Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Making the Most of a Garden Harvest June 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 3:43 pm
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I had chocolate cherry tomatoes coming out my ears, and some other tomatoes from the garden that needed to be eaten.  I have had plans to eat out tonight for quite some time, and knowing that time gets away from me during the week, I decided to make tomato sauce with the tomatoes and attempt to recreate the Salsa Dona from Tacodeli with some of my peppers.  One worked, one didn’t really.

Tomato Sauce

I sauteed 1 smallish garden onion, a few cloves of farmer’s market garlic in Texas Olive Ranch olive oil.

Figuring the cherry tomatoes would take longer to break down than the larger, cut tomatoes, I threw them in as soon as the vegetables started to soften.

Once they started spitting at me, I took out the potato masher and smushed them.  Next I added the chopped tomatoes including that big orange one I can’t identify and what I think are some yellow brandywines, that are crazy looking when cut open, but not really yellow.

I let this cook down while I started my other project.  Once cooked down, I smushed these again and did my best to strain out the skins.  I tried to purchase a food mill today for this purpose, but the store I went to was out.  So, I lost a little in the process.  Once strained, I put the sauce back into the pan, with my garden basil and oregano, salt and pepper, and let it simmer for a while to thicken.

Heirloom Tomato Sauce, from the garden

The end result tasted like absolutely nothing from a can or jar – the depth of flavor is amazing, bright, fresh, and wonderful.  I haven’t decided whether to freeze this or put it in the fridge, I need to evaluate what I have coming from the garden in the next week.   Oh yeah, if you don’t water the oregano enough, it dries right in the pot.  Instant, yet neglectful, garden oregano.

Second project, Salsa Dona from Taco Deli.

I am addicted to the crack sauce from Taco Deli.  I buy it from Sam at the Triangle Market, by the tub and use it instead of mayo, or on my eggs.  Its the shizznit.  I wanted to re-create it with my garden peppers, so I tried.

Blistered the peppers

I blistered the peppers yesterday, and placed them in a plastic baggie to steam.  These are jalapenos and serranos and a couple of poblanos from the garden.  They were very difficult to peel, and the result was a ton of effort, and breathing pepper fumes, for not much yield.  My peppers don’t grow nearly as big and meaty as those from the store.

Skins removed and de-seeded

Next I put a clove of garlic, the de-seeded peppers, and some borrowed vegetable oil in the baby Cuisinart.  This might have been part of the problem, I think the oil would have emulsified better in a blender.  So, I blended until smooth, not really thick at all and tasted.  Similar, but I don’t think they use garlic, at least not as much as I did.  The sauce is OK, but I’m glad I didn’t use up any  more peppers on it.

Faux Dona

Anyway, today has been a good gardening day and a good cooking day.  It promises to get even better, if not local, with dinner reservations with a friend at Uchiko.  Can’t wait.  Next week, I’m challenging myself to eat in, cook more, and make the most of my garden offerings.


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