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Frozen Tomatoes

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 8/6/2010, 1:11 pm

Well, the raw taste was a guess. I think tomatoes are one of the few veggies that you can freeze without boiling first and like you said - no waste! And easy saving. I would be interested if there was a difference in taste between the skin removing boiled and no boiling at all.

I once made a spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes, that I cooked for some time, and it was awful. That is where I get my prejudice.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 8/7/2010, 9:14 am

@Chopper wrote:I once made a spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes, that I cooked for some time, and it was awful. That is where I get my prejudice.

How'd you make it, and how long did you cook it for? If I'm starting with fresh tomatoes, I start them under the broiler.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 8/7/2010, 12:34 pm

@Megan wrote:
@Chopper wrote:I once made a spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes, that I cooked for some time, and it was awful. That is where I get my prejudice.

How'd you make it, and how long did you cook it for? If I'm starting with fresh tomatoes, I start them under the broiler.

That is what I am saying. Fresh, uncooked tomatoes just boiled are not my cup of tea. I think the broiling makes them more flavorful and rich. I cooked for what I thought was quite awhile, but just on a stovetop - and it was all fresh - no tomato sauce or tomato paste added. So, yuk. I vote for broiling all tomatoes that are ultimately going to be used for cooking.

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"raw" tomatoes

Post  ander217 on 8/8/2010, 3:30 pm

This discussion is interesting to me. I've never heard of anyone broiling or roasting their tomatoes before adding them to tomato sauces. When they are canned they are just basically boiled at a high temperature. Commercial canneries do not roast or broil them, to my knowledge.

Is it possible your "fresh" tomato sauce needed more salt, Chopper? I've found that it seems to take a lot of salt to make tomatoes taste right. Perhaps if they are roasted or broiled first, I could get by with using less salt.

When I save the fresh tomato juice from tomatoes it has a kind of a wonky flavor, but I add some salt and it is then okay - not as good to me as canned juice, but drinkable.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 8/8/2010, 4:11 pm

I don't know where I got the idea to broil my tomatoes, but it works. What I do is blanch and peel them, season well, olive oil, then slow cook them (along with onions and whatever else I want, maybe carrots, onions, peppers) for a long time. Then drain the juices and broil, flipping, to get a little char on them. Dice up, add in the drained liquid, simmer and add whatever else you need to get it to a sauce of a consistency and taste that you like.


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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 8/8/2010, 4:22 pm

@ander217 wrote: Commercial canneries do not roast or broil them, to my knowledge.

Ander, I don't know but I doubt they broil them either. However I am sure they use higher heat and possibly do it longer than I was able and by the time we get our hands on it it has had time to mellow. Believe me, salt would not have helped. My daughter said to me yesterday. "Remember when you made that tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes and it was so awful?". LOL.

I have added fresh tomatoes and cooked them for other dishes but there was often canned sauce involved or other ingredients. This was an attempt at a spaghetti sauce with only fresh tomatoes and it will not be repeated.

I find the roasting mellows them out just fine and the sauce is ready for whatever recipe you normally use. I don't go to nearly the trouble Megan does, though. Just as the recipe says: cut into quarters with skins and all - add kosher salt, minimally or some basil and olive oil too. Bake 400 for an hour, then all goes into the blender to be used or frozen. I have now made about 6 batches and love it!

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Wyldflower on 8/8/2010, 8:35 pm

I wonder if the problem with the fresh tomato sauce is due to water content. I would think that 'eating tomatoes' have a good bit more water than 'paste tomatoes'. My guess is that you'd have to cook the heck out of fresh tomatoes to reduce to sauce consistency.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Megan on 8/8/2010, 8:42 pm

@Wyldflower wrote:I wonder if the problem with the fresh tomato sauce is due to water content. I would think that 'eating tomatoes' have a good bit more water than 'paste tomatoes'. My guess is that you'd have to cook the heck out of fresh tomatoes to reduce to sauce consistency.

That's why I roasted them. Smile

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 8/8/2010, 10:54 pm

@Wyldflower wrote:I wonder if the problem with the fresh tomato sauce is due to water content. I would think that 'eating tomatoes' have a good bit more water than 'paste tomatoes'. My guess is that you'd have to cook the heck out of fresh tomatoes to reduce to sauce consistency.

It wasn't the consistency. It was the taste.

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freezing tomatoes

Post  ander217 on 8/10/2010, 7:43 am

Hmmm, maybe it was the kind of tomatoes you used? As Wyldwood said, paste tomatoes make thicker sauces, although I use whatever I have on hand. I don't know. I can't figure this one out. I've made spaghetti sauce and chili using fresh tomatoes lots of times and I've never had a batch I thought tasted terrible. (Maybe I just have a bad palate?)

If memory serves correctly, commercial canning heats food to 250 degrees while home pressure canners reach about 240, but I don't think water bath canners reach higher temperatures than regular boiling for long periods. Someone please correct me if my memory is faulty on this one.

I'll keep freezing tomatoes my easy way - slip the skins, core, dice, bag, and freeze. However, I do plan to try roasting some just to see if there's an appreciable difference.

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possible problem?

Post  ander217 on 8/10/2010, 7:53 am

I googled making tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes and a couple of sites recommended straining the seeds first because some varieties have bitter seeds. Is it possible that tomato seeds made your sauce unpalatable?

Most of the sites stressed using only the best quality tomatoes with no bruising or soft spots. I assume yours were top quality, so if it wasn't the seeds that caused the problem I'm at a loss to explain the problems with your fresh sauce.


I'm glad you found a way to freeze them anyway.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 8/10/2010, 12:25 pm

It was simply too fresh. It might have been useful for something, but not spaghetti sauce. Yuk. It had a taste that said it needed to be cooked a heck of a lot longer and not for another 30 minutes. Consistency was not the issue at all. Commercial canners cook to 250 which like you pointed out could be match by a pressure cooker. I obviously just did mine on a stove top. There was and is no fixing it and I will never do it again. LOL

Roast and freeze and use that is fine with me. Or of course there are those handy cans you find in that place where I go to buy my protein once a week.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  happyfrog on 9/12/2010, 7:57 am

i ended up just dicing up tomatoes - averaging about 2 tomatoes per bag (to get about 20 oz per bag) and squashing air out and freezing.

will let you know how that plays out come winter when i'm making all my winter dishes instead of buying cans of tomatoes. Smile

my husband and i sat together at the table and accomplished this. it was fun. (gotta find those quiet moments with three young children.)

my goal was to have 24 bags ultimately in freezer - as i usually buy 24 large cans of diced tomatoes every winter. we're well on our way to accomplishing that goal - only need 4 more bags. Smile and i can do that easily, just haven't had time - but i sure have the tomatoes. *grin*

bettyann
married 17 years I love you to the most amazing man, blessed with three awesome kids on earth. Smile

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Yay!

Post  ander217 on 9/12/2010, 9:03 am

Cheers for you, Happy Frog! cheers

(Your post probably made Boffer cry. Next year will be better, Boff.)

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  elliephant on 5/28/2011, 9:49 pm

I just made up a cookie sheet of Rio Grande paste tomatoes.

End result was a bit seedy, but wonderfully deep red and THICK. Delicious, too!

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/29/2011, 1:09 pm

For many years, our canned or frozen tomato sauce is a two-step process. First, the destemmed and cut at least in half tomatoes are put in the basket of a steamer-juicer
Heated on stovetop, and almost-clear juice drained off (saved for Kinda V-8 juice). The pulp left in the top basket is cooled a bit then run through a Squeezo, which strains out skin, seeds, and tough parts (if you add things like celery, onion, garlic).
The result is tomato sauce, ready for canning or freezing as is, or mixed with seasonings, etc. to make spaghetti sauce. Remember the almost-clear juice left from step 1? I add back a bit of tomato sauce, season it and can it as tomato juice. Most often when we make our tomato sauce, I also make at least one batch of mixed vegetable tomato sauce, using tomatoes, 1 large onion, at least 1 head fresh garlic, couple of large celery stalks, handful (or more) jalapeno peppers, handful of fresh parsley and a double handful of fresh basil. The result is delicious all by itself, but makes a superior spaghetti sauce in mid-winter. Caveat, the one time I added a couple of red beets to the mix it gave the sauce a peculiar red color. Tasted fine, just not the visual I wanted. Wink Happy canning! Nonna

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  elliephant on 5/29/2011, 2:02 pm

I tried to get my mom's old Squeezo when my dad retired and they moved across the country, but she had already gotten rid of it Sad Those things are $$! I think she got hers at a yard sale. We used to glean the fields and can 100+ quarts of spaghetti sauce each year.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/29/2011, 6:10 pm

Ellie, the above-noted Squeezo has been used almost every year for 28 years, and is still doing well. Let's hear it for all metal! I also use it to make seedless raspberry and blackberry jams--both big hits amongst family members with dentures or bridges.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 7/25/2011, 11:27 pm

@quiltbea wrote:Roasted Tomatoes:
by Melissa D'Arabian, Food Network

In a large bowl:
Add sliced half tomatoes (any variety). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, dried thyme.
Toss gently til covered with oil and seasonings.
Place halves on cookie sheet, skin-side down.
Place in preheated 275* oven for two hours.
After One hour, turn the tomatoes over.
Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Place into freezer bags.
Mark and date bags. Freeze.
These can be used in sauces, chili, soups, later.

You can also use these right away wherever you use tomatoes.

This looks good. I've got about 10 more pounds of various tomatoes to put up somehow tomorrow, so I think I'll try some this way.

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Frozen Tomatoes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 7/25/2011, 11:48 pm

Years ago, my mom had to leave home and travel to Boise, ID, to help her aunt recover from surgery. While she was gone, Dad began worrying about all the tomatoes coming on and what to do with them during Mom's absence. His solution: put them all in plastic bags and put them in the freezer. When she returned, Mom thought this solution might have ruined them, but she quickly learned, if you take out the tomatoes you need for a recipe and let them begin to thaw, you can cut an X on the bottom of the 'mater, hold it over the stew or whatever, squeeze gently and the meat will slip right out of the skin into the soup, stew, sauce. Toss the empty skin and proceed with your recipe. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  westie42 on 7/26/2011, 12:51 am

The roasted tom recipe looks real good, think I too will do some that way besides my somewhat similar “sun dried” in the dehydrator gig. Would it make sense to freeze those roasted toms separated on a tray first then combine in a bag making separating for use later a bit easier or is that not a problem?

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

Post  camprn on 7/26/2011, 1:00 am

@westie42 wrote:Would it make sense to freeze those roasted toms separated on a tray first then combine in a bag making separating for use later a bit easier or is that not a problem?
+1 What a Face , yes frozen separately makes it easier for use later.

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Re: Frozen Tomatoes

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