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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

More Tomatoes: Creole Sauce and Salsa

Yesterday I canned up the eighth hamper of tomatoes. Three words I really hate when it comes to processing tomatoes are: wash, peel and seed. I don't mind washing but peel and seed? That's a lot of work when the tomatoes are smaller paste tomatoes. The problem is for some sauces where a food mill (strainer) is not used, seeding is a necessary evil. These tend to be the chunky and specialty sauces. Removing the seeds is not just for aesthetics. The seeds are surrounded by moisture rich, gelatinous goo in the locular sacs. Removing this moisture reduces the cook time keeping the tomato pieces intact which gives the characteristic texture to chunky tomato sauces. At the same time removing the seeds and gelatinous goo removes a lot of flavour which is compensated by adding other aromatic vegetables, herbs and seasonings.

Creole Sauce & Salsa

Everyone thinks a hamper (⅝ bushel) of tomatoes gives a lot of product but it really doesn't. I'm averaging 14 - 500 ml (pints) jars of finished product per hamper or 7 - L (quarts). Soups and juices give a higher yield whereas long cook sauces give a lower yield. To put that in perspective a hamper will yield 14 - 500 ml jars of pasta sauce or just a little over enough to use one per month. In reality we use pasta sauce at least once weekly meaning I need to put up at least 52 jars but more like 104 (almost 9 cases) of just various pasta sauces. Then there are the specialty sauces. They are more work but are definitely worth it!

Pictured is Creole sauce (1) and Salsa (2) that used up one hamper of tomatoes. The small amount of left-overs went into the fridge to be used within the next day or two. Both of these are considered specialty sauces. Like any aromatic sauce, these sauces tend to be better after the flavours meld. Unlike many of the other tomato products, specialty sauces are processed using a boiling water bath (BWB) canner.

Creole sauce is a spicy Southern sauce that is perfect for baking and barbequing chicken or fish. This is what I would consider a quick start sauce Chicken, fish or shrimp as well as celery, sweet peppers, onion and garlic is added to the sauce then served on a bed of rice.

Creole Sauce
source: Bernardin, Tomatoes Canning & Speciality Recipes, 2000. Pp. 56
11 c prepared tomatoes
1 green pepper, chopped
1 c green onion, chopped
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Wash, seed and chop the tomatoes. Measure into a large stockpot. Chop green pepper and onion and add to stockpot. Ad remaining ingredients to stockpot. Bring the mixture to a boil then boil gently for 40 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Wipe rim. Adjust 2 piece lids. Process 20 minutes (250 ml/half pints) in boiling water bath canner.

Yield: about 9 - 250 ml jars


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