Friday, February 25, 2011

Chicken with Tomasqua, Chantrelles and Pesto

Eric is a cooking genius.    He loves good food and since I quit cooking sometime after our second kiddo, he stepped up to the plate [pun intended] and consistently hits home run after home run.   My major contribution is to can/preserve what we can grow and find around here.  For this dish, Eric used tomasqua, chantrelles, and pesto that we had put up during the summer.

Tomasqua is canned tomatoes with whatever summer squash is overflowing in the fridge on canning day.   I just chop up the squash - yellow pattypan is my all time favorite - and toss it in the pot to cook with the tomatoes.  I prefer a 3:1 tomatoes to squash ratio, but you gotta can what's ready and sometimes we have more squash than that.    You want as much acid as possible in the vegetables, so I don't use more than equal parts tomatoes and squash.  Always add the lemon juice and salt that the Ball Blue Book requires.

Tomasqua Sauce
Forgive me for being vague with the recipe, but I cook by feel, not by measuring cup.
  • 1 quart tomasqua or tomatoes
  • onion
  • butter
  • garlic - lots
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme - not much
Cook the onion and garlic slowly in the butter until they're caramelized.  Add the tomasqua and heat through.   Add the herbs [dried or fresh] near the end.   If you don't like it chunky, toss the whole thing in the food processor or blender.   It'll be red if you use plain tomatoes; it'll be orange if you use tomasqua.  Delish.

Yep, these are picked fresh right off our property in the summer, the day after a rain.   I saute them slowly in tons of butter and freeze them.

Use your favorite recipe.   My favorite came from my friend Janiel, and uses pistachios instead of pine nuts.   We make loads and loads of this all summer long and freeze it.  It's an excuse to sit down and shell the nuts and listen to the birds and drink cold lemonade.  Plus, fresh basil is one of those things that makes life worth getting up in the morning for.  

Here is what Eric cooked last week with what he found in the cupboard and freezer.
Chicken with tomasqua, chantrelles and pesto  [photo above]
  • Chicken
  • Tomasqua sauce
  • Sliced cheese: mozzarella or colby jack or whatever.
  • Pesto
  • Chantrelles
Cook chicken breasts your favorite way and cut them into pieces.   Toss the chicken into the Tomasqua Sauce and heat it through.   Put the chicken and sauce in a bowl; top with cheese, a dollop of pesto and the chantrelles.   Try not to swoon with the fabulousness of it all.


  1. Oh my goodness, I am so trying this and I love the phrase "swoon with the fabulousness" Well done.

  2. Oh, I think you should swoon, honey. I am. That looks mighty fine.

  3. Yeah, it was amazing. Who knew my lowly tomasqua could taste so good?

  4. You introduced me to pesto, oh so many years ago. Now it's a favorite and Michael makes the best!


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