This season, I made it a priority to educate myself on the basics of canning, pickling, fermenting, and food preserving. Thankfully, I was able to put my knowledge to work when I finally confronted a boiling-water canner and my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. My parting thoughts after this first brush with home canning? It's not as hard as it sounds, and once you get the rhythm of it, it can be well worth the effort. My advice for those new to jarring: start with a project, such as this one, that isn't too complicated. To see how I canned whole tomatoes in their own juice, keep reading.
Although there are supermarket aisles filled with hundreds of different jars of tomato sauce, every now and then, it's rewarding to make your own. The thick sauce simmering on the stove warms the kitchen and fills the house with a delectable aroma.
This wonderful recipe makes a huge batch of sauce, so you can use some now and freeze the rest for later. The base of the sauce is a classic mirepoix, plus garlic and tons of fresh herbs. The resulting sauce is rich, slightly sweet, and one of the best tomato sauces I've ever tasted.
It's delicious simply tossed with spaghetti, but it's also great in dishes like lasagna, pizza, and eggs in purgatory. To check out the recipe, which comes from chef Marco Canora's cookbook, keep reading.
The best way to enjoy tomatoes in the middle of Winter is to use a canned product like those by Muir Glen.
It's no secret that Corner Table Restaurant is one of my favorite spots in town — I wouldn't have chosen to spend my birthday dinner there several weeks ago if it weren't. So when I received an invitation for a promotional cooking demonstration and dinner at Corner Table, for the Muir Glen Tomato Vine Dining Tour, I was happy to accept.
I suspect that local foods advocate and chef/owner Scott Pampuch was well aware that he'd raise a few eyebrows when he signed on for the tour. Even though Muir Glen — a division of General Mills — is locally owned, the tomatoes are grown in California.
For those of you who pay attention to where your food comes from, buy the highest quality food you can afford, shop farmers markets and local co-ops when you can, and happily eat canned organic California tomatoes in the middle of a Minnesota winter — I'm with you. I received a few cans of tomatoes as a parting gift after the dinner, but it's not like I don't have a cupboard full of — as it turns out — Muir Glen tomatoes anyhow.
I do not have, however, the Muir Glen Reserve tomatoes, a limited-edition variety available only online, which The Vine Dining Tour specifically promotes. Pampuch and four other national chefs toured the 3-acre field where the tomatoes are grown, picked at peak ripeness, and canned within hours.
- Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is joining forces with Alice Waters. — Inside Scoop SF
- Learn how to turn snow into ice cream. — Eatocracy
- Is there such a thing as healthy fast food? — Huffington Post Food
- Will you take Ruth Bourdain's etiquette advice? — Chow
- Find out what Bobby Flay wants for Christmas. — The Feast
- Bon Appétit's new editor is busy hiring a shiny new staff. — Eater
- Unsurprisingly, tasting menus are full of calories. — Grub Street NY
- Five reasons to love a can of tomatoes. — Serious Eats