Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

Let's talk about sauce, baby...

The warm weather we have had this summer has given us a bumper crop of tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes. We aren't eating them as fast as they ripen, so I've been making the easiest tomato sauce even and freezing it.
Oven Raosted Tomato Sauce
I love that this sauce doesn't require any peeling or seeding of the tomatoes. Your food processor or blender will take care of all those. There is really no recipe here, but here's how I make it.
Oven Raosted Tomato Sauce
I fill a baking sheet with tomatoes, one large onion and one or two large cloves of garlic. I keep the cherry tomatoes whole, but quarter or half any larger one. The onion gets peeled and quarter. The garlic just gets peeled.
Oven Raosted Tomato Sauce
Then I drizzle everything with a generous amount of olive oil. Mix it up so everything gets coated. The whole tray goes into a preheated 350 F oven for 30 - 40 mintes.
Oven Raosted Tomato Sauce
You want everything to be soft and the onions should just be starting to turn brown. I let the tray cool a little bit and then put it into the blender, make sure to get all the juices and brown bits. A quick processing will make it completely smooth. Then I taste for seasoning. I usually add some salt, pepper, basil and oregano. A touch of balsamic or red wine vinegar is good too. One full tray makes about 3 cups of sauce.

If we are using it right away, it is usually hot enough right out of the blender. Otherwise, I freeze it in 1 cup containers.

Oven Raosted Tomato Sauce
I've been doing variations on the sauce too. Since we have a ton of peppers in the garden, I've been roasting them up too for a tomato/pepper sauce. Both sweet and hot peppers work. That sauce I only seasoned with salt and pepper. I think it'll be good in Mexican dishes.

Finally, I made a smoked version by roasting some larger tomatoes on the smoker. They get a wonderful flavor. You almost think there is a little bacon in the sauce. I mixed the smoked sauce with a little of the plain so the smokiness wouldn't be over-powering.

I'll be canning some whole tomatoes in the next couple of weeks for slow cooked sauces in the winter, but in the meantime this quick sauce is my new go-to version.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MN State Fair 2012

It's that time of year again, Fair Time! Typically, it's the one day a year when Matt and I stuff ourselves on lots of fried foods on a stick, of course. This year, we got a little overheated and the crowds were unbelievable, so we were a little more restrained.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
For breakfast, we started with the one item everyone has been raving about this year, the Walleye Roll from Giggles. Oh, we know why they are raving, this is a fabulous sandwich. It reminded us of a really good tuna salad, but with that distinctive walleye flavor.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
The bread was a wonderful brioche coated with plenty of melted butter. Local sourced ingredients, a fresh presentation, nothing fried! I'd order this sandwich at a restaurant any day.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
Seems like everyone else was lining up for a Pronto Pup for breakfast. Matt wanted to get one a bit later, but by then the lines were about 50 people deep. Guess these early birds knew what they were doing.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
Breakfast dessert was a bag of fresh Tom Thumb mini donuts. Come on, breakfast dessert is a great idea. I think my taste for mini donuts may have been spoiled by the fabulous chai spiced ones from Chef Shack.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
It was Minnesota Cooks day at the fair, so we went listened to Mike Phillips plus folks from various farms and Bethal College talk about local produce and meat. Of course, there was food. Mike cooked up a wonderful bread salad that featured his beautiful cured meats. The smell of them cooking was amazing!
Minnesota State Fair 2012
We needed a little cooler at that point, so we visited favorites Spring Grove Soda.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
Matt had the Black Cherry which seems to get a lot of raves. He likes it, though I find it a little cough syrup tasting. I had the limited edition Rhu-berry which was so great, not too sweet with a touch of tart from the rhubarb. Even Matt agreed it was the better soda.
We headed to the International Bizarre next to see which of the Midtown Global Markets restaurants were being featured that day. It was Pham's Deli. Their new dish was a cranberry wonton which we had read so-so reviews of, so instead we went with the chicken dumpling.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
I have to say we were both really surprised with these dumplings. They were perfectly spiced and didn't even need a dipping sauce. Plus they were not greasy at all, but crispy and light.
We wanted to sit down in the shade at that point, so we went to O'Gara's to grab a shady table on their patio. We'd heard their Blarney Beans were good, so we picked up an order.
Minnesota State Fair 2012
As deep fried green beans go these were pretty good. Crisp with a nice light breading. They came with a chipotle dipping sauce which could have been a touch hotter.
Then we were off to see what I was most excited about, my first state fair ribbon.
My first State Fair Ribbon
I took second place in the colorwork mittens category this year. Not too bad for my first entry ever. I'd like to enter a food category at some point too, maybe with our smokey salsa.

By then we were feeling ready for a flight of beer at Land of 10,000 Beers, the new craft beer room at the Agricultural Building. Seems like everyone else had the same idea! That place was wall to wall people trying to get a beer. Next year, I think they need a whole beer garden. With our quest for a cold one thwarted and the lines for everything else crazy long, we decided to cut our fair day a little early and head off to Bulldog in Nordeast Minneapolis to cool off. I'm a little bummed we didn't get any cheese curds, try Ole's Cannolis or the goat at Andrew Zimmern's new food truck. The nice thing about the Minnesota State Fair is there is always next year!


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia

Today Julia Child would have been 100 years old.
#310 - Score!
Even if you don't cook, Julia is a great role model for women everywhere, the way she jumped into French cooking even though it wasn't something only men did professionally. She had a zest for living and it came through the tv screen to touch all of us who watched her show. Thanks Julia for inspiring us to cook real food!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski
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