For such a popular recipe, Easy Tomato Refrigerator Jam should get the nod as the “Recipe of the Month,” but it doesn’t get much attention in the recipe circles. Why? Because it is simple and the mere fact that it is “simple” doesn’t lend itself to being an “easy” recipe! But let’s talk about why it isn’t quite as easy as it seems:
It really begins with a great ingredient list: tomatoes! There is no other significant ingredient. And this is one of the real draw backs of most recipes. They can be complex. The chef has to think up dozens of ways to cook them and incorporate them into the final dish.
In this case, the chef has to use many of those ways. He has to measure the tomatoes, peel them and then slice them (not a simple task). He has to toss in other ingredients and adjust his cooking method to make sure that all the pieces cook at the same time. And, he probably has to add water or milk to help thicken the sauce. Not a pretty picture, but it is a common image for an amateur chef.
The good news is that you don’t have to be such a perfectionist to try and do something like this. You just have to take your time and try to simplify things as much as possible. I have two easy tomato recipes that I am very proud of. One of them is the Chicken Zest Italian Style Crab Boil, which is a wonderful meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes.
The other is the creamy Parmesan Mozzarella Alfredo Sauce that I made with leftover pasta from yesterday’s dinner. It was delicious! If you can get past the fact that it took awhile to prepare and bake these two meals, you will love them!
Now, let’s talk about tomato pasteurizing. Tomato pasteurizing should take about three hours. This is the first step, before anything else. Do not skip this step! There are many other things you need to do, but this step alone is essential if you want to create some of the best tomato sauces and tomato-based foods you can.
Get All the Ingredients For Your Recipe: Here is where you really screw up if you skip this step. Even if you cut your ingredients according to what the jar or container tells you to, if they are too cold when you start to mix them together, then you will ruin the dish. You don’t want to spend the next three hours trying to thaw them! Make sure you get all the ingredients to the same temperature when mixing them together.
Bring it To Life: Finally, bring the entire thing to life by cooking it. Try cooking the recipe a few minutes longer than the directions say it should be cooked for. Some people like to let theirs cook overnight so that it can be a little fresher the next morning. Just remember, if you follow these easy tomato recipes the right way, you can end up with delicious foods that are both good for you and taste amazing!
Don’t Cook it Too Long: No matter how long you let the tomato mixture marinate, you shouldn’t actually make it very long at all. If it says to make eight hours, make sure you actually make eight hours! You don’t want your tomato-based dish to have a longer cooling period than it needs to be in order to be as tasty as it can be. Tomato paste will go soft if you leave it out for too long. You can speed things along by putting them in the refrigerator for an hour or two beforehand.
Stir It Up: It’s important that you stir your easy tomato recipes often. Even though you might think that it will take more time, it will actually end up taking less time if you stir your ingredients and turn your blender on low. Tomato paste will tend to go soupy if you leave it out for too long. It will also become less smooth if you stir it too often.
Thinners: There are a few different thinners you can use when you’re making this kind of recipe. Of course, anything made with eggs is going to need eggs. However, if you’re going for something like zucchini that you wouldn’t ordinarily use for something like a tomato, then using a low-fat milk-based mayonnaise is a good way to go. Another good option is a cream-based spreadable butter. Just make sure it’s not oil-based if you don’t want your tomato paste to stick to the pan.
Use the Right Equipment: You don’t need to have all sorts of fancy, expensive kitchen gadgets in order to make some great tasting easy tomato recipes. All you really need are some tomatoes, some water, some liquid food color (you’ll find this at the grocery store), some sugar, and some spices (or just salt and pepper, depending on your preferences). All you have to do next is get out your jar of preserved tomato pulp and mix it all up. Easy!