Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bay, Bay for Everyone!

We've already established that my parents are awesome, right?

Here is the lovely apron they had made for me when I mentioned wanting a "June Cleaver- type apron" one Christmas. Isn't it cute?!

(Pay no attention to the sumo- hairstyle. That's how I always look in the kitchen.)

But what's that weird plant- like alien life form on the wall? Oh that? That's just my bay leaf wreath. What? You don't have a bay leaf wreath? Oh, for shame. I pity the fool who doesn't have a bay leaf wreath. Bay is so good in so many things. Liiiikkkkeeee...

Mr. Brown's Tomato Sauce

You'll need:

2 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes (or you can use fresh. This is perfect for when your neighbor brings you twelve bushels of their leftover tomatoes.)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
2 ounces olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained (no capers for me)
1/2 cup white wine (I use chicken broth)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Bay. Tons of bay. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I think it adds a little extra flavor boost.

In a sieve over a medium non-reactive saucepot, strain the tomatoes of their juice into the sauce pot. Add the sherry vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil (and bay, if you're using it. And why wouldn't you use it?) to the tomato juice. Stir and cook over high heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the surface, reduce to a simmer. Allow liquid to reduce by 1/2 or until liquid has thickened to a loose syrup consistency.

Squeeze each tomato thoroughly to ensure most seeds are removed. Set the tomatoes aside.

Cut carrot, onion, and celery into uniform sizes and combine with olive oil and garlic in a non-reactive roasting pan over low heat. Sweat the mirepoix until the carrots are tender and the onion becomes translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and capers to the roasting pan.

Place roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Tomatoes should start to brown slightly on edges with light caramelization. Remove the pan from the broiler. Place the pan over 2 burners on the stove. Add the white wine to the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes over medium heat.

Put the tomatoes into a deep pot or bowl and add the reduced tomato liquid (minus the bay leaves) to the tomatoes. Blend to desired consistency and adjust seasoning.

Perfect for spaghetti, pizza, or whatever else your twisted little brain can come up with.


Teena in Toronto said...

Sounds yummy!

Happy blogoversary!

Suldog said...

Bay Leaves are wonderful, for flavoring and to smell. Damn, do they suck when you accidentally eat a piece, though. Yuck.

And I do not believe my word verification: SMELLYA

Woman in a Window said...

Very pretty bay leaf wreath. I highly suggest against a really pretty garlic wreath. I did that once. Doesn't age well.

Yummy recipe but who has sherry? Really? You have sherry? OOOhhh, just read back, sherry VINEGAR. Ok. Don't have that either.

Janet said...

Yum. A bay leaf wreath. I use bay leaves about 4 times a year. It would get very dusty.