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June 2020 Trail Bytes: Drying Tomatoes & Tomato Powder, New Recipes
June 18, 2020
I hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy and well-stocked with dehydrated food. I’ve heard from folks who are venturing back to the trail, and others who are adding extra supplies to their pantries. It’s a good time to dry your own food. You may have noticed that online suppliers of freeze-dried foods are barely keeping up with demand, and many items are still out of stock.
My mission is to stock you up with ideas about what you can do with your dehydrator. After a little fun and experimentation in the kitchen, you can take your delicious dehydrated meals to the trail, or enjoy them at home or work. With that in mind, let’s talk tomatoes.
The topic of tomatoes, like last month’s topic of tofu, ended up becoming two new pages on the website. This edition of Trail Bytes will serve as an introduction. Please visit the pages for the complete instructions and recipes.
New Pages at BackpackingChef.com
On the tomato powder page, I show how to make homemade tomato sauce, dry it into tomato sauce leather, and grind that into tomato powder. Since some of the recipes in Recipes for Adventure call for tomato sauce leather, I include the leather-to-powder weight conversions. You can use tomato powder or tomato leather in the recipes.
The page includes a saucy recipe for Macaroni with Beef & Vegetables, shown rehydrated above.
Dehydrating TomatoesWhile we’ve covered dehydrating diced and sliced tomatoes already, the new page covers drying tomatoes using the half-cut method. San Marzano tomatoes, with their oblong shape and meaty texture, are ideal for drying in halves. The instructions include a homemade seasoning blend to sprinkle on the tomatoes.
You could call these dried tomatoes, “tomato jerky.” The flavor is amazing. They make great snacks.
The new page includes a new recipe: Tuna & Pasta San Marzano . Prepare it ahead of time with cold water. It’s perfect for a no-cook lunch on hot summer days, or serve it up hot for the evening meal.
Photo above: Tuna & Pasta San Marzano rehydrated with cold water, 2½ hour soak time.
That’s it for this edition of Trail Bytes. Stay safe, stick to the trails less travelled, and we’ll see you next month.
Here are the links again to the new pages:
Chef Glenn & Dominique
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