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Posted on 08 June 2012 by tomatocasual.com

Showing your Love with Love Apples

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

During Victorian times, tomatoes were referred to as “Love Apples.”

Why, I really do not know maybe it is due to some of the variety names or just the fact that they look like apples.

Regardless of the reason, tomatoes can be turned into your own love adornment for your love one with a little effort.

To begin this process, one must first get the perfect tomato. While I always like to buy in season and hyperlocally, I do consciously splurge during this season. Even though I am going outside my locality, I always look for organic tomatoes when possible.

These tomatoes must meet four criteria. They must not be Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 22 April 2012 by tomatocasual.com

Pasta with Tomato-Aglio-Olio Sauce

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By David Harbilas

I love dishes that make use of few ingredients, and aglio-olio, or garlic-oil sauce is a great example.

In its simplest form it is exactly as it says–garlic sauteed in oil and tossed with pasta.

My favorite version comes from Lydia Shire, who chooses to “roast” whole garlic cloves in a pan with olive oil, then puree the oil and garlic and toss the pasta with the puree.

This version is a derivation of that. Italians love the use of toasted bread crumbs with pasta in place of cheese, especially when serving fish. Here you can use either.

Serves 4

1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 20 April 2012 by tomatocasual.com

What Happened to Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

By David Harbilas

I feel like I’m too young to understand trends in cooking, and when I was a teenager my father used to say that sun-dried tomatoes were a thing of the past.

I can’t remember exactly the words he used, but there was no doubt that he doubted their lasting effect–even though he would occasionally buy them and cook with them.

Yet I feel like it influenced my opinion of them, even after I finally had the opportunity to try them for myself.

The sun-dried tomatoes of that time were almost always packed in olive oil and seemed to taste greatly of some unidentified spice.

I remember not liking them.

They had a leathery texture and flavor that seemed a combination of vinegar and oil, not unlike badly produced and packaged artichokes. Yet it seems that the uses for and packaging of sun-dried tomatoes today have changed greatly, and while I doubt a renaissance is in their future it does seem like they deserve a degree of attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 14 February 2012 by tomatocasual.com

Clean Eating with Overripe Tomatoes

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day I was at the gym and discovered a simple idea.

This idea was so simple I thought, “Why has know one thought of that before?”

The concept was clean eating.

This idea did not include preservatives, fast food or food artificially colored but instead consisted of home cooking. As I continued to look through the magazine, I thought about a dish my husband made with water from the “love apple.”

This water was ruby red in color and was Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 12 September 2010 by tomatocasual.com

Tomato Wine Makes Me Feel So Fine

tomato_wineBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

This year’s tomato crop has been huge.

I have canned everything you can think of when it comes to tomatoes.

I have canned juice, sauces, and stewed tomatoes along with ketchup and salsa.

I have also dried and frozen tomatoes. Cooking this year has centered on tomatoes for every meal. Tomatoes for breakfast either on the side or juice tomatoes and for lunch either sliced or just placed in salads.

Dinner has seen many grilled, stuffed, and kebob tomatoes as sides and main dishes. My family’s snacks have also centered on tomatoes either just eaten out of the Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 14 August 2010 by tomatocasual.com

How and Why to Peel Tomatoes

peeled-tomatoBy David Harbilas

There are certain tomato tasks that are no-brainers.

Slicing and dicing seem fairly self-explanatory.

Pureeing requires a little more effort and technology.

But peeling tomatoes leaves some people scratching their heads.

Tomatoes are obviously not like carrots or apples, and unless you are faced with a very hard, inedible tomato chances are a vegetable peeler isn’t going to do you very much good.

Luckily, there is a method to peeling tomatoes that is so easy that it makes peeling carrots or apples look like hard labor. Yet it still requires a little time and effort, and that begs another question: why bother?

Tomatoes are so fascinating, and one of the most interesting things about them is their multi-faceted nature. There is a bit of bitterness in the skin, a bit of sweetness, sometimes, in the seeds and water, and a little of both in the flesh. The flesh is the most poetic of parts of the tomato, as without the skin or seed it cannot contain any of the tomato’s mystery or joy. In the next post we’ll look at a use for peeled tomatoes.

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