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Food mill for tomato sauce

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

That wonderful time of year has finally come: when our garden tomato production outstrips our consumption.  It happened late this year, perhaps because we had a cool summer here in Northern California.

 

Anyway, on to my question.  I have a lot of cherry tomatoes.  A lot.  I would like to make a sauce to freeze for the winter months, but don't want to deal with peeling and seeding every little tomato.  A friend told me to use a food mill, so I bought one.

 

I cooked a large pot full of tomatoes with some garlic and red wine, until the tomatoes started to break down and liquify.  I ran them through the food mill, and it worked great for the skins, but the seeds just passed through the little holes in the food mill disk.  After a disastrous experiment with cheesecloth, I just ran the sauce through a wire strainer, and it worked out ok.

 

So, finally, here is my question: do they make food mills with disks that have holes small enough to catch tomato seeds?  Should I return the one I bought and find one with smaller holes (on the internet)?  Or am I doomed to a two-step straining process?

 

The two step process was not that bad, but if I can get the right tool to make it one step, I'd prefer that.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 8

There's a kind of tomato sauce maker they use to can tomatoes (something many people do - actually they put them in bottles. 

http://www.google.it/imgres?imgurl=http://www.mondo-annunci.net/adpics/4ae734dc226b445032ac31e0a.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.mondo-annunci.net/0/posts/8-Ricette/&usg=__nrSZ9dS_Xriz3P6HMKDxpLF8I8U=&h=400&w=533&sz=44&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=YOSUI94EzPPnMM:&tbnh=145&tbnw=177&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpassa%2Bpomodori%2Bbottiglie%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D603%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=454&vpy=83&dur=10381&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=167&ty=211&ei=6OSaTJONEJbKjAeX_8jbCQ&oei=suSaTO28O9C6OOStjecM&esq=8&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0

This skins and seeds the tomatoes, it clamps to the table, you crank it and  the tomato puree comes out a small spout. 

It;s then put into bottles (usually the ones with the clamp, which people pass from generation to generation - you buy the rubber rings - or into regular beer and wine bottles and you have a bottle capper and bottle caps. 

http://www.google.it/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bachecaannunci.it/adpics/bottiglie_002690.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bachecaannunci.it/%3Fsearch%3Dbottiglie&usg=__quhFrYmrrl2ROMkC_GrttCx5vTA=&h=300&w=400&sz=26&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=61wtGucj6RHJdM:&tbnh=152&tbnw=204&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbottiglie%2Bpomodori%2Bantichi%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D603%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=283&vpy=246&dur=3536&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=103&ty=214&ei=Eu2aTOn2L8uAswbd5J2SBA&oei=Eu2aTOn2L8uAswbd5J2SBA&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0

This is an electric one

http://shopping.kelkoo.it/ss-passapomodoro.html?view=Grid

If you're going to do this seriously, with lots of tomatoes, you should think of canning (or bottling).  The process is simple because tomatoes are acid and don't need to be canned under pressure, but can be put in a hot water bath (wrap the bottles in newspaper so they don't break hitting each other.  Some people make a year's supply during the august vacation and a year's supply means a bottle a day for the daily pasta dish, and maybe some more.  It's done outside with huge pots for boiling and a portable gas ring.


Edited by siduri - 9/22/10 at 11:04pm
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 8

If the wire strainer does the seeds, it should do the skins and the seeds. I would suggest using a stick blender to make it smooth which will be a lot easier than putting it through a food mill and then pass the sauce through the sieve to remove the skins and seeds. This is how I do a tomato soup, it is just a case of finding the right size mesh.


Edited by Bazza - 9/23/10 at 12:49am
post #4 of 8

There are several types of food mills. If you got a Foley, then you won't stop the seeds. What you need is the type with interchangeable screens (there are several brand names). One of those screens stops tomato seeds.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 8

I never had to go past rubbing anything, soups sauces etc., through a sieve with a ladle...one step squeeze 'n separate. Raspberry couli for example, just enough seeds go through to maintain authenticity but not so many as to get stuck in your teeth. It'll catch all the tomato seeds tho'.

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #6 of 8

Problem with a sieve is that there is such a mass of skins that it quickly blocks up. While this is somewhat true of a food mill as well, it doesn't block quite so often, and clears more readily.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 8

Haven't had that problem with toms though cherries would give a higher ratio of skins... Blitzed mushies are definitely a pain that way so I will try them in the mouli. I've been burned out doing potatoes with it so I just find the dexterity of the sieve/ladle more satisfying as a task.

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, folks.  I think, since I already have a stick blender, I'll follow Bazza's advice.  I'll return the food mill to the store and pick up a good quality fine mesh strainer or chinoise.

 

Thanks again!

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