Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spaghetti Anyone?

Today was our third annual Vestry hosted spaghetti supper at church. The vestry is the group of laypeople that run the business operation of the church. Once a year, we hit the kitchen and cook dinner for whomever wishes to part take. Today, their was a (devilishly) friendly competition for those of us who conjured up a spaghetti sauce from scratch and up for grabs was the coveted "Golden Apron".

I worked super hard at my sauce and it was harder to make (IMHO) than the others because I volunteered to make a vegetarian sauce and therefore, did not have the advantage of the most common element in flavoring a spaghetti sauce - meat. I started the sauce on Saturday this way it would be mostly done for today.

I started by toasting some cumin seeds then adding a mirepoix and some jalapeno peppers. I seasoned the base with salt, pepper and a touch of curry powder along with a few bay leaves then let them sweat it out for a while. I then added a can of tomato paste, worked it in for a minute or two then added a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, and two 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes. I gave the whole shebang  a good stir, and let it simmer and cook down for a few hours before the next steps. After the initial long simmer, I blended the ingredients to incorporate all the wonderful vegetable and homogenize the mixture. I returned it to the pot, added fresh basil and oregano along with a few teaspoons of sugar and an few teaspoons of honey to balance the acidity a bit. After another 20-30 minutes, I took it off the heat and let it cool before refrigerating it.

When I got into the kitchen this afternoon, I put the sauce back in the pot and let it start to reheat over low heat. I then added some more fresh oregano and my secret ingredient - sour cream! I let it get to warm before serving and let me tell you folks, it was freaking delicious. However, I did not with the apron - that went to Sarah, who played the pregnancy card and that, along with her excellent sauce (seasoned with meat) were enough to edge me out.

What a great and fun fellowship event - lot's of fun!

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