Read these 28 Tomatoes - Cooking & Recipes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vegetable tips and hundreds of other topics.
Never store tomatoes in the fridge. They will lose all their flavor. The best place to store tomatoes is on a sunny windowsill. Line a bowl with kitchen paper and place the tomatoes side by side, being careful not to bruise them. Keep them in the sun until you need them.
Here's away to get really thick tomato sauce in a short time.
Simply simmer your pureed tomatoes slowly in a heavy pot but don't stir. You'll notice that the warer evaporates from the tomatoes and rises to the top. Skim this water off the top, run it through a strainer, and return any solid matter back into the pot. Using this method, it won't be long at all before you get a pot of thick sauce.
Note: you can save the light pink water you strained for soup stock or tomato juice.
Here's how to turn your garden fresh tomatoes into a simple but tasty tomato soup.
In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add a chopped onion. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes till tender.
Stir in 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded, and chopped, with juices.
Simmer until the tomatoes are covered in their own liquid, about 25 minutes.
Place in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return to pot, add salt and pepper to taste.
Heat till the boiling point.
Serve hot or cold.
If you don't live in a climate sunny enough to dry tomatoes outside - here's a way to get the task done inside!
Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Cut 8 tomatoes in half or in quarters. Mix tomato slices, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar and some crushed thyme together. Lay mixture on a cookie tray in the oven and bake for two or more hours.
Here's a way to make tomato sauce without the usual need for endless stirring. You can do this by using a slow cooker(crock pot) during the final cookdown.
Do the initial cooking on the stove in a heavy pot and then pour into a blender or food processor to puree.
Pour the pureed sauce into a crock pot set at high.
Keep the lid off which will allow the water to evaporate. A few hours later you will have a nice thick sauce that required no stirring.
If you wish, you can use your oven instead of your stove to make tomato paste. This actually makes it easier because you don't have to stand over the stove while making it. You can actually leave the kitchen while the paste cooks.
Cook the tomatoes in a roasting pan at 350 degrees with the lid on until the tomatoes break down. Then process into a puree and bake again, this time at 300 degrees with the lid off so that the water can evaporate the puree can thicken.
Slice tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick. Brush with mayonnaise; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine 1/3 cup each cornmeal and all-purpose flour, and 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese; dredge tomatoes in mixture. Drop 2 tbsp. butter on rimmed baking sheet; place in a 450 degree oven until butter is melted. Place tomatoes on pan; bake for 8 minutes per side or until golden.
5 medium size tomatoes
2 tsp. minced cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
5 green onions
2 tsp. olive oil
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
pepper and salt to taste
Core and dice tomatoes into medium bowl, add salt and let sit 1/2 hour; pour off juice. Add green onions, jalapeno pepper, and rest of ingredients. Chill.
Makes about 3 cups.
5-1/2 pounds tomatoes
2 onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
Peel and quarter tomatoes. Puree, in batches if necessary, in food processor or blender. There should be about 11 cups pureed tomatoes. Pour into Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic to processor or blender used for tomatoes and puree. Add onion mixture and bay leaves to tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and remove bay leaves. Refrigerate. If not using at once, freeze, or can. Makes about 9 cups.
There are many things to do with extra tomatoes without having to can them. Most of the solutions will take some extra work on your part, but you will be glad that you made the effort to do it when it's time to reap the benefits.
* Make salsa to freeze. Make it as mild or hot as your family will enjoy. In addition to the tomatoes, you will need onions, hot peppers, garlic, and spices of your choice. This works better with a Roma or other type of Italian tomato for a thicker sauce.
* Make a large batch of chili (or more!) and freeze in family-sized or individual meal containers.
* Turn a lot of your extra tomatoes into spaghetti sauce. Use your favorite recipe for sauce and again, freeze the sauce for future use.
* Experiment with homemade ketchup if you don't already make it. It may be fun to see how it turns out. Start with a small amount, though, in case it doesn't turn out to be a favorite.
* Homemade soup such as vegetable soup often has a crushed tomato base. This would give you a chance to use some other extra garden produce, too.
Keep in mind that plastic freezer containers will generally discolor when a tomato product is stored in them.
1 1/2 tbs olive oil, 1 white onion diced, 1 shallot sliced, 2 cloves of garlic - minced, 30 tomatoes diced, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs salt, 20 cups of water, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/4 pound fresh basil, 10 pieces chives
In a large pot, saute onion, shallot and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes, cook until they are soft and have released their juices. Add sugar and salt, cook for 3 minutes.
Add water, wine, basil and chives. Simmer 45 minutes, strain and cool.
Basic Fried Tomatoes
Core tomatoes (but don't peel). Cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick, and dip into flour. Melt butter or bacon fat, fry slices until brown on the bottom. Turn. Season with Montreal Style BBQ Rub - or just plain old salt and pepper. Serve when brown on both sides.
Storage - for tomatoes - is everything. Keep tomatoes at room temperature if possible - refrigerating them removes half the taste. And if you must refrigerate - try taking them out of the fridge an hour before dinner - they will have had time to get back to room temperature - and the flavor will have a chance to come back.
Never refrigerate a tomato that is not fully red or ripe. Cold temperatures destroy flavor and stop the ripening process. Once fully ripe, a tomato can be refrigerated, but only for a few days; any longer results in flavor deterioration. It's best to keep them at room temperature to maintain their flavour.
An easy recipe for sun-dried tomatoes: Oven on lowest setting. Cut tomato in half or quarters, combine equal parts salt and sugar together and sprinkle on tomatoes. Bake until shriveled and slightly tough
- about 12 to 14 hours. Store frozen for better color -store in fridge for quicker use.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|