Tomatoes are Trending at Mohonk Mountain House Hudson Valley Harvest Festival

Tomato Time in the Hud-Val by Ric Orlando!

We just nipped it! Mid-September in the Hudson Valley is when the last of the tomatoes are just about to fade from sight... but we got some! 

Here are my recipes from the Hudson Valley Harvest Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House. I present a veggie specific demo here for this fest every year, and this year, tomatoes it is.

First installment: Tomato Bouillon and Tomato Sorbet!

The bouillon can be eaten a lot of ways:
Try is simply hot, garnished with herbs
Use it as a broth for tortellini or little ravioli, or with orzo or tubetti and Romano cheese
Poach lobster, scallops or shrimp in it (gently!)
Freeze it into ice cubes and drop them in Bloody Marys, martinis, gin-and-tonics, and more.

This is a fabulous way to use up the inexpensive, end-of-season, cracked, ripe canning tomatoes.

Harvest Tomato Bouillon

Since Campbell’s has defined our American concept of tomato soup, I have designed a cleaner and lighter version that captures all of the beautiful essence of harvest tomatoes. You can use really ripe, split, or cracked “canning” tomatoes in this recipe which are available at a discount at most  farmstands. This recipes freezes perfectly, so make plenty while you can!

10-12 really ripe tomatoes (about 3 lbs.), cored but left whole
1/8 cup black peppercorns
2 tsp kosher salt
1 bottle dry, unoaked white wine
24 ounces vegetable or chicken stock (you may substitute low-sodium canned broth)
64 ounces water (that's half a gallon)
1 tablespoon of your herb of choice...thyme, rosemary, savory or tarragon
In a big pot, bring to all ingredients to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes and skim, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Using the finest strainer lined with cheesecloth, strain into a clean vessel by ladling in a little bouillon at time until most of the liquid has been passed through the strainer. Now put the cooked tomatoes into the strainer,but don’t press down! Just let them drip their remaining nectar into the broth for an hour or so, or as long as overnight. When they're done, strain again.

This bouillon can be served as a hot or cold soup, used for cocktails or as a sauce for lobster, or sweetened and frozen into excellent sorbet!

Tomato Sorbet

It is best to make this in peak harvest season to capture the essence! It is luscious with salads, fish, lobster or made a little sweeter, it makes a really fun dessert complemented by figs, blue cheese, peaches or pound cake.

Makes 2 quarts
4 cups tomato bouillon, chilled
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and peeled
½ cup lemon juice
2 cup sugar
1 ounce vodka

Warm the sugar with 2 cups of the bouillon to dissolve the sugar into a simple syrup. Let cool.

In a blender, puree the tomatoes with enough of the bouillon to make a smooth puree. Combine the puree, the lemon juice, the remaining bouillon and the simple syrup. Add the vodka.

You can either process through your home ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions or try this: The No-Machine Method.

Cool the mixture down completely. 
Pour the mixture into a cake pan and put it in the freezer.
Set your oven timer for 1 hour.
When the timer goes off, stir up the slightly slushy mix.
Set the timer for another hour. This time the sorbet should be starting to look much more like a real slushy. Stir it again and set the timer for 45 minutes. The third time remove the contents from the pan and process in a food processor until very smooth and aerated. Return to the pan and allow to freeze completely. 

Tomato pic by Ric Orlando
Tomato sorbet pic courtesy of Canard Inc.