If you have an over abundance of tomatoes like so many of my friends do, you’re probably looking for ways to preserve them (or simply pawning them off on anyone you see walking down the street).
I don’t personally have this “problem” because I don’t have a garden. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a garden – both my husband and I have black thumbs. Maybe some day I’ll give it an attempt? In 6 years?
My generous neighbors handed me a shopping bag full of freshly picked roma tomatoes so I decided to make a simple sauce for my lasagna.
When I say simple, I mean simple! There’s no peeling of the tomatoes required! Simply slice the tomatoes in half and remove the innards, strain the juice, toss them in a pan with some basil, onion, garlic, olive oil, and the reserved juice. Roast and puree. That’s it!
This recipe makes approximately 1 qt tomato sauce.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 28 roma tomatoes
- 9 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch fresh basil (0.66 oz carton)
- 3 oz tomato paste
- olive oil
- 1-3 tsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Stem tomatoes and cut them in half. Remove the seeds and strain out the juices.
- Place tomatoes in a 9×13 casserole dish or cake pan. Distribute garlic cloves among the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop the onion, add to the tomatoes. Add the basil leaves. Season generously with S+P.
- Pour the reserved tomato juice into the pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Roast 35 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, place tomatoes in a blender. Blitz the tomatoes until almost smooth. Add the tomato paste and balsamic and blend until desired texture is achieved. (If you can’t get it smooth enough, transfer sauce to a large bowl and use an immersion blender.)
*This recipe is adapted from Kate at http://www.wonderfullifefarm.blogspot.com/2012/08/easy-homemade-spaghetti-sauce-from.html*
I’ve admitted before that I’m not much of a baker but this blog has helped me expand my kitchen skills. One thing I’d never even attempted to do before is bake bread! The thought of blooming yeast and rising dough frightened me.
Leave it to a Hawaiian vacation to get me to enter the world of bread making. I wanted to try making the sweet bread we had half of our mornings. The amount of steps looked daunting, but I had my husband in the kitchen with me acting as my safety blanket. I am so proud and excited to tell you that our first attempt was successful!
We enjoyed fresh toast every morning before work our first week back on the mainland. Now if only there were a way to get the bread faster I’d do it every weekend! Now though I won’t be as timid when I come across a fresh bread recipe.
Portuguese Hawaiian Sweet Bread
- 1/2 C milk
- 4 tbsp butter, cubed
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp active-dry yeast
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg, whites reserved
- 2 tsp vanilla
- In a microwave safe bowl heat milk, butter, sugar, and salt until warm. Stir to soften the butter.
- In a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, and zest. Add the warm milk mixture (stir before adding if mixture separated). Mix to combine. Add in the two whole eggs and 1 egg yolk along with the vanilla. Use the paddle to mix until smooth for 3 minutes and then switch to the dough hook for an additional 5 minutes. Note: The dough will be sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl to rise for 2 hours.
- Gently punch the dough to deflate it and roll it back into a ball. Put the dough in a greased 9″ round cake pan. Cover the dough with a clean shower cap (or you can use plastic wrap). Allow dough to rise for another 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix 1 tbsp of water with the reserved egg white and brush onto the dough.
- Bake bread for 15 minutes. Cover it lightly with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Note: The bread should reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
- Let the bread cool on a cooling rack before breaking into it.
*This recipe is modified from the King Arthur Flour test kitchens at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/portuguese-sweet-bread-recipe*