Saturday, August 14, 2010

Atomic Tomatoes: They're "the Bomb!"

Atomic Tomatoes. They look innocent.
My husband doesn't venture into the kitchen often, but he's still really handy to have around for some of my cooking projects. Because sometimes when I want to do something I don't have exactly the right tool to do the job.

He's really good at kitchen-hacking tools for me.

In this case it was a turkey injector. You know, those big plastic syringes that are used for injecting (mostly cajun) flavorings into turkeys (and other meat, too, I guess).

A turkey injector has a pointy tip on the metal needle so you can insert the thing through the turkey skin and into the meat. It also has two openings on the sides of the needle where the flavoring squirts out.

It was almost what I wanted, except I wanted a single hole on the end of the thing. And if it could be angled instead of blunt, that was a plus.

The tip has been cut off and angled. Sharp!
According to hubster, it was a simple task to cut through the thin metal with his Dremel, and he had it done in just a few minutes, complete with a nice sharp angle.

My victims were some cherry tomatoes. The plan was to create an injectible sauce that was like salsa, but without the tomatoes, since I would be injecting the stuff into tomatoes. The anticipated result? Spicy little one-bite flavor bombs.

For the sauce, I used Hot Heads Pepperspread, cilantro, and fresh avocado. Then I added a bit of sour cream. I considered adding onion, since that usually goes into my salsa, but decided to skip it for this experiment.

I blended it with my stick blender, but it was still too thick for the injector, so I added a bit of water. Lime juice, tomato juice, beer or wine would have been nice. And then I whizzed it up again and the consistency was better for getting it into the injector.

This time it worked much better, but there were a couple times where the injector kind of got stuck. I suspect there might have been a pepper seed or a larger bit of cilantro that hadn't been pulverized enough. If I ever do this on a larger scale than just appetizers for the two of us, I might strain the mix through a medium sieve to catch any larger bits that could jam up the needle.

I injected the tomatoes through the stem end, and the needle was just about the same diameter as the little scar from the stem. I could feel the tomatoes sort of plumping as I filled them, and then juice would start oozing out. That was as full as they were going to get. Sometimes a bit of the hot sauce would squirt out when I removed the needle, but after a while, I got a better feel for how much I could inject.

I also tried using the injector to remove some of the tomato juice from a few tomatoes to make room for more spice. I'm not sure if that was worth the bother or not.

The tomatoes I had were pretty small, so there wasn't a lot of room for the extra liquid inside. But since Pepperspread is so spicy, it didn't take much to give them a kick. Next time, I might try some smaller tomatoes.

And who knows? Now that I've got a new (modified) kitchen toy, I might find other used for it. It's not like I was using that turkey injector, anyway.

1 comment:

Jeff Meeker said...

You never cease to amaze Donna! Fantastic idea....very creative and I bet....GOOD!


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