Here’s a fair warning. I’ve hit the canning bug and might be posting a lot on canning. This winter, I learned how to can jam and am on a jamming kick. It’s ridiculously straightforward (I wouldn’t say it’s easy because you have to do things so sequentially).
My canning kick actually got started a few summers ago when I canned tomatoes with West Coast Rebecca and Angela Goodhair. Canning tomatoes are only fun when you are doing it with wine and friends. Otherwise, it’s kind of a pain in the ass.
Basically, you sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then you peel the tomatoes, put them in the jars. Add about 2 tablespoons of an acid (we use lemon juice). Wipe the rims clean and then add the lids on. And then put the full jars back in the boiling water for 40 minutes. None of this is complicated but boy is it a lot of work.
The result is that you get the full flavor of summer tomatoes in the middle of winter. I did a winter gazpacho with canned tomatoes and it was divine. Another awesome use of canned tomatoes are making a English Hunter’s Breakfast. My friend Lady Bountiful made it for Christmas morning on year and it was at once fresh and filling. It’s basically a biscuit with a gravy of canned tomatoes thickened with a roux. That’s it. I served mine with a ham steak that had a marmalade glaze on it but it’s a perfect vegetarian option without.
English Hunter’s Breakfast
1/2 large onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 16 oz can of stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion in the butter until translucent. And the flour and mix into the onion and butter until it looks like a paste. Add the tomatoes and simmer until thickened. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Serve over biscuit.