Posts Tagged 'tomatoes'

the best ways to use canned tomatoes

i thought this Real Simple article was interesting and even inspired some recipe ideas:

Whole: Most chefs buy whole tomatoes. Why? Manufacturers can the best fruit whole, then chop, crush, or puree the rest. “I feel I get a better product when I see it whole,” says Craig Stoll, chef-owner of San Francisco’s Delfina restaurant (Stoll’s menu features a canned tomato-based sauce). Chop or tear the tomatoes into pieces, or puree them for sauce or soup.

Crushed: Whole tomatoes are mashed, then sent through a strainer to catch most seeds and large chunks. Open a can and you should find mainly crushed tomato meat and juice, with some seeds and pieces of peel for good texture. Slightly chunky crushed tomatoes make a good base for pasta sauce: Sauté garlic and onions, add the tomatoes, then season with salt, pepper, and fresh basil.

Chopped: Seeded and diced, these are ready to dump, liquid and all, into soups and sauces. Use them for bruschetta or guacamole, or sprinkle them into omelettes. Brand to brand, the taste doesn’t differ much from that of whole tomatoes, but Stoll doesn’t like their machine-chopped look. “The uniformity bothers me,” he says.

Sauce: The name suggests it would work well as a pasta topper, but tomato sauce is more like thick tomato juice. The fruit has been cooked down and sometimes flavored with garlic, onion powder, and other seasonings. Canned sauce tends to taste the least fresh of all tomato varieties, though it works fine in heavily seasoned dishes, such as chilies, creoles, and curries.

Paste: Made of tomatoes that have been cooked down until little liquid remains, this thick concentrate can add a kick to any dish. And it will never make a dish watery. Scoop any leftover paste into an airtight container, then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over it to seal in the flavor. When you use it, either pour off the oil or stir it in.

Puree: These tomatoes have been seeded, pulverized, and thoroughly strained. The result looks like a rich, red tomato milk shake. Slightly thicker than tomato sauce and smoother than crushed, puree makes a good base for a quick pizza sauce. Just add fresh garlic and herbs, such as basil and oregano.

<3 kt


Tapas Week pt 2

As promised heres a few other tapas recipes sure to make for a delicious meal or party!

Spicy Crispy Fried Oysters


  • 24 Oysters
  • 2 cups cornmeal flour
  • 1 cup either spelt or white flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • chili pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • canola or vegetable oil.
  • aioli (recipe to follow)
  • green onions

Pop the oysters out of their shell and give both them and the shell a quick rinse.  Keep only the bottom half of the shell.  If you have never shucked oysters, its very easy, <a href=””>heres a step by step guide</a> that explains it better than I could.

In a bowl mix the two flours together.  Add all the different seasonings until it reaches a spice you like.  I prefer very spicy so I add lots of garlic, chili and cumin.

In a pan heat about 2-3 inches of oil. Thoroughly roll each oyster in the flour mixture until they are completely coated.  Drop a few at a time in the oil and cook a golden brown, flip and do the same with the other side.  Allow oil to drain on a  paper towel. Place the cooked oysters each on an oyster half and top with aioli and chopped green onion.

Lemon Aioli

To make an aioli basically whisk some mayonnaise with some lemon juice, lemon pepper and just a but of mustard.  You want it to be slightly more liquidy than the mayonaise is.  I like adding either crushed garlic or some capers, but you can experiment and add different spices to see what you like!

Sun-dried Tomato and Shrimp Ceviche


  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes drained from oil or dry and re-hydrated in water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 10 roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lb of medium to small sized cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup diced sweet white onion
  • 1 cup diced cabbage
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • cilantro
  • salt and pepper

To make the roasted garlic drizzle whole garlic cloves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place them in a 450 degree oven and cook until they are soft and golden.  In a blender add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and sugar.  blend until all the tomatoes are thoroughly chopped up and liquid, add salt and pepper to taste.  Finely dice onions and cabbage and chop the cilantro.  If you like spicy add some finely diced jalepenos!  In a bow  mix the sun-dried tomato mixture and add the shrimp, cabbage, onions and juice of the oranges, lemons, and limes.  Mix it all together thoroughly and add the cilantro.

Serve with chips or use it on mini sope shells as a great appetizer! I recently served this at a ladies night and it was quite well recieved.  Its nice because its a pretty easy ceviche to make and with the precooked shrimp you dont have to worry about raw fish or anything ;)

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