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!
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
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...
salsa cruda to sit for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to
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
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.
- Peel and chop tomatoes in a food processor (part until they are liquid and part bigger pieces).
- Chop cilantro ,onion ,garlic and add to tomatoes.
- Chop jalepenos with seeds and put in to 10 quart stock pot.
- Add cumin, salt and vinegar and stir all together.
- Bring to a boil and lower tempurature to keep at a low boil for 2-3 hours.
- Boil down to about half to get rid of all the extra tomato water.
- I use 3 cup reusable plastic containers.
- Fill and leave 1/2 inch head space let cool to avoid condensation and ice on top of salsa.
- 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.