Hello! I admit, I get a little tomato-crazy during the growing season - not only do I grow cherry tomatoes(for salads and snacking) and beefsteak types (for sandwiches), I also buy Romas and canning tomatoes to cook into various concoctions.
On Monday I showed what I'd made with some Romas I'd bought, and today I'll discuss what I did with some canning tomatoes.
At some time or another I'd picked up an old Mother Earth News magazine (old, as in November/December 1975)and took note of the recipe for tomato concentrate. Seven recipes using the concentrate were also included. It didn't look too hard, so shortly after lunch I began making this recipe. It was a bit chilly and overcast today, so this was a good indoor task.
This is at the beginning - tomatoes, onions and celery and a bit of parsley (plus a small muslin bag of bay leaves and whole cloves) will be brought to a boil and cooked until tender.
See those large chunks of celery? Those big pieces turned out to be a big mistake! The recipe didn't say anything about how to cut up the celery, so I left it in those large chunks. Well, some time later the tomatoes and onions were tender, but most of the celery still was about as hard as when I'd started. I eventually fished it out of the pot and cut it up into much smaller pieces. This did the trick, so take it from me, if you want to try this recipe, cut up your celery smaller than what you see above!
Here, the vegetables are finally all tender, and the mixture has reduced quite a bit in volume.
At this point, according to the recipe, the mixture is to be put through a food mill - for one thing, the tomato skins had been left on. I have a powerful blender (a Vitamix), so I just pureed the mixture as is. (of course, I took that muslin bag of seasonings out first!) Not only is this easier, but the resulting concentrate has more fiber and nutrients in it as well.
One last cooking step: a paste of flour, butter and salt is made, stirred into the pot, and then the concentrate is brought to a boil. Here is the end result:
It is, indeed, quite thick - I got a bit of a workout stirring it at this stage. But since it is so thick, it had to be stirred constantly to avoid sticking. This step didn't take very long, however.
The recipe calls for canning the finished product, but as I said in a recent post, I'm not a canner, so I will freeze my concentrate. The recipes using the concentrate all call for a pint of it, so I'll freeze mine in this amount.
This recipe is still available on the Mother Earth News website, so you can find it here.