Tag Archives: Wine

Tomato Sauce

To continue with the theme of having way too many tomatoes and needing a way to convert them into a food that would be consumed by both members of our household, I present you with a recipe for tomato sauce.

I adapted this recipe from a food blog idol of mine, Kath from KathEats. It is her mom’s recipe for tomato sauce that she always raves about, and since I had a million tomatoes to eat, and I recently picked up a bottle of sherry, I figured it was the perfect time to try it out!

I made just a few changes just because of  my lack of pantry-stocking; I didn’t have tomato paste so I substituted a tablespoon of pomodori agrodolci… not really the same but I wanted to add a little dense, cooked tomato flavor and that is what I had. I also didn’t have any sun-dried tomatoes but I think the pomag (my new nickname for the stuff – much easier to say & type) flavor made up for that as well. And I skipped the sugar since the pomag is so sweet on its own.

(Here is the link to Kath’s original recipe, along with much much better pictures of the process!)

Homemade Tomato Sauce

13 roma-size tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon pomadori agrodolci (or 1 can tomato paste + 1 teaspoon sugar)
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 handful fresh basil (if you have it)
1 large roasted red pepper, chopped

Saute garlic in a large pan or dutch oven. Add chopped tomatoes and simmer until thickened slightly. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. Process in a food processor or with an immersion blender if you want a less rustic sauce. Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy within a week.

First, I chopped all of the tomatoes we had. I didn’t count, but it was probably about 10 roma-sized tomatoes and one large heirloom tomato (the purple one!).

The chopped tomatoes with Kath’s recipe in the background – a typical sight in my kitchen.

Next I got the garlic going in some olive oil.

Then I added all the tomatoes to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Then I forgot to take any more pictures until I was done. Here is one to show the consistency of the final sauce.

The sauce and the vessel that made it all possible. I love my Le Creuset French oven. It almost makes cooking on electric bearable.

As with most first-time recipes, it needed a couple tweeks. The flavor was very good, but as with the pomag, I wish I had processed the tomatoes before cooking because the skins rolled up and formed pointy sticks in the sauce. I’m new to cooking tomatoes (I’ve never had so many at once!) so I’m learning as I go. Next time I would definitely add the tomato paste to give it some more body. Also, I would process it after cooking to make it less chunky and more Brett-friendly. We enjoyed this sauce in a yummy eggplant parmesan that I will share the recipe for soon (it is eggplant season!).

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Filed under Recipes, Sauces & Spreads, Vegan, Vegetarian

Wine & Jazz

Over the long weekend, Brett and I ventured to the Southern borders of Pennsylvania to Chaddsford Winery for their Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival.

Our admission fee got us an etched wine glass for tasting, and a nifty neon orange wristband with 10 detachable tabs, each valid for a one-ounce taste of eight of the winery’s featured wines.

[Now, let me preface this by saying that we are by no means wine connoisseurs. We like wine that tastes good to us. We tend to enjoy whites more than reds, with Rieslings generally being our favorite varietal. Our wine knowledge is limited and something we are both interested in learning about and appreciating more. Now I will let you know how we felt about these wines.]

Our first taste was of the 2009 Spring Wine. According to the website, it is a “light, fresh, and fruity” wine, and according to the tasting station attendant, it was closest to a Reisling. According to us, it was blah.

The next station featured the 2008 Naked Chardonnay and the 2008 Pinot Grigio. We were both surprised how much we didn’t like these. The Naked Chardonnay tasted to me like rubbing alcohol (aging in stainless steel instead of oak has something to do with that, I’m sure) and the Pinot Grigio just wasn’t as refreshing as you’d expect one to be on a 90-degree summer day.

Looking at the rest of the list, we weren’t encouraged that the rest of the tasting would go in our favor, with the next three stations featuring reds. We have nothing against reds, we just really enjoy the simple refreshment and crispness of a cold white wine more-so than the warm complexity of a red. That’s just us.

However, we were surprised to very much enjoy two of the next three tastings – the 2008 Proprietors Reserve Red, and the 2005 Merican. The 2008 Pinot Noir wasn’t bad, but just a little too “inky” for my tastes (I felt like I was drinking a pen).

Encouraged by the promising reds, we finished the rounds with the 2009 Sunset Blush and the 2009 Niagra. Usually we enjoy sweet wines, but, wow! These were candy sweet. Hmpf.

At this point, we decided to get some food in our stomachs. Festival guests were invited to bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy whilst listening to the two jazz bands playing throughout the afternoon. We opted to see what was available from the advertised caterer, Pace One Restaurant (partially because the fridge was empty, but mostly because we can’t resist trying new restaurants!). Overall we were very pleased with the picnic-type food, with the highlight being the mushroom bisque. We also shared a Sangria Slushie and a cup of chocolate hazelnut gelato that were both extremely enjoyable.

We went back to the tasting stations to use up our last two wristband tabs on our two favorite wines, and decided to buy a bottle of each. I also threw in a bottle of the Apple Spiced Wine, because it just sounded too good and fall-ish to pass up. Can’t wait to try that one warm with a cinnamon stick on a cool fall night!

Overall we really enjoyed our day and were glad to be able to soak up some of the last rays of the summer sun. We’re always willing to try new foods and wines, and sometimes you have to take the good with the bad! Luckily we at least have good company in the experiences 🙂

And below, our one picture from the event! Enjoying the last sips of the Proprietors Reserve Red on our Big Blue blanket.

[FYI: We stink at taking pictures (we only have one from our honeymoon!) but we received a new point-and-shoot as a wedding gift, and we have a fancy-shmancy Nikon so hopefully their frequency of use will increase!]

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Filed under Festivals, Wine