Sunday, April 13, 2008

Menu Planning

How I get my best menu ideas...

"Duck confit... you want to make duck confit... with salmon gravlax... and some bacon...."

Somehow the ideas just come to me.... I don't know where from...

"And some POUNCE! treats..."

Seriously though, here's my newest toy, courtesy of my Omnivore, who found it at Cookin' on Divisadero.

I've always wanted a food mill, really I have -- for those smooth purees and sauces...

I tested it out on a huge pile of Roma tomatoes that I was worried would go bad before I could use them.

I know it seems like all we eat are fancy things, but honestly, on any given night, I'm most likely to come home and cook myself up a little batch of pasta and just douse it with olive oil and some good tomato sauce or tomato paste.

Not complicated and fancy, but very tasty-- not exactly Babbo style, but a cut above Chef Boyardee.

"Don't Waste Those Tomatoes" Sauce

1 lb. or so of Roma tomatoes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp fresh herbs such as thyme, basil or rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil. In the mean time, cut a shallow "X" in the bottom of each tomato. Put them into the boiling water for a minute or so, and then shock them in a bowl of cold water. The skins should seem like they're starting to peel off.

Put them into the food mill and process over a bowl. This should give you a lovely bowl of tomato puree, but leave all the stems skins and seeds in the mill. Put the tomato puree back into a pot and add in the garlic powder, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes or so. Allow to cool and store in a jar, or use immediately.

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