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leftover tomato paste?

egbluesuede Aug 13, 2007 10:19 AM

Have you ever opened up a can of tomato paste so you can add like 1 TB to a recipe? Do you think I could freeze the rest for other recipes where I'm going to use another TB? I almost put some into ice cube trays this weekend to try and freeze 1 TB servings for later. Has anyone else tried something like this?

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  1. MMRuth Aug 13, 2007 10:20 AM

    You can definitely freeze it as you suggest, though I've come to prefer using the kind that comes in the tube - I think it has better flavor and you don't have the storage issue.

    1. jroxybabe19 Aug 13, 2007 10:20 AM

      I do that with pesto. Put it in ice cube trays, when it freezes put it in plastic bags. You can freeze tomato sauce so I am sure it would work with paste. Also, look for the paste in the squeeze tubes. Much more handy!

      1. byrd Aug 13, 2007 10:21 AM

        put it into a jar and put a layer of oil on top of it effectively not letting any air in, will last a long time in the fridge.

        1. e
          ebethsdad Aug 13, 2007 10:33 AM

          As an aside tomato paste in tubes is available. Squeeze out what you need, pop it in the fridge, and use the rest another day.

          1. LindaWhit Aug 13, 2007 11:45 AM

            I freeze it all the time in small 2 Tbsp. Tupperware mini-containers.

            1. j
              Janet from Richmond Aug 13, 2007 11:51 AM

              For me, I hate the hassle of freezing stuff and it rarely gets used. At 30-50 cents a can, I just ditch what is leftover if I don't plan to use it in the near future. Occasionally I'll buy the stuff in a tube if I can find it when I need it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Janet from Richmond
                l
                LePetitChefCanadien Oct 22, 2011 07:18 PM

                Isn't that a bit wasteful, though? I did that last time I bought the stuff, but I just opened a can today and I'm definitely going to freeze it.
                By the way, can you tell me where you can buy it for 50 cents a can? They charged me over twice that at Safeway...

                1. re: LePetitChefCanadien
                  m
                  magiesmom Oct 22, 2011 08:27 PM

                  that was 4 years ago!

                  1. re: magiesmom
                    j
                    Janet from Richmond Oct 24, 2011 06:24 AM

                    And now I buy it in the tube :-)

                  2. re: LePetitChefCanadien
                    pdxgastro Oct 23, 2011 01:16 AM

                    The price will not inflate that much in 4 years. Pls also note the 2 different countries involved. You can't expect Canada to support US prices. And look at the store.

                    LaPetit, you have to buy them when they're on sale and stock up. They last a long time.

                2. g
                  gourmanda Aug 13, 2007 11:55 AM

                  I absolutely freeze it...though I open both ends of the can and push the paste out (using the bottom lid) onto wax paper. Then wrap it up and freeze it. When you need to use it just take it out of the freeze, wait about 30 seconds and slice of what you need. Re-wrap and re-freeze. I'm sure you could do the ice cube tray trick as well. The tomato paste in tubes is convenient if you need a dollop, but not inexpensive if you need 2T or so. Even though the cans are inexpensive, I think it's shame to just throw out what you don't use right away..

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: gourmanda
                    r
                    roasted138 Aug 14, 2007 10:11 AM

                    I agree! I do the same thing, just with a little ziplock freezer bag. You can press it flat and it takes up next to no room. Whenever I need some I just break off a tablespoon sized piece. I think it's great, one can has last me for months!!

                    1. re: roasted138
                      g
                      gourmanda Aug 14, 2007 01:14 PM

                      You're right, I keep the roll in a ziploc too. Here's a question: when you put a ziplock bag (full of whatever) in the freezer, after first getting all of the air out, does your bag puff up w/ air of its own accord? Mine do and I don't know why. Mostly if I have just a little something in the bag, say frozen roasted garlic cloves or the above mentioned tomato paster, pesto cubes, etc.

                      1. re: gourmanda
                        r
                        roasted138 Aug 14, 2007 01:57 PM

                        Actually, no, that doesn't happen to me. It's really interesting though. It reminds me of how a bag of chips will puff up when you're on an airplane b/c of the pressure changes in the cabin. Could it be your freezer possesses such an ultra, super-suction that it's creating a small vacuum in your freezer?? I don't know the theory is sound, but the possiblity makes me smile!

                        1. re: roasted138
                          g
                          gourmanda Aug 15, 2007 01:31 PM

                          Well, if you could hear the strange noises that our refrigerator makes, you would think anything is possible. Honestly, it might very well be possesssed. And it's strange, too, bags that I have a lot of frozen apps in, or wrapped chicken breasts for example, those bags don't puff. Gremlins, perhaps. Thanks for the chuckle!

                        2. re: gourmanda
                          h
                          HillJ Aug 14, 2007 02:08 PM

                          gourmanda, using the cupcake tin method until the rounds are frozen, I use a piece of tin foil to protect the tin inbetween uses.

                          1. re: HillJ
                            g
                            gourmanda Aug 15, 2007 01:32 PM

                            Thanks, HillJ, a cupcake tin would solve my puffy bag problem.

                    2. h
                      HillJ Aug 13, 2007 12:02 PM

                      I take a cupcake tin and place a dollop of tomato paste and 1 fresh basil leaf in each round. Freeze. Then I add the individual rounds to eggs, pasta, beef dishes..as I need to.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: HillJ
                        chef chicklet Aug 13, 2007 12:04 PM

                        Now that's a good idea! thanks HillJ

                        1. re: chef chicklet
                          h
                          HillJ Aug 14, 2007 10:08 AM

                          chef chicklet...I also use this method for pesto, roasted garlic, edible flowers soaked in white wine and citrus peels.

                      2. 4
                        4Snisl Aug 13, 2007 12:57 PM

                        I guess I'm just lazy because I don't want to clean up much or dig out frozen chunks from ice cube trays (for some reason, I can never pop out tomato paste cubes like ice cubes :)....

                        What I do is line the tray from my toaster oven with wax paper. Spoon out 1 TB dollops, spaced so they're not touching, on the pan. Lay on an even surface in the freezer. When it's frozen, peel off the wax paper and store the individual portions in a freezer bag. Only thing that needs to be washed is the tablespoon and the original can for recycling. :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: 4Snisl
                          pdxgastro Oct 23, 2011 01:18 AM

                          I found that anything flat will work, even a piece of cardboard from a box I'm about to recycle. I like this method a lot better than the ice trays, cuz you KNOW they will get stained red from the tomato paste! :o)

                        2. j
                          jetlag Aug 13, 2007 01:21 PM

                          Freeze or pour some olive oil into can to cover and put it in the refrigerator. It will keep a week or more no problem.

                          1. rcallner Aug 13, 2007 05:11 PM

                            I'm with gourmanda. 2 T seems to be my basic tom paste requirement for dishes, so I just freeze that portion in tin foil and thereafter in a freezer bag. Thaws for cooking in no time flat and you don't have to put an ice cube tray through the indignity....

                            1. egbluesuede Aug 14, 2007 05:48 AM

                              OK so I'm not crazy. I thought something like this would work. thanks for all the tips. I don't mind the expense of a few small cans of tomato paste, but it sucks when you need a small portion in a recipe and have to run all the way to the store to get it. I'll look for the tubes next time as well.

                              1. C. Hamster Aug 14, 2007 08:43 AM

                                I freeze it in a flat rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick and just break off how much I need and rewrap.

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