Monday, July 20, 2009

Creole Tomato Sauce

Creole tomato sauce made from garden fresh tomatoes, onion, green & red bell pepper, celery & seasonings.
Creole tomato sauce made from garden fresh tomatoes, onion, green and red bell pepper, celery and seasonings.

Creole Tomato Sauce

For me, it was a busy weekend around here, and appropriately, much of it centered around food. I don't know why I didn't make some aspect of the food industry my career. Sure would have been fitting since I apparently love it so much! It would have been super cool to have done something like this and make a career with it for sure.

Yes, I caught up on some household chores, dusted, vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, weeded through some magazines for the recycle bin, cleared a bit of clutter (which seems to just expand under my watch), and those other such pesky tasks.

But I also made a recipe of Pistolette French rolls to go along with a shrimp dish that I made later in the evening. I also cleaned and peeled several pounds of shrimp to put up in the freezer. I froze the juice of some lemons, limes and oranges. And, I put away the last big harvest of ripe tomatoes from the garden.

I've previously posted about how I prefer the freezer method when putting tomatoes up, as opposed to canning. Oh, I only wish I had enough sunny yard space to plant for a huge tomato harvest, but we have far too many oak trees for that. So, since I don't have a lot of tomato plants and my pantry storage is limited anyway, the freezer method works the best for me.

So far this year though, I've managed to beat the pests to my tomatoes for a change, so I've actually had a halfway decent tomato harvest out of the dozen or so plants that I do have down. And ... there are some new blossoms and new baby tomatoes on the vines, so I'm hopeful that I'll be seeing at least a few more on the next round!

Once the tomatoes began to ripen, I started off putting up some Romas - just the meat of the tomato itself without the seeds and juice. Then I decided to put some of the larger tomatoes up as just plain diced tomatoes. Next, I decided to stew some of them down, just plain without seasonings. You can pick up the directions for the plain stewed tomatoes here.

So this next batch of tomatoes I considered freezing whole, described here, but then I decided instead to put up some Creole tomato sauce, and hopefully I'll be able to catch the whole tomatoes next harvest.

In truth, I use diced and stewed the most, and Creole tomato sauce is just really stewed down tomatoes that are seasoned a bit, with, what else? The Trinity!

Well, The Trinity, with an addition of some sweet, red bell peppers and a few seasonings.

These Creole tomatoes are popular in this part of The South and can be used in just about any casserole or skillet dish where you would normally use a seasoned stewed or diced tomato. They are especially perfect to use for Shrimp Creole, of course! We, in fact, had that for dinner yesterday.

Well, I'm off to finish catching up on things about the house today - most especially those things outside while we are being blessed with this absolutely glorious cool weather!

For more of my favorite canning and preserving recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

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Recipe: Creole Tomato Sauce

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped sweet bell pepper, red, green, orange, yellow or a combination
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 pounds garden fresh, prepared tomatoes, peeled, cored, hand crushed and juices retained (about 6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add the onion, green and red bell peppers, and celery. Saute until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the prepared tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, salt & pepper, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool. Use for recipes calling for stewed or diced tomatoes.

To Put Up: This recipe is written for freezer preserving, not canning. Double to put up. Label freezer bags and measure out a portion 15 to 16 ounces per bag (most canned tomato sauces are about 14.5 ounces). Squeeze out the air, seal, and lay flat. Place into freezer until set.

Cook's Note: For detailed instructions on how to prepare fresh tomatoes, visit my webpage here.


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Posted by on July 20, 2009
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