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Revenge of the Son of Tomato! August 26, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.
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Have I mentioned I have a few (bowls of) tomatoes to spare?

They’re everywhere!

PhotobucketApparently, I’m not the only one with such a problem.  (If “problem” is even the right word – I mean, come on!  I’ve got garden fresh tomatoes!  Yeah, tell me that’s a problem in, oh, February when I haven’t seen a fresh tomato in months!)

Add to the tomato situation a bit of a jalapeno pepper issue.

See, I needed a jalapeno for something I did last weekend – the gazpacho, as I recall.

See, here’s the thing.

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I could go to the supermarket, hope they have fresh jalapenos there, and, if so, spend, oh, I don’t know, 72 cents on the one I need (I’m just guessing at the cost here.

Or, since I was actually at the public market Saturday morning (and not the supermarket), I could buy a quart basket full of the little buggers for a buck.

Just about everything at the public market can be had for a buck, you know.  Maybe two.

Hmmm. . . what shall I do?  A basket full of peppers (grown locally, of course) for a buck?  Or a separate stop, a single pepper for, um, slightly less than a buck?

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Yeah, I’m gonna go with the basket full of jalapenos for a buck and find something to do with the remainder.

Like, say, SALSA!

Unfortunately, the salsa thing didn’t occur to me until AFTER the market, so we still ended up buying fresh cilantro the next day at the grocery store.

Hey, well, we still want to support our local supermarkets, right?

So we started with about 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes, and we peeled them (using Susan’s fast & easy method)

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Of course, we did have a little help – not our usual help (he must have been napping or something), but help all the same.

For what it’s worth – she’s not quite as helpful in the kitchen.  She doesn’t do clean-up duty.

But on the other hand, she also doesn’t take up the entire floor.

Life is full of trade-offs like that, isn’t it?

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So  we’ve got this bunch of ripe tomatoes and we weighed out a couple of pounds of them, peeled them, and rough-chopped them, then set them aside for a minute.

We actually start with a diced onion, a couple of (freakishly huge) cloves of garlic, minced.  Heat a splash of oil on medium-ish heat, then start cooking first the onion, then, once that just starts to soften, add the garlic.  Let them cook over a fairly low flame until the onions are translucent, about maybe 10 minutes.

PhotobucketOnce that’s done, add the coarsely-chopped tomatoes, half a bunch of cilantro (we went with about a quarter of a bunch, because we’re not big fans of cilantro) and about 3 seeded jalapenos (don’t worry about mincing them, because we’re going to eventually blend this) (that, and, the more you handle those little buggers, the more it burns when you forget you’ve been handling them and rub your eyes).

Wow that was a lot of parentheses, wasn’t it?

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So anyway.  We’re going to let the tomato mixture (also known as, um, the salsa) cook for a bit – probably 10-15 minutes, since we started with fresh tomatoes.

Basically, we want the tomatoes to start to break down, but we’re not looking for actual sauce.  Quite.

I checked the seasoning by tasting the liquid that suddenly appeared from nowhere – just give that a taste and see if it needs a bit of salt (it will) and freshly ground black pepper (highly likely).

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Now (and here’s the weird part for me) we took the salsa off heat and hit it with the stick blender.  I say weird because when I think of salsa, I think of chunky – but Peeps prefers his stuff less chunky, and, well, I’ve got to admit, the flavors do combine nicely when you mash ’em all together, don’t they?

We finished the salsa with a good squeeze of lime juice – and yes, we used Ellise’s tongs trick!  I wish I’d known about that years ago!

(And yes, I know it looks like a lemon there, but really, it’s a lime!  I’m not sure what happened, but a couple of limes appear to have sort of faded in the produce drawer or something.  I don’t know.)

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And there you go.  Just let the freshly made salsa cool a bit, then transfer to jars – in our case, two pint jars, since we had them handy, although I’m sure you could go with a single quart if you were so inclined.

This salsa should keep in the fridge at least a week – maybe longer, since everything’s cooked, but don’t quote me on it!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think taco night is calling my name. . .

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Comments

1. karen - August 26, 2010

We pulled our tomato plants out already – the heat started killing them in late July. (We usually plant in April).

I am so jealous. I want one more fresh tomato from the garden.

They look beautiful.

Oh, Karen, that’s sad. 😦 We don’t usually put our plants in until May (I’ve always waited until Memorial Day, though this year, I got wild and planted them a week early. . . ) Obviously, you’re a bit further south than we are.

I’d be happy to share with you – if you were in the neighborhood, anyway. 😕

2. judy - August 26, 2010

Love that kitchen helper! Stupor Kitty is looking GOOD and so are your tomatoes.

It almost looks like a tomato INVASION. So colorful too~ l

Yeah, the old kitty’s getting braver and braver, isn’t she?

And these roma tomatoes are great – they have almost NO liquid in them!

3. sjbraun - August 26, 2010

That looks so good! I made salsa once so far this season, and need to again. I’m like you – I like it chunky, husband likes it put thru the blender. Actually, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it now …

Taco night was good, too! 😆

4. Mazco34 - August 26, 2010

How does Peeps get by the whole “Things” thing with salsa?

Well, the stick blender helps, to be sure.

Peeps - August 28, 2010

Hot things are okay.

5. Anne - August 26, 2010

Yummo. I’ll take a pint. And you can send along the 3/4 bunch of cilantro. I eat it right off the stem. :yummy:

I guess I can see that – you’ve gotta do something with it, huh? I mean, the stuff turned to slime in just a couple of days. . . it sure doesn’t keep like, say, rosemary does, does it?

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