Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fire roasted tomatoes and easy tomato paste

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasting vegetables and fruit is a great way to bring out their naturally rich flavors.  Roasting tomatoes before adding them to a sauce or hot dish will intensify the flavors and take that sauce to a new level.  Here are three ways to roast tomatoes, and how to make a tomato paste from the roasted tomatoes. 




1 - Grill them...  Place the tomato right on the grate or in a grill basket.  When the tomato skin gets slightly charred flip the tomato to the opposite side and repeat.  This method will give you the most flavor and will add a slight smokiness to the tomato.

2 - Broil them ...  Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a cast iron pan or heavy cookie sheet.  Place the pan directly under the broiling flames or heating element.  Keep a close eye on them because this will only take a few minutes.  When the first side is slightly charred flip the tomatoes and repeat.

3- Sear them ... heat a heavy duty skillet or dutch oven to medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot add medium sized tomatoes.  Toss the tomatoes around with a spoon until desired char level is reached on the tomato's skin.

Quick and easy fire roasted tomato paste
This paste uses the sear method mentioned above.  
  • After the tomatoes have reached the desired char level turn down the heat to medium.  
  • Use a potato masher to smash each tomato.  
  • Add a pinch of salt and stir the tomatoes until the desired consistency is reached.  
  • Add 1/8 cup of cold water and stir for a few seconds - then remove the pan from the heat.  Stir the paste to incorporate all the "flavor" on the bottom of the pan.  
This paste can be used right away, canned or stored in the freezer (ice cube trays are a great way to freeze them).

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