Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Here We Go Again- More TOMATOES


There's nothing like the taste of fresh produce.  I usually get mine at markets that cater to fresh, usually a local Farmer's Market .

 My neighbor gave me a bag of  fresh yellow squash. Also in the bag was a large green tomato. Since my experience cooking fried green tomatoes has not been to my liking I searched for another use for the green tomato. Since I like to try the strange and quirky (tomato ice cream * see post below this one) I found a recipe for Easy Green Tomato JamEasy  was the deciding feature for me.

After chopping and measuring my tomato, I was ¾ of a cup shy of the two cups called for in the recipe. I searched online again to see if there was a recipe that encompassed red and green tomatoes. I came across another recipe for Red Tomato Jam that was almost identical the Green Tomato Jam recipe.
I found my recipes at  Cooks.com

Easy Green Tomato Jam

2 cups chopped green tomatoes and juice (I used a mixture of red and green tomatoes)

2 cups sugar

1 (3oz.) box strawberry jello ( I used mango flavored Jello)

Boil tomatoes and sugar about 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and add Jello. Mix well, untill Jello is melted. Put in ½ pint jars and refrigerate.

One of the good things about this recipe is that it's refrigerated and since I'm making a small quantity there's no need to sterilize the jars nor process the jars in a water bath after they've been filled. Other recipes however did indicate taking the product through the canning method if you're planning to store them for a time.

Tomatoes and sugar cooking.

Adding the mango Jello to tomatoes and sugar mixture.

Sterilized pint jars filled with tomato jam. Leave some head space.

Jarred tomato jam  with lids. Will place in fridge to set/congeal. Since this is a refrigerator jam  and there are only two pints a water bath to seal is not necessary.

The final product after a short period of allowing it to congeal a little. (I was anxious to taste it) I have it paired with toasted tortillas that I have broken  into manageable pieces.   I rarely eat sliced bread and cornbread and the tortillas were in the freezer left from an earlier cooking project.
It was very sweet. Too sweet for my taste. The jam  became firmer by the next day. I have paired the jam  with cooked greens and some baked  meats.    The sweetness wasn't as evident this way and was more palatable.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tomato Ice Cream

If tomatoes are in the fruit family then they should be ice cream worthy.
tomato ice cream
With there usually being an abundance of tomatoes this time of year experimentation is on the menu. Unique confections abound. Research a few of the flavors Ben and Jerry have concocted. Not everything is a keeper.

Think you've discovered something? Get online and you'll discover you haven't. So it was with the tomato ice cream. I surfed the NET to find a few ideas as to how to go about this unusual flavor.  There weren't that many. Most involved cooking with eggs and so forth. It wasn't something I wanted to attempt. Easy Peasy, that's me. I  decided on a recipe I've used before.

 It was taken from  August 4, 2004 edition of Southern Living magazine. It was developed by Lera Townley of Roanoke, Alabama. Her daughter Wanda Stephens was an Office Manager @ Southern Living. Some of this background info may have changed by now. Below are the ingredients for their vanilla based ice cream.

No-Cook Vanilla Ice Cream
   1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
   1 (5oz.) can evaporated milk
   2 TBSP sugar
   2 tsp  vanilla
   2 cups whole milk
2 cups seeded tomato puree. (I used 3 med./large fresh tomatoes to make the puree.)

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (5oz.) can evaporated milk
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole  Almond milk

BLANCH tomatoes, peel, seed, quarter and puree in blender or food processor. Set aside.

Drop tomatoes in boiling water for about 30-45 seconds. Remove and immediately place in cold water to stop the cooking.

I chose to score the tomatoes on top and bottom to make sure the skin came off easily and it did.

I placed the puree in the fridge so that it could cool even more.

I used a large pitcher for mixing the ingredients. Easier to pour into the ice cream container thingy. 

BC-Before churning

AC-After Churning
The ice cream needs to be cured either in the fridge freezer or packed in the ice cream freezer.

The finished results. It's such a pretty color.

Here you see a sample of the finished results. (That's an air bubble you see not a piece of tomato.)
You're wondering how it tasted. Tastes great.   I was  telling a friend about it. She  hasn't tried it but concluded that as long as you're using sugar, it's got to taste good. NoLa, you're right.