Skip to main content

Canning Tomato Sauce

I got into the habit of canning tomato sauce when I lived in New Jersey.  There's a reason that Campbell's Soup is headquartered in New Jersey---they have a heck of a lot of tomatoes.  I would make at least one, and sometimes two bushels of Roma tomatoes into sauce, can it, and then have it to eat all winter long.

I bought my box of tomatoes at the Buford Highway Farmer's Market for about $20.  I keep my canned sauce simple, adding just some onions, a tiny bit of salt, and a little basil.  When I use the sauce, I have plenty of opportunity to add things to the sauce as the situation demands.  

This year, I tried two new techniques that worked out pretty well.  After cutting up the tomatoes and cutting off the stem area, I heated them in the microwave before I put them into the pot.  As the tomatoes cooked, they let off water, which I drained off.  The water had a little bit of tomato taste but not too much---I tasted it to be sure. Both these techniques reduced my cooking time by several hours. 

As it was, it simmered at very low temperature for about 4-1/2 hours.  Here is the sauce near completion.  The tomatoes break down quite a bit during cooking but not quite enough.  I use a stick blender to smooth out the sauce.  It works pretty well, is much easier than using a strainer, and it's fun.

And here is the pressure cooker.  Tomatoes are relatively safe to can thanks to their acid content but I always cook them longer just in case.  That one case of tomatoes gave me 12 quarts of sauce that will make my winter meals nicer.  And my house has smelled like tomatoes all day long.


Popular posts from this blog

Ann Arbor MI: West End Grill

Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.

Pressure Cooker Candied Ginger

I made candied ginger a few years ago. It's not something I would do every day but I had a lot of fun doing it. I recently acquired a pressure cooker and it inspired an interesting idea to me: why not make candied ginger in the pressure cooker? It should be very soft and flavorful. Here is the result. I peeled two large ginger roots, cut them into small cubes, and put them in the pressure cooker with heavily sugared water. The traditional method first boils the ginger in plain water to soften it and then again in sugar water to candy it. The resulting candy was very tender but still with the characteristic ginger texture. It was also sweet without being overpowering. The traditional method leaves a lot of sugar crystallized around the ginger. The pressure cooker gives a much more subtle result. The ginger stays moist even after it cools but you can dry it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. That inspired me to dip it in chocolate. While I was in the b

Miami: Shorty's BBQ

The Widens introduced me to another Miami favorite, Shorty's BBQ. We had three different meats: brisket, ribs, and chicken. All were excellent. I would say the brisket was my favorite, which was was fork tender and moist. Shorty's is best known around town for its piquant sauce. In the photo, the top sauce is a standard red, sweet BBQ sauce.  The bottom container holds Shorty's special BBQ sauce.  It was great---the highlighted spice is, I believe, cumin.  The sauce is of a lighter color than the sweet sauce, so there are other things going on as well; I suspect it has less sugar. I love cumin because it tweaks the palate in a different way than many spices.  I loved this sauce so much I ate it by the spoonful.  Bill and I agreed that this sauce is reminscent of the sauce from Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City.