Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cooking With Fresh Tomatoes

We are getting lots of tomatoes from our little kitchen garden and I am trying to make use of each and every one of them. We've been eating them in salads, on tomato sandwiches and I've been freezing them.

Leave it to me to make a pot of chili on the hottest day we've had so far this year! But, you can't beat the taste of homemade chili, spaghetti sauce or vegetable soup made with fresh home grown tomatoes. You just have to make sure the air conditioning is working well before you decide to cook one of these in the summer time.

This is how I used the tomatoes to make chili yesterday after I got home from work.

I put a pot of water on to boil and dropped the ripe tomatoes in, a few at a time. I set the timer on the stove for 1 minute.

As soon as the buzzer went off I lifted them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and transferred them to a bowl of ice water With an assembly line going, I continued the process over and over until all of the tomatoes had been boiled for one minute and then cooled.

The tomato peelings slide off as if by magic and there is very little waste. If I tried to peel the tomatoes with a knife, I would never peel them this perfectly. These are all of the peelings from a big bowl of tomatoes.

These are the tomatoes after the peelings were all removed.

Quartering the tomatoes on a cutting board is the easiest way to get all the cores and any spots that need to be trimmed off. After removing the bad stuff I cut the good stuff up into small pieces and added them to the pot that I was using to make the chili in.

I brought the tomatoes to a boil and cooked them until they were the right consistency. I added beans, browned ground beef cooked with onion and bell pepper, chili powder, a little salt and pepper, cumin and whatever else I saw in the spice cabinet that I thought would work.

Yield: Mugs of chili with a little cheese sprinkled on top, served with crackers.

This was a good meal, but it would be REALLY good in October!


Granny said...

Now you have my mouth watering for chili and I haven't even eater breakfast yet. I love the flavor of fresh tomatoes in chili and soups.

Pen Pen said...

That's funny that you made chili yeseterday with it being so hot. That sounds like me, as I always seem to crave vegetable soup when it's hot outside! My mother in law used to make a mixture of veggies in the frying pan: fresh tomatoes, potatoes, onions, fresh corn stewed down like we cook our squash.. with a little bacon grease. Yummy!

Karen Twombly said...

WOW! Thanks for sharing that!! It is easier than I would have pictured!! :)
Have a great day!
Karen Twombly

Rita said...

Debbie this is the best idea for the fresh tomatoes. I could even freeze some of the chili if I make extra. How great to pull it out of the freezer when I don't have a meal ready. My mom and sister are both gone and I think sometimes that you are my kindred spirit. If we lived close I'd love to come over and look at your special projects enjoy a bit of visiting time and hurry home to work on my own. How much fun that would be!

Impera_Magna said...

Oh yum! I should do this... even tho it's hotter than hades out... it's cool inside!

Auntie M said...

Debbie, you are really into food preasevation and wise use. The manner in which you prepared your tomatoes is the recommended way by the food preservation gurus. Just not many folks do it that way.

A tip - with extra tomatoes, I always make tomato juice. It is so much better than the priciest
on the grocery shelves. I can mine, but if you have firm freezer containers, it freezes well, too.
I would not try to freeze juice in bags.

The chili looks delish - no matter the outside temp.

ancient one said...

I have never done the peeling of the tomatoes like that... I know that's the recommended way.. but I always thought of how many I could peel before the pot of water ever got hot..LOL

Love that you do the pictures of everything as you are doing it.

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