Get Pasted! - What's Cooking? Blog at - 294486

What's Cooking?

Get Pasted! 
Jan. 15, 2013 8:01 pm 
Updated: Jan. 17, 2013 7:28 am
You know those recipes that call for only 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste that leave you with half a can or more (depending on the size of the can) of unused paste?  I found a fabulous solution!  Freeze up premeasured tablespoons!  To do so, I take a sheet of plastic wrap and cut it up into smaller squares big enough to hold a tablespoon of the paste and then I pull together all four corners to lift the paste lump and place into an empty ice cube tray.  Depending on the size of the can of paste, I may have six or more of these lumps as sometimes I'll do varying sizes of teaspoons or tablespoons (I don't measure them out exactly, either, because with cooking, measurements never need to be exact and that would just be too messy).  I don't expect the lumps to fit in the tray, its purpose is to just hold the lumps while they freeze.  Once the can is empty, I place the ice tray into the freezer for a few hours.  Once ready,  I pull out each frozen lump from the tray and dump them into a ziplock bag.  Sometimes I'll keep them in the plastic wrap that I twist close, other times, I'll just dump the frozen lumps directly into the bag and discard the plastic wrap.  So, next time I'm cooking and I need a teaspoon or tablespoon of paste, I just go into the freezer and grab a lump and toss it into the pot of whatever I'm cooking.  Someone asked me why I don't just use the paste from the tubes, but my answer was simply, "Because I don't buy them.  They're too expensive."  Initially scooping out the lumps into the cut plastic wrap might seem like an awful lot of trouble after you've just dealt with making dinner or something, but trust me when you use one of them the first time and you realize you didn't have to open the can or measure anything or throw out any unused paste---you'll thank me!  And while a small 6 oz. can of paste might only cost $.50-.75, if you use paste often, but end up throwing away most of the can, it adds up quickly.  Comparatively, the paste in a tube is sold in smaller amounts and a 4.50 oz. tube of paste is $3.49 which you'll end up going through much quicker and pay far more for, so while it may be convenient initially, for an extra ten minutes of time, you'll get far more product for your money.  Why waste the paste and the dollars?
Jan. 16, 2013 3:14 am
Great idea! I'll keep this in mind. Thank you for sharing this.
Jan. 16, 2013 3:43 am
I used to make Spanish Rice that used 4 oz of tomato sauce. I always poured the other half of a can in a ziplock bag, and threw it in the freezer door for next time.
Jan. 16, 2013 11:44 am
Ever since i can remember the left over tomatoe paste went ilttle baggies in the freezer.Very handy.
Jan. 16, 2013 1:41 pm
Good idea...I hate when I waste unused portions.
Jan. 16, 2013 1:49 pm
Great idea! Amazing people are too busy (lazy? affluent?) to freeze the left-overs.
Jan. 17, 2013 7:28 am
Huh. Well that's a good idea. I find that paste will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge anyway.
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Swedish meatballs, roasted leg of lamb and herb stuffed mushrooms on Christmas; Stuffed zucchini, green beans and a zucchini and egg sidedish on my son's birthday.
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