Quick Tomato Sauce

November 12, 2007

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Need a quick, last-minute tomato sauce? Here it is! Sam & Harry

2 pounds fresh tomatoes
1/2 stick sweet butter
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil

Peel, quarter, and seed the tomatoes and squeeze out any juice. Cut into 1/2-inch chunks and place in a small stockpot with the butter and onion. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Remove the onion, thinly slice it, sauté it in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, and return it to the sauce.
Makes 2 cups.

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Tomato Coulis

November 10, 2007

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A coulis is a juicy puree made from vegetables, fruits, or shellfish. Layer this spicy Tomato Coulis on sandwiches or use it as a sauce for roast pork or beef or a topping for polenta or rice. It also makes a great dip. Sam & Harry

1 large red bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 pounds very ripe, fresh tomatoes or 28 ounces canned tomatoes with juice, divided
6 garlic cloves, slightly crushed and peeled
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Polenta, pasta, or rice
Grated Parmesan and chopped parsley

Core and seed the pepper and slice into 1- by 1/4-inch strips. In a medium chef’s pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté until the pepper begins to change color, about 3 or 4 minutes. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the peppers, along with the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, cumin, curry, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Stir occasionally, adding tomato juice or water by tablespoons as needed until the tomatoes form a thick sauce. Season with sea salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Serve over polenta, pasta, or rice garnished with Parmesan and parsley or spread or pizza crust or serve as a dip with corn chips or toasted pita.
Makes 4 servings.