Author Topic: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes  (Read 6175 times)

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Offline petef

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Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« on: July 24, 2008, 06:09:26 AM »
Ok folks, I'm here in NJ where we are known for producing some of the best tomatoes in the USA.
I'll be harvesting my own garden fresh tomatoes in a few weeks and I'd like to share ideas on
sauce recipes. I'm still not happy with my sauce. I'm aiming more for a Delorenzo's Tomato Pie
style sauce or that of the typical NJ pizzaria.

      Title: ZESTY PIZZA SAUCE from Fresh Tomatoes by pete
 Categories: Pizza, Sauces
      Yield: 40 Ounces

     3/4 cups        Olive oil
      10 lbs         Garden Fresh Tomatoes - Note#3
       5 cups        [Substitute for above] Liquid Tomato from Fresh Garden Tomatoes
       5 tablespoons Fresh Garlic - minced
   1 3/4 tablespoons Fresh Jalapeno Pepper, minced
       4 tablespoons Fresh Onion, minced
       2 teaspoons   Salt
       1 teaspoons   Black Pepper
       4 teaspoons   Dried Oregano
   2 1/2 teaspoons   Dried Thyme
       3 tablespoons [optional] Honey
       3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
      15 oz          Tomato Paste, Canned

Note#1: Amount required for ONE 14" diameter pie is about 8-9 oz sauce.
Note#2: One pound of garden fresh tomato results in 4 ounces liquid tomato.
Note#3: Example.. Ten pounds tomatoes x 4 oz = 40 ounces liquid tomato.

Utensils:
    * One Pot for boiling water (blanching).
    * One Pot for cold water (cooling).
    * One sauce pot for cooking the sauce.
    * Basket or bowl for holding trimmed tomato.
    * Fryer basket for handling the tomatoes during blanching.
    * Pot 4 to 6 Quart, for the sauce.
    * Three small 4 oz bowls for holding garlic, spices, honey/vinegar.
    * One small bowl for holding peeled tomato skins
    * Blender for puree/liquefy the tomatoes.
    * Large Screen Strainer basket for straining seeds.
    * Wood spoon or spatula
    * Chef's Knife
    * Fork
    * Measuring spoons
 

Peel The Tomatoes And Liquefy/Puree Them
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  1.) Boil water in pot#1.
      Leave enough headroom for about 6 tomatoes.
 
  2.) Fill Pot#2 with cold water and place on stove.
      Leave enough headroom for about 12 tomatoes.
 
  3.) Cut off the tops of tomatoes and use a sharp knife to make an "X"
      or a slit at the bottom of each tomato. This enables skins to be
      removed more easily after blanching. Cut off the tops of tomatoes
      to the point where any white or green flesh is removed and red
      flesh begins. Cut out any rotten portions, white flesh or
      white core and discard.

  4.) Place about 6 tomatoes into boiling water and boil/blanch
      for 60 seconds (Water will be just simmering during this time).
      A deep fryer or wire basket that fits snugly in the pot is ideal
      for this step but not required.
 
  5.) Remove blanched tomatoes and drop them into the cold water pot#2.
      This cools the tomatoes for handling and halts the cooking process.
 
  6.) With blender off, hold each tomato over the blender and squeeze to
      which will allow you to easily remove/peel the skins from tomatoes.
      Place the peels in a separate clean bowl.

  7.) Squish the tomatoes using your hands and place them into Blender.

  8.) Repeat the basic steps above until all the tomatoes are processed.

  9.) Use blender's pulse/chop function to liquefy/puree the tomatoes.

 Cook The Sauce
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   1.) Mince the garlic cloves very finely; measure and place them
       in a small cup.

   2.) Mince the onion and jalapeno pepper very finely; measure and
       place them in the same cup with the minced garlic. Set aside.
 
   3.) Measure Salt, Black Pepper, Oregano, and Thyme; combine them
       in a small cup. Set aside.

   4.) Measure the balsamic vinegar and place in a small cup.
       Set aside.

   5.) Measure and add the Olive Oil directly to the sauce pot and
       set heat to low flame. Do not leave unattended!
 
   6.) Add the minced garlic/jalapeno pepper/onion to the oil
       and cook until just softened and oil is flavored. The
       onion should be translucent at this point. Do not
       leave unattended! GARLIC BURNS EASILY!
 
   7.) Add the liquefied tomatoes using a strainer over pot.
       Use wood spoon or rubber spatula to force tomato through,
       leaving only seeds. Discard the seeds.

   8.) At this time you can place the peeled skins in the strainer
       basket and mash them down to extract the rich thick sauce
       held within the skins. Discard the skins.
 
   9.) Add the pre-measured Balsamic Vinegar to the sauce.

  10.) Allow sauce to come reach the boiling point and then reduce
       heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, over medium-low
       heat, until the sauce begins to thicken.

  11.) Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce. Raise heat, and
       allow sauce to return boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

  12.) Add the pre-measured spices to the sauce.
   
  13.) [optional] If you prefer a sauce taste with less of a bite
       you can optionally add the honey at this point. Use a
       measuring spoon to measure the Honey and add it directly to
       the sauce. Taste sauce to adjust flavor.

  14.) Simmer over low heat for about 10 or 15 minutes more.
       At this time you can either add water to thin the sauce
       or extend the cooking time to thicken the sauce to get the
       desired consistency.

  15.) Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool.

  16.) Use the sauce in your favorite pizza recipe or freeze it
       for use at some future time.


Constuctive criticism of my recipe above is most welcome :)

---pete---

« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 06:11:37 AM by petef »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2008, 08:43:20 AM »
petef,

There was an interesting article on New Jersey tomatoes at the New York Times website yesterday at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/dining/23toma.html?_r=1&oref=slogin.

Peter

Offline petef

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2008, 05:07:51 PM »
petef,

There was an interesting article on New Jersey tomatoes at the New York Times website yesterday at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/dining/23toma.html?_r=1&oref=slogin.

Peter


Interesting article. Strange thing is, I never heard of the Ramapo tomato.
I usually grow mine from seed packets sold at the local garden shops
and Ramapo was never one I've seen before. This year I got a late start
and had to buy all my tomatoes plants from the local nursery and again,
I've never seen any Ramapos.

For many years I was buying all my tomatoes at the local supermrket,
then one day a co-worker gave me some tomatoes & peppers he grew
at home. Once I tasted them it it shocked me into realizing what real
tomatoes should taste like. That was about 1995 and I've been growing
my own ever since. My best pizza sauce ever came from a batch of
very sweet and tastey cherry tomatoes. What a pain to peel all those
little tomatoes but it was worth it. :)

Let's have some more pizza sauce recipes from fresh garden tomatoes.
It's almost harvest time!

---pete---

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2008, 05:42:04 PM »
Let's have some more pizza sauce recipes from fresh garden tomatoes.

Chop tomatoes. Add salt & pepper.

My first cherry tomatoes were picked yesterday. So sweet & good. Next week the first San Marzanos should be ready.   

Bill/SFNM

Offline Jersey Pizza Pride

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 09:02:39 PM »
sounds like a good start.  I would lay off the honey and the jalapeno and substitute for granulated sugar for the sweet and crushed red pepper for the heat.  Honey and jalapeno may give it a little more of a salsa flavor.  It also sounds like something Bobby Flay would do.  I didn't see basil either.  Remember that our imported italian plum tomatoes are almost always packed with basil.  Check out Jeff Varasano's recipe for fresh tomato sauce. Jeff is the man, and I think he adds fresh basil.  All hail Jeff! Anyway, good luck.  I'm sure it will come out great with your garden tomatoes.  I live in North Jersey and my father used to have a garden.  My mother made the sauce with the tomatoes right out of the garden and it was awesome.  What a great childhood memory.

Offline David

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If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline petef

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2008, 02:37:52 AM »
Check out Jeff Varasano's recipe for fresh tomato sauce. Jeff is the man, and I think he adds fresh basil.  All hail Jeff!


I believe this is Jeff's recipe from the link below.
Perhaps I need to simplify mine.
http://slice.seriouseats.com/jvpizza/

Here's a method for preparing fresh tomatoes:

    *

      Start with great tomatoes. I use "ugly ripe" heirloom tomatoes. These are the best to me. FYI, they are really amazing raw for a caprese salad (tomato, Mozz, basil, oil, balsamic, salt, pepper). Other heirlooms are probably good also, as are fresh picked local tomatoes. After that I'd probably go for plum tomatoes. I'm not a huge fan of the vine-ripe brand. They look great, but the taste is so-so. Regular beefsteak tomatoes are really not worth the effort.
    *

      Blanch them. Blanching is a pretty easy technique. You just put the tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds or less, then take it out and put it in ice water for 30 seconds, then you can just peel it by hand.
    *

      Cored them with a paring knife and pull out most of the seeds by hand.
    *

      Ground them a bit with an  immersion mixer
    *

      Strained them. They were very, very wet and will lose a lot of weight in water.
    *

      Added a tiny amount of sea salt and a few fresh basil leaves from the garden and that's about it.
    *

      Cook them? As I said, this is my next experiment.

Offline Jersey Pizza Pride

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2008, 10:40:16 AM »
In the end, it's entirely up to personal interpretation.  When I first started making pizza in college, I used to start my sauce with carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, add lots of  dry basil, oregano, parsley, crushed red, romano cheese, and red wine.  Then I'd cook it overnight.  Sure, this makes a great marinara or Sunday gravy but not a true pizza sauce.  However, I thought it was incredible, and everyone who used to try my pies said it was the best pizza they ever had.  Over the years, I have tried to simplify and make more authentic pies but the ones I used to make in college were pretty special.  My point is that you should probably just have fun. Still though, I think delorenzo's sauce is fairly simple.

Offline petef

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2008, 05:32:47 AM »
In the end, it's entirely up to personal interpretation.  When I first started making pizza in college, I used to start my sauce with carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, add lots of  dry basil, oregano, parsley, crushed red, romano cheese, and red wine.  Then I'd cook it overnight.  Sure, this makes a great marinara or Sunday gravy but not a true pizza sauce.  However, I thought it was incredible, and everyone who used to try my pies said it was the best pizza they ever had.  Over the years, I have tried to simplify and make more authentic pies but the ones I used to make in college were pretty special.  My point is that you should probably just have fun. Still though, I think delorenzo's sauce is fairly simple.

JPP, you make some very good points about personal preferences. This is why it's so
important to mention the specific kind of flavor or style of sauce we are trying to
produce when posting about sauce recipies. We have ways of defining specific styles
of pizza (neapolitan, NY, chacago, etc.) but I'm not aware of any similar terms to
use to describe the different styles of pizza sauce.

I could say that I'm aiming for a Delorenzo style sauce but only people who have
tasted Delornzo's would understand that. Is there a good way to describe the
different styles of pizza sauce that would be understood by everyone?

---pete---


Offline Jersey Pizza Pride

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2008, 10:19:09 PM »
I'm not sure if there's a language thats understood by everyone.  If I was describing sauces by different pizzerias around here I guess each one would have its own style.  I know most of the high quality places that I've been to in NJ, brooklyn brick oven in hackensack, trattoria la sorrentina in north bergen, capri in kenilworth, use strained crushed san marzanos with a little salt, pepper and fresh basil.  Utilizing the natural flavor of the tomato gives the sauce a sweet and savory flavor.  I also think Delorenzos, which is also high qualitym does the same thing and they may add a little dry oregano as well.  I noticed their sauce seems a little chunkier than others.  The more research I do, the more it seems like pizzerias can get a perfectly balanced sweet and salty flavor just by utlizing the natural flavors in the tomato.  The cheaper the quality the tomatoes, the more you see places drown their sauce in seasonings, pastes, and garlic, overpowering the pizza with salty, too sweet, garlicky flavors.


Offline petef

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2008, 06:32:57 AM »
The more research I do, the more it seems like pizzerias can get a perfectly balanced sweet and salty flavor just by utlizing the natural flavors in the tomato.  The cheaper the quality the tomatoes, the more you see places drown their sauce in seasonings, pastes, and garlic, overpowering the pizza with salty, too sweet, garlicky flavors.

JPP, those are some excellent points!
Therefore, with my NJ garden fresh tomatoes I should simplify my sauce recipe.

---pete---



Offline JoeyBagadonuts

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Re: Almost Harvest Time! - Sauce Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2008, 12:48:12 PM »
JPP, you make some very good points about personal preferences. This is why it's so
important to mention the specific kind of flavor or style of sauce we are trying to
produce when posting about sauce recipies. We have ways of defining specific styles
of pizza (neapolitan, NY, chacago, etc.) but I'm not aware of any similar terms to
use to describe the different styles of pizza sauce.

I could say that I'm aiming for a Delorenzo style sauce but only people who have
tasted Delornzo's would understand that. Is there a good way to describe the
different styles of pizza sauce that would be understood by everyone?

---pete---



Delorenzo's tomatos are more of a topping and not really a sauce at all. They are not liquidy. And they dont have that sauce color. They are the color of tomato. Chucks and bits.