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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Leftover night and a tomato paste tip

I cooked the shepard's pie in a 13" x 8" baking dish, so it made much more than one meal for a family of three. I think the leftovers could have very easily been frozen; I'm not a huge fan of leftover night and probably should employ the freezing technique. But regardless, it was shepard's pie, part deux tonight.

I did want to share a tip about tomato paste. Unless I'm making tomato sauce, I never use a whole can of tomato paste. Do you? So I used to put saran wrap and an elastic band over the can, stick it in the freezer, and watch it move further and further into the recesses of the shelf. Then, weeks later, there was a tomato science experiment. I also toyed with the squeezable tubes. But still, the paste needs to be used up within a week or two, and I don't know about you, but it seems I don't choose recipes that call for enough tomato paste in a week to use it all.

So I began employing this method: flash freezing tablespoons, then transferring the frozen dollops to a freezer bag. The method is simple. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper. Dollop tablespoon-ish sized mounds onto the wax paper and freeze the tomato paste until it's set. Then you can transfer the frozen dollops to a freezer bag and they won't stick together in an unbreakable lump. The tomato paste is then good for a long time. And you can just use as much as you need without worrying about fuzzy stuff in your fridge!

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