Like all great chefs, they learn some of the best secrets from their grandmother (or, nonna). Plated Chef Giuseppe is so no exception. Lucky for us, he decided to share of a few of his favorite tomato hacks so we can enjoy extra juicy tomatoes well into winter. psst, one of them is homemade ketchup.
Grated frozen tomatoes
Just when you thought you knew everything about kitchen tools and how to use them, Chef Giuseppe comes in to give us another cooking gem. Picked up too many tomatoes at the farmer’s market this weekend? This method will be your go-to.
Using the large holes on a box grater, grate tomatoes (skin on) into a bowl. Divide grated tomatoes into plastic freezer bags. Ideally, portion them out in accordance with recipes you might use them in. (It’s not super fun hacking into a gallon size bag of frozen tomatoes!) Label and freeze.
So, why grate the tomatoes? Simply put, it’s kind of annoying to peel them. Scoring, blanching, juggling molten hot toms… nope, we’re not having any of that!
And how should you use your grated toms? Basically, any time you find yourself reaching for a can of tomatoes for a recipe! If you need an example, here are a few:
- Fresh tomato sauce
- Salsa or pico de gallo
About 2 quarts ripe tomatoes
2 cups red wine vinegar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large pan simmer tomatoes, vinegar, dark brown sugar, salt + pepper until thick jammy tomatoes are achieved, 25-30 minutes.
Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer. (To get that super smooth Heinz consistency, strain 2 or more times)
Stir in Worcestershire sauce with strained tomatoes until well combined. Chill and enjoy!
((a note from Giuseppe: this is a very lengthy process.))
3 quarts of tomatoes
Preheat oven to the minimum (usually 200°F). Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Rinse tomatoes very well, discarding any stems.
Once water comes to a boil, carefully add tomatoes and cook until skins are well cracked and tomatoes are bursting. Drain tomatoes.
Pass the tomatoes through a food mill. Discard the seeds and peels as they build up. Lightly season the puree and stir to combine (this helps to expel moisture and acts as a preserving agent). Place the tomato puree on a baking sheets in a .5 inch layer and transfer to the oven.
Every 30–45 minutes stir the tomatoes so it dehydrates evenly. Continue doing this until a paste is created.
Transfer to clean glass jars and refrigerate.
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