Kitchen Tips from Chef Bob

Hello  everybody!  Welcome to the first of I hope many tips, tricks and suggestions used by professional cooks and chefs throughout the culinary industry.

Todays tip is one everybody has made, even me!  It’s all about the infamous hiding tomato paste.  All of you at one time or another have made recipes that call for one or two tablespoons of tomato paste.  The leftovers usually end up in the fridge, with the intent of you using it later that week.  However, ‘later that week’ never seems to come around, and the lowly half or two-thirds can of paste continues to get pushed around in the fridge until the next time you are looking for something else, or spring cleaning.  I’ve done it, so have you, BUT!  There are ways to prevent this from happening.  In this article I’ll tell you some of the ways to prevent this ever again including my favorite.

The first way, and probably ezest, is to empty the leftover paste on to a small sheet pan in one tablespoon measures, freeze and place in a zip lock storage bag.  Then you have premeasured amounts ready for soups, stews and sauces.

The second method, which is basically the same as the first is using an old plastic ice-cube tray, spray lightly with Pam(i use the olive oil flavor here) and fill each cube with the tomato paste.  It’s about the same one tablespoon.  Again, remove from the tray when frozen and place in the zip lock bags.

The third method, which I like if you are going to use it, but not for a couple of weeks is putting the left over paste in a small jar with a tight-fitting screw on lid.  This will keep the paste fresh for about two weeks.

The fourth method is the most expensive, but also the easiest to do.  Buy the tomato past in a tube!  That’s right, you can get at your local grocers, or on-line.  This is the method I use, It has an unopened shelf life of up to two years, and is double concentrated, no muss, no fuss, use what you need, pop the rest in the fridge till you need it again.  This is my favorite

Image

I’ve used it for about ten years, and they have 8 or 9 different flavors, including garlic, roasted tomato, spicy tomato, anchovy, and others.

That’s it for todays tip, stay tuned for more tips, tricks and  suggestions from me, Chef Bob

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