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Old 09-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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Question Technique for adding homegrown tomatoes to chili?

Hi there!

I'm well-versed enough in making chili, but I actually grew my own tomatoes this year, and I'm debating the best technique for adding them. I'm still using one 28 oz. can of Eden Organic Crushed Tomatoes for the bulk of it, but I have a little more than a pint of black plum romas and a couple of heirloom green sausage tomatoes to throw in.

So far, I've got kidney, pinto and white navy beans cooked from scratch, 1 lb of ground beef browned with spices, and a cast iron full of sauteed carrots, onions, garlic, and homegrown green peppers.

Normally, I would just mix these all together, pour in the tomato sauce, and usually also a can of diced tomatoes, add more spices & a splash of lime juice and let simmer for a little bit longer.

What do you guys think? Should I just dice these up and simmer with extra salt and sugar and everything? Or should I cook these first in an empty pot with salt and sugar, and then add everything. I'm sure it's not a huge deal, but I'd love some good advice. Thanks!!!

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Old 09-21-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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I would squeeze out the seeds, maybe drain the toms, then anything you mentioned should work.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:26 PM   #3
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One thing to consider about adding the uncooked tomatoes, is that they will have to cook longer ( than the pre cooked tomatoes) to get to the desired consistency. This being said, depending on when you add the beans, they might get over cooked and start to break up on you. Also, you may have to play around with the seasoning a little as you cook, because as the tomatoes break down, the chili may become a little diluted to your taste. I know when I make chili ( or anything else) Im constantly tasting it from start to finish and making adjustments as I go. But if its a set recipe, just need to take the above info in mind.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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The main problem with home grown is that they will make your chili watery. I roast mine for freezing, and this would work for chili (yes, I do it!). Seed the tomatoes. Do not throw out the seeds, put them in a sieve over a bowl and let them drain. The result will be tomato juice to freeze, drink, or make soup.

The main reason for this step is that fresh tomatoes have a huge amount of water.

Place the tomatoes on an oiled baking pan (skin side up) with chopped onions, a pepper or two (your choice of heat, anything from a bell to a habenero, my favorite is super cayennes I grow) and garlic. Roast slowly (375-425) for about an hour until skin browns, even blackens, and puckers. Take out and cool, then you can just pinch the skin off and toss it. Drain any "water" from the bottom of the pan. I don't have freezer room, so I toss it, but it is good for soup, quite sweet. The remaining tomatoes, onions, garlic, chop, food process, blend, or put into your chili whole.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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I must say, roasting my mediocre tomatoes made them outstanding this year! Claire's method is TNT.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
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I would blanch them, remove skins, dice and add them as the first batch of tomatoes to go into the chili. Knowing that they will add more water means you can just reduce the liquid down and make them a little more intense, then build upon that.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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what tatt said. (hey bro!)

if you don't remove the skins and just rough chop the tomatoes, you'll get little spikes of rolled skin in your chili.

also, after blanching and skinning, you can deseed them which removes some of the excess moisture.

and only add salt and sugar if the chili needs it. there's no need to seperately season the tomatoes.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:35 AM   #8
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I grow a lot of toms bunny but I would not use them in a Chilli, the flavor is just to "sweet" IMO to be submerged by the spices.
I bet you make a belting chilli using your normal recipe.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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The roasting tomatoes method sounds really good.

Since I dehydrate tomatoes and I was making chili today and had some fresh ones on hand........
I made the meat part, spices, onions, garlic.....
Then I put a batch of dehydrated tomatoes with a cup of water in the blender, then added 6 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (very watery). After I was done blending it was so thick, like paste almost.
I added that to the meat sauce and it was still too thick, I added more water.
I'm really happy with the chili right now.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:35 AM   #10
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Bliss how do you store your dehydrated toms ?
We oven dry some of our roma's and store them in evoo.
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