Sunday, January 16, 2011

Semi Homemade Crushed/Diced Tomato

Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee is far from my favorite show on Food Network (and I live for Food Network) but I am so sure that she could rock her show if she demo-ed this wonderful tomato sauce-like dish.
You probably know, if you frequent this blog, that I love to cook with tomatoes. I love making bruschetta, roasted tomatoes, and caprese but making my own flavorful diced or crushed tomatoes to use in stews and pasta dishes can be time consuming and a bit costly, given the price of fresh tomatoes here in Hawai'i.
When I went to Costco the other day I noticed how INEXPENSIVE a big can of tomatoes cost. You know the can I'm talking about...think cafeteria at school. I have NEVER purchased a big can. I have been known to use 6-7 cans of the same thing in a dish but never thought to get a big can. Until recently.
I checked out the price of the big can and at $2.85, way more cost effective.

As compared to the smaller cans:

The recipe is whatever you want it to be. I opened up the can (I actually did one can of diced tomatoes. Another time I used the crushed tomatoes. Both worked VERY well) and dumped it into the crockpot. On top of that I just added a whole onion, chopped, a bell pepper, whatever herbs I had growing in the garden (thyme, sage, oregano, a little cilantro), some pepper, a few pepper flakes and about 4 garlic cloves, chopped. I also add about half a stick of butter. It is the trick. Do not leave it out.
Just let this go for the day, pack it up into small containers and freeze or keep a couple in your fridge. I have used it for portuguese bean stew, regular stew, spaghetti. I'm telling you it makes all the difference in the world. It makes regular dishes SPARK! Try it.

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