69

Sauteing onions: Softens them, most people prefer not to run into raw onions in their sauce. Onions will cook in a sauce, but very slowly, so frying them before makes sure they will be soft even if your sauce has a fast cooking time Releases sugars, making them taste sweeter Reduces the onion's harshness Browning the onions creates flavor Sauteing garlic: ...


49

Yes - the mold is an indication that the spores have entered that tomato, but do not indicate any problems with others. Mold usually enters fruits like tomato through the stem site or damage to the skin. The bits you see outside the fruit are actually the fruiting bodies of the fungus (equivalent of the bit you eat on a mushroom - the rest is below the soil)....


41

Of course “appealing” is quite opinion-based, so let’s look at the problem in a slightly more neutral “how can I avoid the colors mixing when I blend the soup”. In short, you can’t. If you have a significant amount of green and red veggies, that is. One of the appeals and key features of a classic minestrone are the colorful ingredients that give you a ...


40

You need a sharper knife. With a dull knife, you'll have trouble getting through the skin, and end up tearing and smashing, releasing a lot of juice. With a sharp knife, you'll get through the skin cleanly and leave the tomatoes much more intact. Serrated knives are another common option: they get through the skin very easily. A dull serrated knife will ...


37

You can find out. Split your sauce into 2 batches. Add onions and garlic raw to one and sautéed to another. Some people like the sharp strong taste of those things raw. In the US that is not common. Sauteeing will mellow the taste. When I make sauce I sauté it because I hope someone else will eat it besides me. If you are not sure or you are American ...


35

Most tomatoes from the produce aisle will be relatively flavourless— this is because they are frequently picked when they are unripe so that they can ripen en route to the store and extend their shelf life as a result. Try using canned tomatoes instead, which are picked at the height of their ripeness and preserved right away.


31

It's not a knock-off, per se—but this particular brand has never been imported from Italy. "San Marzano" is a variety of plum tomato, as well as a protected designation of origin for those tomatoes grown in a specific region and in a traditional way. There is no single "San Marzano" brand or trademark owned by a particular company, and the name is not ...


28

The Turquoise Room (at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona) has a "signature soup", which is actually two soups ladled into a single bowl: a bright yellow corn soup, and a darker brown bean soup. While I kind of feel like this defeats the purpose of a minestrone (which, as far as I am concerned, is meant to show off the lovely vegetables), I ...


26

What you are observing is that the bulk of the price of tomato products is not the tomatoes. The price of the can and shipping far outweigh the few cents of tomatoes the can contains. With fresh tomatoes you are still mostly not paying for tomatoes. You are paying for the gas and people to ship and stock your tomato and all the other tomatoes that were ...


24

As you state, you have not followed any canning procedures, so you don't get any more storage time than the standard recommendation. Glass vs plastic doesn't matter. So, I would just recommend freezing. Tomatoes, and tomato based sauces for that matter, freeze nicely. If you use freezer, zip-style bags, you can freeze them flat. They will then thaw ...


23

Fennel is a fairly delicate flavor. I can see how caramelized onion and tomato would easily over power it. The bulb actually provide the most delicate flavor of fennel. If you want a more pronounced flavor, I would suggest fennel seed. I would further suggest you toast them first. They can then be used whole, or, if you want an even stronger flavor, ...


21

Short answer: if it doesn't get heated to the caramelization temperature then it does not caramelize. The science is here, and it says you need at least 110 °C for fructose. Browning in your case is probably not caramelization, but a Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring the ...


21

I once worked in grocery produce. The skin offers a remarkably effective protective layer. I have opened crates of tomatoes where one has completely turned to mush, while every other tomato in the crate is pristine. Same for apples and pears and every other kind of fruit, really. Wash well and the rest are fine. This is standard practice commercially. As ...


21

I have never succeeded from making great tomato sauce using our native tomatos and the final product always tastes flat. When I eat the tomato, there is always 0 hints of sweetness in them and not much juice comes out of it. Just by looking at the color, it may be simply poor quality farming as we live in a 3rd world country. Living in the US (supposedly a ...


20

The guideline for the safe canning of tomatoes is for 2 tbsp of 5% vinegar per pint of tomatoes. If you made 16 pints then you'd need 32 tbsp of vinegar, and that is almost 2.5 cups. This isn't to prevent spoiling, the processing will do that, it's to prevent the growth of botulism, which boiling does not do. However, the recipe above calls for 16 cups of ...


18

It would not caramelize for sure, as caramelization occurs between 110 and 180 degrees celsius depending on the particular sugar - well over the boiling point of water, which is your maximum sous-vide temperature. However, it would serve a few purposes that might well work. For one, it would allow the slow breakdown of starches into sugars, just as other ...


18

You can also use ‘layering’, particularly with the garlic. Garlic fried in oil at the beginning of the process contributes rich, mellow, savory flavors, but a little finely minced or shaved garlic added right near the end adds a sharper, fresher, more ‘forward’ garlic flavor. I guess you could do the same with onion, though I wouldn't add it as close to ...


17

You don't want to boil them, you want to blanch them. This means you bring the water to a boil, cut a shallow cross into each tomato (scoring the peel), add the tomatoes (few enough compared to the amount of water that the water doesn't stop boiling) and let them boil for ~1 minute. Remove the tomatoes and dump them straight into ice water. Once cooled the ...


16

Although a sharp or serrated knife are the best solution, there's also a trick that you can use when you're working with less than ideal knives (ie, in someone else's kitchen). Use the tip of the knife to stab the tomato at the spacing that you'll be cutting it. Slice at each of the stab marks If dicing, place a couple of slices on the board, and then slice ...


16

Most sauces, tomato based or not, will improve in flavour after being left overnight. This is also true of stews and casseroles. The received wisdom is that it gives the flavours a chance to 'marry' and blend, though I'm not sure of the science behind it.


16

Onions contain a good amount of sugar; that is why they brown and burn easily. The sweetness is more than often hidden behind the sharp onion smell and taste. Some onions like the vidalia onion varieties are really sweet. One way to test if an onion will sweeten the tomato sauce would be to prepare two similar batches, one with onion, and one without. ...


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.


15

While it is perfectly safe to eat tomato puree without cooking it, it is not generally recommended. Uncooked tomato puree in a sauce can be undesirably sour and have a rather raw, rough flavour. If you don't mind this then go ahead, but I would recommend simmering the sauce for at least another 10 minutes after adding the puree.


15

Tomato sauce and paste are not the same thing. Tomato paste is essentially a concentrated tomato with some water removed that is then preserved. It is generally only used as an ingredient. Tomato sauce is immensely variable and usually has a variety of other ingredients added resulting in something to actually eat.


14

The primary reason is definitely convenience. If you don't want skin and seeds in your sauce, then you have to do some work to avoid it. Yes, it's possible, e.g. passing through a food mill, or blanching and peeling plus retaining only the flesh, but having it already done is a whole lot easier. Passata is usually much thicker too, so it won't need as long ...


14

It might just be the variety of tomatoes, but the in example you posted these look a little unripe to me. Perhaps try leaving them in a sunny place such as by a window, and wait a few days until they ripen fully. Might also be worth while using some tomato purée (aka tomato paste) in addition to the fresh tomatoes. It can help increase the flavour. If you ...


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 ...


13

San Marzano tomatoes are generally preferred for Italian tomato sauces because they are denser, fruitier, have a slightly lower acidity, and break down well when cooked. I've made both fresh and fresh-cooked tomato sauces from the San Marzanos my mother-in-law grows, and would prefer these over just about any other tomato variety for sauce-making (dry-...


13

In a sense, yes, those are knock-offs. They are grown in the US from San Marzano seeds. Here is the old label from the same company: From Cooks Illustrated: Until I wrote this answer, I was under the impression that the San Marzano brand in my picture were actual Denominazione d’Origine Protetta San Marzano tomatoes. I don't like feeling tricked. Cook'...


12

Tomato leaves are edible, both the articles agree on that. The Modern Farmer article says you'd have to eat pounds and pounds of them before you'd get appreciable amounts of toxins to make you ill, and even then it's more of an upset stomach issue. Some people might react more to Tomatine, which is the mild toxin in the leaves, and is also in green tomatoes. ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible