Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kitchen Toys - My new strainer

Ah. My favorite kind of shopping - when friends give us cool stuff they don't use anymore. No hard-earned money spent, no time wasted in the store, and really awesome stuff you couldn't find there anyway.

Like this strainer. How cool is that? You quarter some tomatoes (peel and all), dump them into that white bowl on top, and crank the handle while you push the tomatoes down the chute with a mallet. The tomato juice comes out the front, the pulp, skin, and seeds come out the side (waiting patiently for a stir-fry near you). And in the meantime, you've worked out any aggression you were feeling because the cat puked all over the floor again, but we won't talk about that...

Right. So here's the tough part - what to do with the tomato juice? Of course, I could always just drink the tomato juice, but I was thinking more on the lines of maybe making something more creative. Spaghetti sauce, maybe?

Friday night I set to work, starting out by searching the internet for recipes. Of course, I ended up (like I always do) ditching the recipes and just making it up as I go along. I spent a good part of the weekend playing around with different methods and combination of ingredients. Stay tuned for the spaghetti sauce adventures later this week!

But surely there are tons of things you can do with strained tomatoes (or other fruits and veggies). So here's my call out to all you amazing, recipe-loving readers. What kinds of goodies can I make out of these fresh-from-the-backyard strained goodies? Don't forget to share recipes if you have them!

10 comments:

Seraphim said...

Oooh, ketchup of course!! Fresh, local, real ketchup... nothing like that regurgitated looking rubbish in a non-recyclable plastic pot from the store.

I can't wait for my tomatos (in pots in my kitchen window!!) to get bigger!

- Sera

Beany said...

I need to find me some friends that have useful toys that they don't use...Can I borrow your friends?

sunflowerchilde said...

Ketchup and sauce! And tomato juice, of course.

I have that exact machine. Did you know you can put the seeds/skin/etc. back through a second time and get more juice out?

Plain tomato sauce - the recipe is from my husband's family in Italy. We make it and can it plain, then add whatever we like when we cook with it:

http://sunflowerchilde.blogspot.com/2008/08/tomato-sauce.html

Ketchup (in metric b/c I got the recipe from my Italian MIL):

Chop 0.5 kilos of tomatoes; you can then cook them before or after putting them through the machine

The other ingredients are .5 liters of vinegar, .4 kilos of sugar, 4 whole cloves, and a handful of salt; if you want it spice, add some ground chili pepper.

When you have the tomato juice/sauce ready, add the other ingredients and cook until it is thick. You can put it in small jars and sterilize in a boiling water canner.

Chile said...

Ours didn't come with a mallet, but I quickly figured out to use a wooden spoon.

My hubby was able to get some pulp to come out of the screen by plugging up the extruder part with his hand to build up pressure. Once pulp was coming out, he removed his hand.

'Course you already read what I did with my juice/pulp. The tomato-jalapeno jam is really tasty. So was the BBQ sauce. I also love homemade ketchup. Dang, all this tomato talk is makin' me hungry!

Chile said...

Oh, I forgot to ask. Did you strainer come with additional attachments? Ours has a pasta extruder we want to try out. We won't be trying out the cheese grater or meat grinder parts.

Heather @ SGF said...

Sera - Ooh. That would be good and we're currently low on ketchup. Hmmm....

Beany - Sure. I'm willing to share!

sunflowerchilde - Thanks for the tip on running the seeds and peels through a second time. I'll try that the second time around. I'm looking forward to trying ketchup. Thanks for the recipe!

Chile - No wonder everyone looks forward to tomato season. You can do so much! Ketchup will definitely be my next feat. We didn't get any extra attachments to the strainer, but it makes sense that you could do other things with it. I wouldn't put meat it it, but it would be nice to shred cheese for Dave. The pasta attachment would be cool too. The other night we were looking at the same attachments for the KitchenAid.

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Heather @ SGF said...

sunflowerchilde - I just did the conversion. Does this sound right? Should there be more tomatoes?

1. Chop 0.5 kilos (1.1 pounds) of tomatoes; you can then cook them before or after putting them through the machine.

2. The other ingredients are .5 liters (2 cups) of vinegar, .4 kilos of sugar (3-1/2 cups), 4 whole cloves (4 tsp), and a handful of salt; if you want it spice, add some ground chili pepper. 



3. When you have the tomato juice/sauce ready, add the other ingredients and cook until it is thick. You can put it in small jars and sterilize in a boiling water canner.

Darren (Green Change) said...

Try oven-roasting the tomatoes first, with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and herbs (rosemary is good). It makes a beautiful sauce.

Heather @ SGF said...

Darren - Mmmm! That does sound good!