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Old 10-25-2011, 03:39 PM   #21
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Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
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Originally Posted by Christina1979 View Post
How long did you roast them for?
My oven temperature gauge is a bit funky--but I roasted them for about 40 minutes at 375/400/425 (how's that for being helpful--cooking in that oven is an art)--I checked on them every 10 minutes after the 20-minute mark because of the funkiness of the temp gauge here at the farm--hopefully that will get swapped out this weekend...Anyway, I let the tomatoes go until they were roasted the way I wanted them--skins bubbled and some blisters.

Now here's the information you didnt ask for, but since I'm procrastinating starting another project for work, I might as well share: I don't seed them, I just cut them in half and place cut side down. I try to use tomatoes that are similar in size so that the halves are about the same and will take about the same amount of time to roast. Mind you, the Romas aren't as watery as the Brandywines. If I were roasting Brandywines, I might seed them. When they are done, and I've plucked the skins, I scrape the "goo" off the bottom of the pan and that is what goes in the FP. I like a thick sauce, and roasted tomato sauce is more reminiscent of homemade tomato paste without the hours it takes to cook down the paste.

The ingredients were pretty standard: I put about 2 T of EVOO on the bottom of my largest sheet pan. Brushed a bit of EVOO on top of the tomatoes, sprinkled kosher salt (not a lot) and freshly ground black pepper. On the side, I roast garlic heads with the first layer of skin removed, EVOO rubbed in, both ends cut up, wrapped in foil.

When I use roasted tomato sauce in the winter (frozen from fresh in the fall), I will pull out a "block" of frozen tomatoes sometimes to add instead of the home-canned tomatoes. I skin and seed those (Romas) cut in half, stuffed into a square tupperware, frozen, and then when the brick is solid, I wrap in cling wrap and then 2 layers of freezer wrap. I keep meaning to freeze some of the roasted garlic or put it in EVOO and store in the fridge, but roasted garlic seems to be as hard to resist as bacon intended for the freezer is!

I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #22
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In the winter I prefer using canned. But when tomatoes are good:

First I cut off the tops, where most of the blemishes on garden tomatoes are.

Using both thumbs I seed the tomatoes. Not that the seeds aren't good, but if you do use them you'll have to cook them forever or your sauces is too watery. I don't waste that, I seed the tomatoes into a sieve over a bowl.

I oil a baking pan (one of those with a side about 1/2" high), and slice or chop (very forgiving recipe) an onion onto it, along with a clove or ten of garlic (your choice!) and one cayenne pepper. I place the seeded tomatoes face up on the pan as I go. Then salt & pepper and any dry herbs you like, then turn them face down and brush or spray with a little more oil.

Bake in a 400 oven for about an hour ... until the skins turn dark brown or even black. Pick off any skin that removes easily.

Use a slotted spoon to lift all of the above from the pan and do any of the following:

Put through a food mill, press through a sieve or China cap, or stick in a blender/food processor. I prefer the first, but what you have is what you get.

At this point any fresh herbs you like (most famously, basil) can be added (basil burns more quickly than tomatoes cook).

The main reason for all these machinations is that tomatoes are very, very watery. There will be liquid ... almost a syrup ... in the bottom of your baking pan. The seeds & mucus in the sieve (use a spoon and force it through) make a great base for a soup, but require hours of cooking and watching over the stove to reduce.

This is sort of like semi-dehydrating the tomatoes, and I swear, even lousy winter grocery store tomatoes turn sweet with this treatment.

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
Fresh basil
fresh oregano
fresh parsley
Fresh garlic
fresh onion

PLUS dry oregano (dry oregano is the only herb in my opinion that adds a nice concentrated flavor. All other dried herbs have a very week herb flavor and not worth the money. IMHO)

I use BOTH fresh and dry oregano in my sauces.
It depends on the source of your dried herbs. Penzey's are excellent. My own from the garden are even better.

Oregano is very strong, so I tend to go light on it.

Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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