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Dehydrated onions and other good things. : )

Last post Wed, Jul 18 2007 10:32 AM by bagpipes00. 2 replies.
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  • Mon, Jul 16 2007 8:49 PM

    Dehydrated onions and other good things. : )

     Eliza writes:

    Hi, there! I read the board quite a bit but don't post much.  All this useful information drew me out of the woodwork!  I am not an experienced cook and wanted further information...you mentioned drying onions.  My overenthusiastic boyfriend planted 50 (!) in our new vegetable garden this year.  If you dried them, how would you use them?  Could you saute them in something to add flavor to a dish, as you would fresh?  Also, we are going to have MANY tomatoes...what are some ideas for using those?  I had thought of salsa, but that might require canning, which I have no knowledge of.  Can salsa be frozen instead?  Could you use dried tomatoes for something other than pizza topping?  Sorry to show my ignorance here, but I did not grow up in a household where home cooking was done, and I am trying to learn.  Thank you for your help!

     Eliza

    First let me say being a good cook comes with lots of experimenting, there is no good or bad way to start.  And I have never heard a dumb question so always ask away. ; )

    I deydrate onions of every kind every year, about 1 or sometimes 2 gallons(about 60 - 80 pounds or so).  We use them in cooking, baking and we use dried shallots in place of croutons on a salad.  When dehydrating you have to remember that to rehydrate it is a 1:1 ratio of dried items and liquid.  Then sweeter onions, WallaWalla's, Vadalias, shallots are just terrific eaten right out of hand.  If you want to use them in saute', you would just prep them to suit your dish(dice, sliced, chopped)and freeze them. Dehydrated would do in a pinch but frozen are better.

    You can certainly dehydrate tomatoes, can them, freeze them.  Here is one way of doing it:

    Pico de Gallo - Easy Salsa Recipe
    Ingredients:

    • 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped

    • 1 clove garlic, minced

    • 4 green onions, chopped (include the green part)

    • 2 Tablespoon purple onion, finely chopped

    • 3 fresh Serrano or Jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped

    Tip: Start with one chile of your choice and work your way up to the desired degree of heat.

    • 2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

    • ½ tsp salt, my preference is Kosher Salt

    • Juice from ½ lime

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well...

    Allow the salsa cruda to sit for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

    Serve with grilled chicken, or fish, or as a dip with tortilla chips. Makes about 4 cups.

    **Puree any left over salsa in a food processor for a great-tasting homemade salsa to use in appetizer recipes, as a dip, a taco sauce or even for "huevos rancheros".

    If you don´t use all of the puree right away you can freeze it in ice cube trays, then remove the frozen salsa cubes from the trays and store them in zip lock freezer bags in the freezer.

    Freezer Salsa Recipe 

    This is a salsa developed because my husband insists on planting at least 100 tomato plants each year. It lasts about a year in the freezer.


    20 lbs tomatoes
    2 cups fresh cilantro
    2 large onions
    10 cloves garlic
    10 medium jalapenos (medium salsa)
    2 cups chopped green peppers
    2 tablespoons cumin
    1/4 cup sea salt
    1/4 cup vinegar
    1. Peel and chop tomatoes in a food processor (part until they are liquid and part bigger pieces).
    2. Chop cilantro ,onion ,garlic and add to tomatoes.
    3. Chop jalepenos with seeds and put in to 10 quart stock pot.
    4. Add cumin, salt and vinegar and stir all together.
    5. Bring to a boil and lower tempurature to keep at a low boil for 2-3 hours.
    6. Boil down to about half to get rid of all the extra tomato water.
    7. I use 3 cup reusable plastic containers.
    8. Fill and leave 1/2 inch head space let cool to avoid condensation and ice on top of salsa.
    9. Place lids on and freeze.

     I use dried tomatoes in everything, soups, salads, breads, muffins, omeletes, dressings, cold pasta dishes, etc.  I also take them and whirl in my blender to make a powder that I add to fresh pasta, bread flour, soups, stews, quick breads, etc.

    Hope this helps you some.  : )  And if you have any other questions let me know I would be very glad to help.   

     

     

  • Tue, Jul 17 2007 8:55 PM In reply to

    • Alison
    • Top 500 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Sat, Mar 31 2007
    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • Posts 131

    Re: Dehydrated onions and other good things. : )

    I just wanted to write a note to Eliza and anyone else out there who is reading the first post and identifying with it.

    I am also in the same situation you are in.  I did not grow up in a house where anyone did anything frugal, by hand, etc.  My college roommate's parents have a little hobby farm in Eastern PA and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing EVER when I went to visit that they hung up their laundry outside to dry in the sun and the fresh air!   I had to teach myself many, many things to reach the level I am now and I still have a long list of other skills I would like to acquire.  There are many resources in the library and also on line where you can get ideas, recipes and learn how to do these things.  But one of the best resources you will find are the people that post to this board.  I am constantly amazed at the talent and ingenuity in this group and feel really thankful to be a part of it.  I have already learned so much, but more importantly, these posts really make me think about what I am doing, how can I do it better, why am I doing what I am doing, etc, etc.  So, I think I speak for everyone when I say don't feel scared to ask questions, even if you think they might be basic knowledge questions because I'm sure that there are a bunch of other people who want to know the same thing.  (I will probably be one of those people!)

    Good luck,

    Alison in Pittsburgh

  • Wed, Jul 18 2007 10:32 AM In reply to

    • bagpipes00
    • Top 500 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Fri, Jul 13 2007
    • Central Florida
    • Posts 37

    Re: Dehydrated onions and other good things. : )

    I second what Allison said.  I too am thankful I have this place.  While I did grow up in a somewhat frugal household, I want to take everything a step further.  I don't just want to know how to cook, I want to know how to cook frugally, and healthily.  I want this to also extend to the rest of my life, not just in the kitchen.  I think too often we get accustomed (at least my generation) to dryers, convience foods, grocery stores, etc, and miss out on the simple joys of life like, as Allison said, hanging your laundry out in the sunshine or planting your own food.  Like I said, I am grateful that I have a place where I can learn all of these wonderful "new" ideas from really extraodinary people!

    ~Steph~
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