Sunday, August 30, 2015

Too many tomatoes problems.

Perhaps you had thoughts about how many amazing tomatoes you wanted in April, and now it is August/September.  Perhaps you were a rational economic actor at the farmer's market. Perhaps someone left a grocery bag full of tomatoes on your doorstep or conned you into taking some at work.  Regardless, you have TOO MANY TOMATOES. 

Here is the general advice: peel your tomatoes, cook them into some sort of sauce, put the sauce in jars, carefully follow the instructions on sealing jars OR put the sauce into tubs and freeze the tubs.  

Sometimes, that is too much work.

SO: let us say your tomatoes are beautiful and perfect, and the only problem is that there are too many of them.  You've had tomato salad and tomato sandwiches and gazpacho.  There are still a lot of tomatoes left.

You could cut out the stems and put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer.  After a couple of hours you can take them off of the baking sheet and put them into plastic bags where they will clink together like billiard balls.  Later, you can put these into sauces as if they were canned tomatoes.  Someday. Maybe it will stave off the tomato madness a bit next April.

Also, salsa.  Chop and/or puree them, add some cilantro and diced onion and lime juice and salt, place adjacent to some chips, watch it evaporate.

IT is also possible that your tomatoes are over the tomato hill. Not gross, exactly, but a little soft, a little wrinkled.  

If you throw a peeled yellow onion and five-six tomatoes into a blender, and then put add some curry paste, a teasppon of salt, and either half a dozen chicken thighs or a couple of drained cans of garbanzos and simmer the whole thing over low heat for 45 minutes, you will have a passable masala-type dish, which you can eat with rice or spoon into your face alone.  

Or take the tomatoes, cut out the stiff stem bits, slice them in half unless they are cherry tomatoes, toss them with a little bit of oil, sprinkle them with salt and sugar, and put them in a low oven (350 degrees and down) for 2+ hours and you will get caramelized super tomato concentrate which can be added to your other tomato dishes to up the umami component.  This also freezes well, though I usually cover the top with oil so it doesn't dry out.  Downside: two plus hours with the oven on during summer.  

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