Thursday, January 11, 2007

Spicy Tomato Sauce

This post is completely out of date. I’ve had these pictures since either late August or early September, but tomato sauce is still pretty easy to make without fresh tomatoes. Besides in the winter, you should only really be using canned tomatoes. And yes I’m going to try posting and go to school, as part of a New Years Resolution.

This recipe is from The New Professional Chef 6th edition. I left out the parsley and added red pepper flakes. TNPC recommends plum tomatoes, but I used the brandywine tomatoes because that’s what I was growing. It also cut down the number of tomatoes used because brandywine tomatoes often weigh a pound each.

Terms and Method:
Tomato Concassée
Concassée is “to pound or chop coarsely. Usually refers to tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded, and chopped.” Peeling is easy, cut an x on the bottom, drop into boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge into ice water and peel. Yes you should seed the tomatoes because otherwise it will take longer to cook. The seeds are surrounded by a sort of gelatinous substance that will prolong the cooking time and some say create off tastes (I’m not convinced on the second point).
A chiffonade is basically rolling up the herbs and then finely slicing. Here is a how to video from the Food Network. Trust me; this will taste better with fresh herbs, so use them if you can.

The only complaint I had was from Jack who whined, “Bridget did you put carrots in marinara sauce?!” And then when I explained that “This is just tomato sauce not marinara; it’s allowed…” Jack went, “Myrmyrmyrmyr,” which sounded sort of like the adults in Charlie Brown specials. Otherwise it was great with spaghetti and dipping bread in. And it’s very easy to change the proportions and store in the freezer.

Onions, chopped 8 oz
Celery, chopped 4 oz
Carrots, chopped 8 oz
Garlic, mashed 1 T
Olive Oil 3 fl. oz
Butter 2 oz
Tomato Concassée 4 lbs
Red Pepper Flakes 1 t
Basil, chiffonade 1 T
Oregano, chopped 1 T
S & P, to taste

Sweat the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in the oil and butter until they are translucent. Add the pepper and tomatoes. Simmer for 45 min to 1hr, until the flavor is fully developed. Purée the sauce at this point if you want. Add the fresh herbs and S&P.