Wednesday, September 9, 2009

COOKING DAY: 39 Yellow Tomatoes, 11 Hours, No Mercy

Every couple of months, Crystal over at Money Saving Mom does a Baking Day, during which she preps mounds of waffles, muffins, breads, and whatnot. The food is largely healthy and always inexpensive, and the quantities produced are enough to last her family well into 2025 (a.k.a. “Considering Their Farm Team, the Next Time the Mets Have Any Shot at the Pennant Whatsoever”).

When I was among the employed, pulling off this kind of awesome would have been impossible, due to time constraints. However, I’m between gigs these days (oh, freelancing), and seem to have a few minutes on my hands. Coincidentally, I also have 39 yellow tomatoes, delivered last night by Rachel. (It was only HALF of her CSA haul, if you can believe it.) Since the Husband-Elect and I are going away this weekend, these guys have to be cooked and frozen a.s.a.p.

So, for the next 10 or 11 hours, I’ll be making a gaggle of yellow tomato-based dishes, with semi-real-time updates. There’ll be pictures! And, um, updates! And – did I already mention the updates? Anyway, FEEL THE EXCITEMENT.

Problem is, I’ve never made anything with a yellow tomato in my life. Ever. I’m going to have a Caprese Salad for lunch and take a shot at Suzanne Goin’s Yellow Tomato Gazpacho this afternoon, but beyond that, I’m clueless. And this means only one thing …

READERS, PLEASE SEND IN IDEAS.

If you’ve ever handled a yellow tomato in your life, I want to know how. What did you pair with it? How did you cook it? What happened afterward? The only thing I can’t do is can or jar anything, as I don’t have the equipment or know-how. But anything else is fair game.

Okay! Here goes! First update in a few hours!

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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel your distress. I also have close to 40 tomatoes to use up. I did get a tip the other day from our farmer. Slice the tomatoes and then freeze on cookie sheets in single layer and put in freezer until firm (just a couple of hours). Then put in freezer bags for use in sauces, etc later in the winter. Doing the IQF helps them retain their integrity.

Jen B, Naperville IL

Liz C said...

I vote with Jen B - cut yourself some slack and freeze 'em! I've got a bowlful at home just waiting to go bad and I just learned how easy it is. Guess what I'll be doing tonight?

http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciqtomatoes.shtml

Mike said...

I would suggest Yellow Tomato Soup! This recipe is great (use the chipotles sparingly if you don't like heat) and has allowed me to work my way through about 20 pounds of yellow tomatoes this summer. It freezes and reheats wonderfully.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Yellow-Tomato-Soup-104932

Anonymous said...

Don't fear the yellow tomato! I use them the same way I use red tomatoes, although mixing red and yellow together is particularly lovely. I chop tomatoes and put them directly in freezer bags, just be careful not to do overly large portions. Or I chop the tomatoes, throw in garlic, onion, herbs or whatever else I feel like having in my tomato sauce, throw everything in a big pot and cook it down, then I freeze it in jars or baggies.

I know some people take the time to skin the tomatoes or chop them finely, but I find that to be unnecessary.

Kris said...

Okay, I'm definitely going to freeze the leftovers. Hoping it'll be no more than 5 or 6 tomatoes, but we'll see.

Mike, that soup looks great. To make it more CHG-friendly, I might sub in skim evaporated milk for the heavy cream.

Yay!

DEO said...

Stuff 'em and invite some friends over! My favorite tomato stuffing is sauteed fresh corn with onions and garlic, mixed with some black-eyed peas or some other legume, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, lemon juice if you want/have, and grated parm if you want/have. Put the tomaters in a baking dish greased with olive oil and broil them for 5 minutes. They can be reheated at lunch and will last a few days in the fridge (you could also freeze them). Everyone loves them! About two whole tomatoes per person is a reasonable serving, though my people and I can put it away.

Elizabeth said...

I don't have much experience with yellow tomatoes, but in general, you can't go wrong with roasting a tomato. Slice them in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place them cut-side up on a cookie sheet. Roast at 350-400 for 40 min-1 hr. The roasting concentrates the flavor and makes them easy to peel. Then you can toss them with pasta, puree them into soup, freeze for later, whatever!

Sarah said...

Roasted tomato sauce! I've only made it with red, but yellow would simply be lovelier.
--cut tomatoes in half, core, but don't peel
--toss tomatoes with a couple peeled and chopped carrots, a good size onion roughly chopped, four or so cloves of garlic (just peeled, no need to mince), a Tbsp or so of dried thyme and a couple Tbsp of olive oil.
--spread the veggie mixture on a cookie sheet, tomatoes cut side down, sprinkle with a little salt and roast (400 degrees) for about an hour.
--remove from oven, slip those tomatoes out of their skins (tongs are useful if you're like me and can't wait for things to cool)
--dump all that roasted goodness in the blender or food processor and whirl it up.
Now it's ready to be a base for pasta or pizza sauce, the start of some soup...so many possibilities. Portion it out into one cup servings, throw it some ziploc baggies and stick it in the oven. You'll have summer deliciousness waiting for you all winter long.

Anonymous said...

If I don't have time to chop them first, I freeze them individually (whole) and then bag 'em. It works just as well as chopped, except it takes up more space in the freezer.

Michelle said...

I prefer to freeze cooked tomatoes, and use them as a base for sauces and soups all winter. Chop, saute a bit with olive oil, salt pepper and garlic, stir and simmer till they've broken down. Push through a food mill. Alternatively, peel and seed before cooking. Alternatively, do neither, but the result is a bit watery.

Shana said...

I fell in love with this recipe this summer, and it's why I'll never throw away gifted tomatoes again. I'm not much of a raw tomato person, but I love them cooked, and this is so easy and not too hot in the summer:
http://www.nigella.com/recipe/recipe_detail.aspx?rid=129
Note this can be done with chopped tomatoes. Cook 'em up and freeze 'em, I say. In my house we could go through a lot of these in a week. I like to eat the cherries on a plate with olives, good cheese and bread for a light summer supper.

Jon said...

I made yellow marinara and put it on squid ink dyed pasta. It looker really cool.

kit & kaboodle said...

Make ketchup...or catsup, even. Because of how much they cook down, I bet you'll use most of that box just making a bottle or two. And how "foodie" would it be to have a yellow tomato ketchup?!?!

Nicole said...

I see some others have suggested roasted tomatoes which reminded me that I have had this bookmarked for a while:

http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2006/09/roasted_tomatoe.html

Looks easy enough?? Good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

I once took this cooking class where we used tomotoes to make a tomato tart. It was delicious. Okay, what you do (1)slice tomatoes in wedges (2)pour a little balsamic vinegar on top. (3) take wedges and place on tart dough (4) bake for 30 minutes on 350. The sweetness from the balsamic vingegar makes it turn out really good.
Hope this helps.
Basikbox.com

umbrellalady said...

Jamie Oliver has a nice ketchup recipe that utilizes whatever type of tomato you may have on hand.