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Tomato Paste

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've rarely used tomato paste, however, a few people here have mentioned using it, so maybe it's worth a try. What I hated about using tomato paste is that usually only a small amount is needed and the rest just goes bad in the can. I've tried freezing it, but somehow made a mess of it <shrug>. Is there some good way to store and use the stuff after the can has been opened? Does it come in a tube like anchovy paste?

Thanks for any help ...
post #2 of 18
Yes, you can buy it in a tube. You can even buy "sun dried tomato paste" in a tube. The sun dried actually cooks a little bit faster. I forget the brand, but there's a picture of the sun on the tube. As with all tomato pastes it's very important to "get the raw off it." Otherwise, tomato paste can be pretty obnoxious.

Other than that slight difference, I haven't noticed any big difference in the quality of tomato paste from brand to brand -- at least not for the purposes you seem to be talking about. That is, adding a little taste, color and structure -- rather than forming the body of a dish or an important element, the way Luc H talked about making pizza sauce.

BDL
post #3 of 18
Been there, done that. :lol: I often use only half a can, and so have the rest left to store until I need it again.

If you have part of a can left, transfer it to the smallest possible tightly covered container for refrigeration and/or freezing. I would never leave it in the can, as the acid can eat into the metal. (And definitely not cover the container with uncoated metal or foil.)

I've had good luck transferring the paste to a small glass jar and pouring a thin layer of olive oil on top to seal it for the fridge. But if I'm storing it for more than a few days, I freeze it.

Some people freeze it in ice cube trays; I don't. It's easy enough to cut into a frozen block if it's a fairly shallow layer, especially if you let it thaw slightly.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #4 of 18
Here's an easy tip.
After you open a fresh can and use what's necessary, put the whole can in the freezer. When frozen through (usually after an hour), run the sides of the can under hot water, then cut the bottom lid of the can off. Push the whole frozen tube out of the can and onto a piece of wax paper or parchment (plastic wrap and foil transfer an odd taste to the paste.) Next roll it up, twist the ends closed and toss it back in the freezer.
At this point, it's easy to pull out the frozen tube, slice off what you need and store the rest in the freezer again.
Works great.

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #5 of 18
Since most recipes call for a tablespoon (or maybe 2), I often pre-portion in 1 Tablespoon (no, I don't measure--just eyeball it) little blobs, freeze until solid, and then keep all the blobs in a freezer bag. When needed, I just pull out 1 or 2 and get on with the recipe:lips:
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
That's a clever idea .... tks!
post #7 of 18
Everything the others have said. :)
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good ideas, gang. Much appreciated.
post #9 of 18
Since tomato paste in a tube is a foreign concept here I ordered a case of 24 from Amazon grocery. Shared with friends and neighbors. Amazon is a semi reasonable source for some impossible to find ingredients if you live in culinary wasteland like I do :lol:
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Poor baby :lol:

Fortunately I don't have your problem. I saw some organic, free range, true sun dried tomato paste yesterday in three varieties.
post #11 of 18
After opening small cans, take out what is left put in a plastic throw away container and cover with water. Water keeps out air and it should last 2 or 3 weeks at about 38 degrees. Why throwaway plastic? because you will never get out the tomato color
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for jumping in, Ed. I don't use plastic containers for food, and certainly not disposable containers. What I've been using for small storage jobs like this has been what are called French working glasses made by Luminarc. They come in three sizes, have snug-fitting lids, and can be used not only for storage but for drinking glasses as well. They're inexpensive, it takes a lot to break one, and they don't stain :smiles:

I bought a bunch in all three sizes years ago and am very happy with them. It seems the price has gone up a bit, although internet prices are often higher than in-store prices. I got mine at Sur La Table. When I bought them they were about $1.00 each and caps were three for $1.00.

Luminarc Classics

Working Glass Sets - Sur La Table.

post #13 of 18
I have some Rubbermaid-type containers that I use only for tomato products. That way, I don't have to worry about flavor transfer, plus I don't have to throw the plastic away:)
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #14 of 18
I feel like the Philistine here, but I keep a couple tubes of Amore in the fridge for those need-1-tablespoon jobs. A 6-oz. tube goes pretty quick.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Don't feel like a Philistine. It's a great idea. I started looking around for such a product and found quite a few on the market. Will definitely try one or two.
post #16 of 18
Amore is what I use the most of. But when I need a bunch then I grab a can from the pantry. And freeze leftovers if any.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #17 of 18
Ditto for me. I often adjust my recipes to use a full can or only half. The rest I freeze in 2 large ice cubes in a special large tray. When it is time to use, it melts in minutes in a hot sauce. I freeze many things in ice cubes like broth, minced ginger, minced basil... you get the picture.

(I see BDL still has a hard time getting over my pizza sauce recipe....hehe)

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #18 of 18
Free-range tomatoes--they are allowed to walk around and eat the wild foods?

Just being silly, no duh. Little baggies in the freezer work too.
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