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Old 07-13-2007, 06:46 PM   #1
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Peppery tomato sauce problem

I am making a tomato sauce w/o a recipe. I peeled garden-grown tomatoes, sliced them and put them into a pot of boiling water with two large onions, chopped, and roasted garlic from a jar, about 2T. I also added a small piece of green pepper, chopped and a generous swipe of salt, as well as, I know realize, WAY too much black pepper. Maybe a Tablespoon. I have been cooking the sauce for 3 hrs. and the house sure smells good but when I tasted the sauce-Yikes!! I know what to do when a sauce is too salty, put in some sliced raw potatoes and cook for a while. This is one problem that has me stumped. I am using a stainless steel pot, if that matters and I already removed half the liquid by straining. I replaced it with clear water but its stil really peppery. Can anyone help?

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Old 07-13-2007, 07:34 PM   #2
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Is doubling or increasing the size of your sauce an option? You could add a can of tomato sauce or a can of petite diced tomatoes and some chicken broth to increase the liquid and dilute the pepper. A little white wine would also be a great addition.

You could divide the sauce in half, freeze half, and use the other half for the base of a new batch of sauce.

You can also try adding a sliced lemon (or lime) to the sauce (and add some sugar to off set the sourness). Lemon tends to really mellow pepper, so its worth a shot.

You could really go out on a limb and totally change your recipe by adding some heavy cream to make a creamy type of sauce. It’s a drastic change, but the cream would really help with the strong pepper. But you'll want to add the cream toward the end of cooking right when you call the sauce "done"

One other idea is, if it is coarse ground pepper, you can try straining the whole mixture through cheese cloth to catch any excess pepper that is floating around ……but I doubt that will help after 3 hours of cooking.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:01 PM   #3
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The only real way to diminish the peppery taste without altering the rest of the flavors is to make another batch without any pepper and combine the two.

As for the salt and potato trick, that is actually an old wives tale that really does not work. See here for an explanation.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
The only real way to diminish the peppery taste without altering the rest of the flavors is to make another batch without any pepper and combine the two.

As for the salt and potato trick, that is actually an old wives tale that really does not work. See here for an explanation.
Say it isn’t so!

Myth busted down to the ranks of an old wives’ tale. But I must say, I really appreciate the work and methodology he put into testing the theory, and he had a point, the potatoes act as a sponge and reduce the amount of liquid and not the salt concentration of said liquid. Naturally, you would add more liquid to off set the loss, thus you increase the water to salt ratio and would think that the potatoes did the trick. His remark of just using a sponge is very comparable.

I love the fact that he measured conductivity of the water. I was surprised years ago to find out that distilled water does NOT conduct electricity. You must add something to the water in order for electricity to flow. It kind of makes you wonder about those movies where people are electrocuted in a bath tub. What was in their water…..but I digress.

Sodium is a great conductor. I imagine they used an ohm meter to measure the resistance of the water (using a controlled spacing of the meter probes) in each sample. Brilliant idea. Then again, that really appeals to my geeky engineering side!

So, I guess this is a case of Myth Busted.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:27 PM   #5
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keltin, if you liked that article then you should check out his book "What Einstein Told His Cook". That article came from the book and the whole thing is just like the article. Fascinating stuff.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:34 PM   #6
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The book sounds awesome and right up my geeky alley - a must have! Thanks for the recommendation.

It’s stuff like this that makes me love Alton Brown’s show “Good Eats” on the Food Network channel. That show can be a bit grating at times, but I love his technical approach which keeps me coming back. Thanks again!
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:36 PM   #7
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You will love the book then. Alton Brown would be the middle school science teacher to Wolke's college professor type approach. (I Love Altons show by the way)
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:21 PM   #8
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You might try turning it into a Bolognese-type sauce. Add some wine, chopped meat, and use a bit of cream.

It will dilute the pepper and add a bit of fat. Might work.

Of course if it doesn't you tossed a lot of good stuff into something you don't like to begin with.

Or maybe decide that what you really wanted to make all along was a pot of chili and use it as a base for a good batch of red.

The safest thing is just to do as had been posted. Take some and add it to a new batch and maybe freeze the rest for doing the same in the future.

I migh try to take some and make a peppery chicken cacciatore.

Or use some to make a jambalaya type dish. A peppery taste would go well and served over rice would help dilute the mouth of the pepper, I think.

I love black pepper and am frugal, OK, OK, cheap, and would try to use it where I could.

Good luck and God bless.
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:05 AM   #9
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I'm still working on "slicing the tomatoes and putting them into a pot of boiling water" to make sauce. Hmmm.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DramaQueen
I'm still working on "slicing the tomatoes and putting them into a pot of boiling water" to make sauce. Hmmm.

Me too. IMO boiling tomatoes and onions in a pot of water isn't the best way to make tomato sauce.

keltin -- Wolke has a sequel to his book out for a couple of years now (what Eistein Told 2) that I devoured right way. It's good, too.
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