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38

My secret weapon is onion. Caramelize the onions first. This creates a natural sweetness. Always use ripe tomatoes; if you cannot then use canned. The canned are made from ripe tomatoes and tend to be a very good substitute. Also, the celery and carrot suggestions are very much a good addition - you are making a classic tomato sauce when you include the ...


34

Tomatoes grow on a vine. But it is possible to pick them unripe, ship them unripe (which is much easier than shipping ripe tomatoes), then gas them with ethylene at the destination. Ethylene acts as a plant hormone and causes ripening. But tomatoes ripened in storage don't taste the same as vine ripened ones. The compounds a tomato builds are dependent on ...


33

Another physics digression. All cooked food gets hot, and everything in any given dish will have the same temperature {*}. The tomatoes don't get hotter than the other ingredients. But they do have a tendency to burn more than certain other substances, so the question is "Why?". You get burned when a portion of your flesh reaches a high enough ...


30

Just add half a teaspoon (or even less) of white sugar. Typical Italian tomato-sauce always requires a bit of sugar (and not just to cut acidity).


27

Yes there is. It's called a knife. I use a Shun 10" chef's knife, but you could certainly make do with a much cheaper one.


26

It is simply water content. Water has a much higher heat capacity than anything else we eat. You might think fats have a higher heat capacity, but that is an illusion - they can get much hotter because they don't boil at 100 C, but they hold considerably less heat than water in a given quantity. Tomatoes are almost all water, thus they can burn your mouth ...


18

Definition 1: A smoothie (also known as a "smoothy") is a blended, chilled, sometimes sweetened beverage made from fresh fruit (fruit smoothie) or vegetables and in special cases can contain chocolate. Definition 2: [...] a thick beverage of fruit pureed in a blender with ice and milk, yogurt, or juice. Ketchup is not considered a beverage by ...


18

Short answer: tomato sauce is a non-Newtonian fluid. Another interesting link can be found here. Tomato sauce in an interesting creature. Think about ketchup. You try you shake some out and nothing. So you tap the bottle a little bit, still nothing. Tap it a little harder, and a little harder, and suddenly boom: a flood of ketchup. The "jumpiness" of tomato ...


17

From the great Harold McGee, they may last longer in the fridge, but they will taste like cardboard: Tomatoes came originally from a warm climate, and should be stored at room temperature. Their fresh flavor readily suffers from refrigeration. Tomatoes at the mature-green stage are especially sensitive to chilling at temperatures below about ...


17

A few things can cause tomato sauces to become bitter: Overcooked spices. Both basil and oregano can become bitter with long simmers. Add them near the end of the process. Under-ripe tomatos. Store bought tomatoes are often picked green and ripened in the store. These tomatoes make less sweet sauces (which may be contributing). Cooking in an aluminium ...


16

If you boil them for more than a few seconds, you'll start cooking the tomato, which can make it harder to work with -- you effectively want to cook just the bit under the skin, which only takes a few seconds. I work with a paring knife and a set of spring loaded tongs (but you could use a spider or strainer). start a pot of water boiling cut an X in the ...


16

@Michael touched on a big part of it -- tomatoes are mostly water, and the specific heat of water is rather high. (the specific heat of salt water is even higher). But in the case of pizza, there's another issue -- melted cheese is a good insulator. So, you bring up the temperature of the sauce to near boiling, but then the cheese keeps it from cooling ...


15

There's just no comparison between in-season, local tomatoes that you get in Italy and the supermarket crap you get anywhere else, which probably accounts for most of the difference. Your best bet is to look for heirloom tomatoes, in season. Failing that, try New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes, again, in season. Or any of the "vine ripened" tomatoes you see in ...


15

Have you tried straining the salsa? Put it in a coffee filter or in some cheesecloth in a sieve sitting over a bowl. Let drain until the salsa's the texture you want.


15

Tomatoes freeze well in terms of taste, but not in terms of texture. After thawing them, you should use them in soup, stews, etc. rather than eating them raw. It could be useful to remove their skins and dicing them up prior to freezing.


13

I know there is already an accepted answer, but I will offer a different opinion: cook it for 3-4 hours over a low heat. Stir it every 30 minutes or so (more often if you can't get the burner down to a low enough level, to prevent burning). Not only will it taste wonderful but the house will smell wonderful, too!


13

Tomatoes will last longer if kept in the fridge, but I actually recommend against keeping them there. Tomatoes lose much of their flavor when their temperature is brought below 50 degrees F. Keep them in the pantry. They will still last a few days at least, and they'll taste a lot better.


13

When tomatoes are cooked (which I assume you plan on doing for canning or after freezing) the skins become tough and usually detach from the tomato. Since you usually don't mind this, you shouldn't mind it with canned tomatoes either, but many people do - even when pureed the texture is different. When freezing you can freeze whole and the skin should come ...


13

Tomato paste is just tomatoes with the water removed, essentially. I'd slice the tomatoes in half and roast them (cut side up) at 350 degrees F for an hour (this will concentrate the flavour nicely and you can add s&p/olive oil/herbs/garlic if you want). Then mash them through a sieve or food mill to get a smooth consistency. Then put that tomato ...


13

No, it isn't safe, water bath canning is only safe for high-acid foods as the acid kills botulism. Low-acid food must be processed at 240F, 116C, and that can only be achieved in a pressure canner. When you pressure cook the soup it kills the bacteria, however when you then transfer it to the sterilized jars it could be contaminated on the way, and then ...


13

There are a number of reasons why the flavor of tomatoes changes during both the cooking and drying processes. The first is that when drying the tomatoes, farmers and processors will dust the tomatoes in fairly high levels of salt, which helps to keep harmful microbes and insects from eating into the fruit and causing rot and infections. The second is that ...


12

One thing you can do is dry off much of the water by slow-roasting the tomatoes in the oven first, similar to what I do in this risotto. I think you will get a more complex flavor than if you boil the heck out of them in a pot to reduce. I was also going to suggest pureeing them and then hanging them in a cheesecloth bag to drain the water, but you'll lose ...


12

Ditch the cream and onions, and don't use tomato paste. Take a whole bulb of garlic, peel the cloves and leave them whole. Heat a cup of good olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic, stirring occasionally until very lightly brown and blistered: be careful not to burn it! Then add 4 28oz cans of chopped/crushed Italian tomatoes and some chilli, being ...


12

White wine in tomato sauces adds: Some acidity, but tomatoes are quite acidic as well A touch of fruitiness and flavor Alcohol, which does not all cook off, which can enhance the perception of the dish due to some flavor molecules being alcohol soluble, especially in tomatoes Since you are avoiding alcohol itself, some of the options you might use are: ...


11

Cut the tomato in half at the midsection or equator (stem end being the "north pole") to expose the seed cavities. Holding the cut side down over your garbage bowl or trash can, gently squeeze to remove the seeds. You can easily pry out stubborn seeds with your fingertips. Place the tomato half cut-side up on the cutting board (Cutting waxy skinned ...


11

Picking a tomato which is individually ugly isn't going to help you. It's still the same variety and grown, stored and shipped under the same conditions as the other tomatoes in the pile. Try looking for a store (farmers' and ethnic markets are good for this) which has a whole bin of ugly tomatoes; those are a different variety and/or handled differently. ...


11

In the US at least, common canned tomato products include: Paste, cooked down tomatoes, to the point where they are scoopable with a spoon but will not flow. Very thick, like peanut butter. Often sold in six or twelve ounce cans. Pureee - cooked tomatoes that have been--well--pureeed, but are mostly at their natural density; also called crushed ...


11

This is generally true of thick sauces, particularly ones with low surface tension. When thick sauces boil, there's plenty of resistance to the bubbles rising, so they get bigger before they leave the bottom of the pot. When the bubbles do reach the surface and burst, they're big enough to throw sauce everywhere. Since there's basically no surface tension ...


11

If you have to choose between throwing them out or freezing, go for freezing: The texture will be way different as the tomatoes will get mushy. So when you ponder uses for them, think of what you would use canned / chopped tomatoes for. This also means preparing them a bit now is advisable: removing the peels (but could still "fish" them out later), perhaps ...


10

Drain some of the liquid off either of those, whiz it in the food processor, add liquid back as needed to reach the "crushed" consistency.



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