Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hanging Tomatoes and House Made Ketchup Diablo

It was a desperate call......I am new at gardening you see, and every call, is a desperate call..

Phone rings at my friend's farm..


"Teresa! What do I do?  It's raining AND it's going to freeze tonight and I still have tons of tomatoes...Help!"

"Well, you can pull up the plants and hang them in your garage....."


It took a bit more convincing, but I am proud to say I listened.  I won't retell the story of cold rain, no light and my struggle to play tug-of-war with a 30 pound tomato filled plant, whose roots, I can assure you were the size of a tree trunk. Nor will I recount the number of times I pulled so hard, I fell flat on my rear only to find that same darn plant still firmly stationed and obviously mocking me. I will say this, when you are triumphantly hanging said evil tomato plant up in the garage, be certain, CERTAIN to knock off all the dirt from its grotesquely large root ball.  I cannot prove this, but it did not loose a speck of soil until I was hanging it over my head, and I think it did it on purpose....  

I still have tomato plants hanging in my garage, and we are eating ripe tomatoes in November! 

 House Made Ketchup:  This recipe can be made with fresh tomatoes or with canned and unlike other Ketchup recipes, I don't want you to strain it, unless you feel like doing more dishes.

I have chosen to make today's recipe on the spicy side.  It has a kick and goes well with sweet potato fries, or as an ingredient in a nice home style meat loaf.

Just for fun I am calling this:

Ketchup Diablo

3-4 lbs. Tomatoes, peeled, and chopped or 2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoon olive oil
7-8 chipolte peppers, roughly chopped
2 Tbl ground coriander
1 Tbl smoked paprika, hot or sweet
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbl kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar or agave nectar 

In a large pot with a lid (or use a screened splatter guard), saute onions and garlic in olive oil, about 5 minutes over medium heat, the onions need to soften just a bit.

In a blender:  add onion/garlic mixture, tomatoes, chipolte peppers, coriander, paprika, cloves, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar, and puree until smooth (3-4 minutes on high).  You may have to do it in batches.

Return the puree to your large pot, lower heat, cover pan and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  At this point check thickness.  If more evaporation is needed, off set the pot's lid to allow steam to escape and check ketchup every 15 minutes until the desire thickness is achieved. 

 I like my ketchup to really coat my fries, so I may let my ketchup reduce up to an hour or more.  Once you reach the desire consistency, taste your ketchup and adjust the seasonings to fit your taste. Does is need more salt? Do you prefer sweeter ketchup? Add more brown sugar or agave nectar.  Need more heat? Add the smokey adobo sauce from the chipolte can.
Ketchup can be processed and ladled into cleaned and sterilized mason jars. Once properly processed Ketchup Diablo should keep indefinitely

Chef Deb

**This week I will focus on:
    ~Thanksgiving recipes
    ~Setting up Cheese Class before the holidays begin
    ~Sending out an updated weekly newsletter with better formatting and more information then past emails.


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