Yes, all cooking is science; whether you’re making waffles or a steak, you’re enacting small transformations on a series of ingredients in order to create a very new result. But rarely, it seems, are those scientific transformations as immediate as what happens when you add baking soda to your cream of tomato soup.
If you want to use cream for your tomato soup recipe instead of milk, however, you probably won’t need baking soda (or only a pinch of it at least). The fat in the cream helps protect the protein and keeps it from curdling.
You’ve probably heard that deep-frying is the absolute worst way to prepare anything ever, but a study published in Food Chemistry has found that it can actually add nutritional value to some vegetables.
Concerned about the amount of heat olive oil can tolerate (~400F)? Just fry below the smoking point. In Spain, they use pure olive oil for fries instead of extra virgin because you can crank it higher. When you fry at high temps, food absorbs less oil. But I have no problem getting my fries nearly confitted with olive oil. Might be a bit soggy, but make them homefries!
It starts the usual way sauces do—sauté onion and garlic, add some chile flakes, then booze, then tomatoes, but then it swerves off course. Here’s the secret to its success: You take this perfectly adequate sauce and roast it in the oven for an hour and a half.
I sometimes start my sauce by caramelizing my tomato paste in olive oil over the heat, then deglazing that with about 1/4 bottle of red wine. The sweet caramelized tomato paste/wine combo makes things really punchy in the end, even through a long simmer.
Do you shudder at the thought of making a fresh tomato sauce out of bland winter tomatoes? You should. Even at the absolute height of summer, it can be difficult to get a great tomato unless you grow it yourself, which leaves us with canned tomatoes. But what’s the best type to use? You’ll see five different versions at the supermarket…
Tomatoes were probably first domesticated in the Andean region of Peru and Ecuador. From there, cultivation spread to Mexico, where conquistadors found them, returning with them to Europe in the seventeenth century.
Modern supermarket tomatoes taste like wet paper towels, for the most part. Buyers (commercial buyers, not the end eaters) want hardiness over taste, so to get decent tomatoes you have to work at it a bit. Shippers, growers, and commercial buyers want durability. Retail buyers go for appearance (and eventually taste) but yeah – getting a good grocery store matter is tricky.
A peach is a fruit, whoever you are, and a carrot is definitely a vegetable. But in the Venn diagram relating these two produce categories, there’s a sizeable region of overlap. It results from the fact that “fruit” and “vegetable” are defined differently depending on whether you’re a gardener or a chef.
Dead center of the overlapping region sits the tomato. So, why is it a fruit, and why is it a vegetable?
GREAT! Now how do I get water to boil in 10 seconds? This works with tomatoes and potatoes, but you need to score them first.
I actually like peeling them by hand, nothing fancy. It leaves your fingers slightly sticky—a strange stickiness that adheres to the papery coating of garlic but not the clove itself. So if you sequence your cooking so prepping garlic comes right after peeling tomatillos, you’re golden.
Any true tomato fan knows that you do not put them in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures cause tomatoes to lose their flavor, which is why so many that arrive in your home from a store are already bland.
But new scientific research has found there might be an unbelievably easy fix: a quick dip in hot water before they are ever chilled.