Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tomato Sauce, The Real Kind.

Tomato sauce. You think it's from cans? You think wrong. Even the tomato sauce that you 'home make' from cans doesn't hold a candle to this. I'm not saying it's not delicious, amazing and wonderful, this is just better. You can argue all you want that yours is the 'traditional Italian' but as my nanny said: "What? you think they had cans in Italy in the 1600's?" This is the freshest most wonderfull tomato sauce ever. And you need to make it at least once. Or come find me and get me to give you some. It's so good. So good. So. Good. I don't remember who originally gave us the recipie, but it's one for the scorebooks. At any rate. Here's what you need:

Roma Tomatos. Not beefsteak, not any other kind, Roma ones. preferably fresh from the market. Painting your toenails to match is extra cool.

Garlic. we bought it in Bulk again from the market. Stupid garlic.

Basil. I cheated. We bought it from a stand in the country. I don't grow enough.

Thyme. bought from a different stand in the countryside.

Here's a pot all boiling. It smells so good that you'll want to eat it alone. or on everything. Which I pretty much do.

Above, is the bag after we already used about 100 of the tomatos in the first batch. So, first lesson: a little goes a long way. We usually buy a bushel and either make an absurd amount, or make Chili... the fruit kind that has nothing to do with the chili you know and love.

First step: slice up the garlic. don't chop, or press, or crush, just slice it into slivers. and when it gets boring... make your dad/boyfriend/mother/girlfriend/brother/random guy cut it for you.

Rough chop or tear the basil and put it aside.

Above, is celery. Seriously. It's the part that grows above celery root, which is one of the least praised root vegitables ever. we bought it because of Chicken soup later this week. Cut off a few leaves for the tomato sauce. Trust me.

At this point, we'd already done a whole batch (100 tomatoes) and dad kinda passed out. For the record, the rough system we had was:
16 Tomatos
7 cloves of garlic
3 onions
salt. I'm supposed to say how much salt. so... a handfull... ish
4 celery leaves (NOT CELERY)
handful of basil
handful of thyme

Saute the garlic and onions till they're just brown

Have it on medium heat

Chop up tomatoes into quarters

Put it in the blender untill it looks like:

Don't worry, it will simmer down and not be really chunky

Put tomatoes in with garlic and onions

Put in celery leaves

Leave it alone and let it simmer.

Throw in basil and thyme

So, with the above done amounts, say 10 liters (ish... maybe... now dad's saying 20... 5... 10, 7. OK. verdict is 20-25 liters "an awful lot"), above is what we still have with tomatos. We processed 24 lbs of tomatos and STILL above is left. I'm dwelling. but that bag is never gonna go away.

For. Serious.
At any rate. It's so easy. the preportions are kinda do what you want less tomato, onion, garlic, just fiddle with it. It's an amazing base for stews, chili's (the normal kind) steak marinades, veggie dressing, we use it everywhere. If you like peppers you can throw them in, same with beans, anything really. Plus it tastes so. damn. good.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Well I can cook too, on top of the rest: A tribute to Barbara Cook and my grandma

First post. kickin! I'm pretty sure that no one will read this, but maybe I'll end up with hundred's of readers that worship me and end up buying me Monaco. I think I would like that. A little about me I suppose, I grew up in a relatively small town in southern Ontario, which is a cooking center of the world, who knew? I was raised around chef's; my mother helped with the founding of a chef school. It was pretty great, people came from all around the world to eat at these restaurants, and I would make them make me s'getti and tomato sauce. Since then my tastes have expanded, and I pretty much eat anything from truffles to Chinese street meat. Since I lived on the east coast, I watched them drag bodies outta the water covered in lobsters, not such a delicacy anymore huh? So now I don't eat that.

I've lived in Canada, Spain, Italy and China. In the next year I hope to be going to India, Cuba, and Thailand, maybe back to China. I picked up cooking ideas in all of those places, and I make one of the best Sangria's you'll ever have. We're pretty sure dog and cat were too expensive to be street meat in China. And finally, Galbone cheese is actually provolone.

As I said in about me, my mother's side of the family is Jewish, and are amazing cooks. When I had a nanny while mom was at work, she was Italian and taught me to cook the best of the homey Italian comfort food. My dad's family was less food focused, Swiss Chalet was the norm. But she was the best baker in the world. You can think that your grandma was, but you're wrong. She could do anything. I skipped that gene.

So I cook. I got made fun of throughout university because I'd get stressed and make a brisket (pot roast) or homemade noodles or tamales. or drink. Both got me through 4 years of stage managing and a BA. I'm not going to be a cook, even though people keep wanting me to be one. I also have a herb garden and a BBQ. And it's summer. so 3 guesses as to what most of these posts will be. but as it gets cooler, I make mean stews, soups and roasts

Coming Soon:

Green Bean Salad
Steak Marinades
Roast Chicken