Tomato puree-what to do with it?

rathdrumidOctober 21, 2010

I have so many tomatoes I'd like to process quickly this weekend. I have the Kitchenaid vegetable strainer attachment.

what do I use puree in? i think i will freeze it, but it is too thick for pasta sauce. how to turn puree into something yummy later?

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readinglady(z8 OR)

If it's too thick for pasta sauce you can always "re-constitute" with water, stock or wine. The medium can vary with the pasta, i.e. seafood stock or white wine with shrimp and tomato.

Frozen in small cubes it can be used to enrich liquid bases in stews and soups.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:35PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

"Too thick for pasta sauce"? That is hard to picture or imagine. ;) Especially since sauce is cooked down so much and normally quite thick.

But even if it is as thick as tomato paste it can still be used for anything you'd normally use tomatoes in. Reconstituted as Carol says it can make great soup or a thin sauce, in stews, or flavoring for a pot of chili.

It is also great added to meatloaf, as a pizza topping, used in crockpot recipes, mixed with mayo or mustard for a sandwich or burger topping, mixed with onions and diced hot peppers and melted cheese for a great cip dip, and even turned into ketchup or chili sauce by adding brown sugar, dried spices, and vinegar.

Honestly, the uses are unlimited. ;)


    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:10PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I agree with Dave. Hard to imagine "too thick for pasta" sauce. I like thick!

Good suggestions.
Tomato sauce is one of the few items that are easily thickened by evaporation or thinned with liquid depending on the use/preference without losing the great flavors and texture.

I've got 7 gallon bags of tomatoes in the freezer (so far) to become sauce this weekend. Yummy!

Enjoy your puree.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 2:20PM
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Ok, you guys are so creative. so a litle more advice, please?

if i puree the tomatoes using my Kitchen Aid Veggie strainer, should I cook it at all? add other yummy ingredients? I think I will freeze it. Would additions be better added when I'm ready to use? freeze in freeze bags ok? I do have some left over pint jars I could freeze in if that is better. Do you use the 2 part lids?

thanks for all the help. I want to make good use of my tomatoes that way hubby will let me grow even more next year!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 12:29PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you are going to freeze them you can add anything you wish although waiting till ready to use gives the best fresh taste results as even freezing over time dilutes flavor.

If canning them, that isn't the case and canning plain is best as adding other ingredients can change the processing time and method required.

If you are freezing them then precooking isn't "required" but is recommended if only to reduce the bacterial count as well as to thicken to the desired sauce consistency. See link below.

Freezing in vacuum bags is fine or in regular approved plastic freezer containers. If you use jars then you have to leave expansion room in the jars of least 1-2" and you use 2 piece caps but only screwed on loosely until frozen to prevent jars from exploding.

But a question - why not cook it down into sauce - seasoned as you wish - so it is ready to use as it comes out of the freezer? Unless you are using strictly paste tomatoes and unless you want a really runny sauce, then I think you are going to find that the tomato puree is still quite watery after running them through the Kitchen Aid. At least that is most people's experience. Tomatoes contain a lot of water so normally, even with paste tomatoes, some cooking is required.

Just some thought to consider.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Freezing tomatoes

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 12:46PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I would cook it down plain for maximum versatility (excluding possibly some salt) then cool and freeze.

I don't like using jars, though on occasion I have. Because of their shapes they take up a lot of space in the freezer, and of course if the freezer gets crowded, it's easy to break one knocking it off the shelf.

I freeze in ziplock bags, carefully squeezing out air and laying them flat so they can be stacked once they're solid. Alternatively, I line something like a loaf or 8x8 pan with Saran, pour in the sauce, freeze it in a block and then "cut to size" (approximately 1 cup servings) and bag up or just bag up the block if I think I'll need a larger amount for pasta sauce.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 2:12PM
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