquid, leaving a generous 1/2 inch headspace. Using a wooden chopstick, gently prod the peppers to ensure that any trapped air bubbles have been released. If necessary, add more liquid to return the headspace to 1/2 inch.
When jar are nicely packed, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
I wonder what would happen if you used it to fill the pressure cooker with smoke just before latching the lid. It seems like it would add a layer of flavor to whatever you were cooking? Although I have never done eggs in a pressure cooker.
Wouldn't you be exhausting the smoke while pressurizing? It might work if you could hold it for an hour or so before heating it up.......
We have to get health department certified to give out samples. That includes doing the full three-sink-basin wash sink, etc. Samples have to be prepared in a certified kitchen the day before and refrigerated properly / etc.
Can you offer tastings of a prepared food at your Saturday market, without jumping through all sorts of regulatory hoops? I would bet money that if you had some tasting samples of some hot pepper jams with some pretzel sticks or cream cheese & crackers, along with a few simple recipes, you could sell many more hot peppers at your Saturday market.