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Stewed Tomatoes

When I was a kid, my already-thin mother was constantly on the Scarsdale diet. As a result, we always had plenty of protein bread (?), grapefruit and stewed tomoatoes. I don't even know if protein bread still exists, but I still love grapefruit and stewed tomoatoes. I have all sorts of things I do to doctor up cans of stewed tomoatoes. Usually adding an Italian or Mexican angle. I'm almost embarrassed to include recipes because my husband thinks it's totally bizarre but I find them incredibly versatile a tasty. Does anyone else ever eat stewed tomatoes and if so, how are you eating them?

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  1. It's been ages since I used stewed tomatoes in a recipe, but I have used them. Typically, I've used them in dishes with chicken quarters, some vegs, herbs, stock, etc., a stew-y kind of dish.

    1. omg, my mom canned tomatoes in the summer and invariably in the winter, a dish of stewed tomatoes accompanied dinner. I absolutely hated them, and now crave them. I put sauteed yellow squash slices in mine.

      1. So strange that you posted this since I just got home from a regular market because I was craving some "canned" stewed tomatos.
        I get two cans, add a can of salsa verde...put on med heat till it's simmering and crack 2 eggs to poach in the yummy, juicey, tomato-y goodness.
        I'm about to slice up some avocado and green onions and eat it all up...yum!

        I also:
        get 2 cans, a pack of frozen lima bean, a pack of frozen corn, and make a succotash-y type of thing that I also poach an aegg or two in....right when the eggs are just about getting to 1/2 set, I'll put some asparagus stalks on top and cover with a lid and remove from heat while I toast up some grainey-bready thingie, then serve it all up...sooo good!

        1. I’ve run across a couple of places here in NJ that serve mac and cheese topped with stewed tomatoes. I understand that it was a depression era dish and considered to be a comfort food to many. I’ve tried it and it’s a pretty good combination. I mean what’s not to like about tomatoes, cheese and macaroni? When you mix them together on your plate, the tomato juice thins out and flavors the cheese. I’m glad you brought this up. I was wondering what to have tonight. I think I have a can on the shelf and a box of Kraft original in the pantry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TomDel

            Well I'm glad I wasn't alone! I'll now admit I frequently add frozen corn and some kind of hot sauce, heat it up and sprinkle with sharp cheddar! Or leftover grilled vegetables which are usually zucchini and mushrooms. I've also added them to cheese omelets.

          2. I use them when making chili. As kids we sometimes ate them heated up with crushed saltines sprinkled over. Please, share some of your recipes!

            1 Reply
            1. re: fern

              I often use them instead of diced tomatoes in dishes... I crush them with my hands. My husband doesn't like "chunky" tomatoes in a sauce, but he doesn't seem to mind the stewed! I agree there's something comforting about them.

            2. This is a recipe my grandmother said hobos who rode around the country on trains used to make. I tried it and it's really good. Basically, you throw a couple of cans of stewed tomatoes in a medium size pan. Add several pats of butter (or oleo) and sugar to taste. Let it cook several minutes. Then tear up large pieces of buns and/or bread and add to the stewed tomato mixture. Let cook over medium/low heat until the bread absorbs some of the liquid and gets large and fluffy. Not anything you would serve to guests, but it is delicious!

              1 Reply
              1. re: MaggieandSmudge

                My mom, who was from Kansas, used to make this dish a lot when I was growing up. She'd serve it as a vegetable to go w/hot dogs and mac-n-cheese.

              2. i use them often in spaghetti sauce. i have also used them to make tomato gravy to serve on white rice, or white bread. (old south depression food, i guess).

                1. Oooh! You've dislodged a childhood memory and here it comes...! When I was a kid, a family friend made the most fantastic stewed tomatoes with pieces of bread in them, but the bread wouldn't just slush away. It stayed together and even through it was a wet all the way through, it was still quite chewy and the whole dish tasted sooooo good! I just Googled stewed tomatoes to see if I could find anything that sounds even close, but nothing. there was a recipe with fresh home made croutons served on top, but this was bread stewed in with the tomatoes. I don't know if anyone makes bread that holds together like that any more. Wish I had some...!

                  1. I LOVE stewed tomatoes. A guilty pleasure of mine is buying the "italian" stewed tomatoes and eating them as is. They are great in spaghetti sauce, sauteed with yellow squash, and coarsely chopped and added to meatloaf, both inside the loaf, and over the top as part of the glaze.
                    My favorite dish utilizing stewed tomatoes is swiss steak. My Mom used to make it often for dinner, and now that I am out on my own, I make it when I am in need of comfort food. In my house, swiss steak is always accompanied by mashed potatoes which also get the very tomatoe-y swiss steak gravy treatment.

                    1. OH YES!!! Heated, with salt and pepper, and a big glob of butter...and they have to be Del Monte or Contadina...not Hunts! I've also broken an egg in...here's to today's lunch!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: crosby_p

                        crosby, don't you think hunt's products are always too sweet?

                        1. re: alkapal

                          YES! Especially the ketchup...
                          And I didn't have my feast yesterday, so dumped a can into a container to bring to work today...and left it home!!!!!!!!

                      2. my favorite pantry meal! first, i brown some ground beef, drain, then add two cans of stewed tomatoes and a can of drained cannelini beans. i add some oregano and salt and pepper, let it cook down a bit. then serve it over rice....mmmmmm! i'm totally making that tonight.

                        1. Oh My Goodness....Haven't thought about Stewed Tomatoes for ages (leiterally)!! They are so good and go with just about anything....

                          Brings back childhood memories! Is anyone here old enough to remember Horn & Hardarts?? (now I am *really* dating myself !) My Mom and I would go into the city on shopping trips, and always, a special treat was lunch at H & H. My favorite was always fish cakes with spaghetti and stewed tomatoes.

                          Am going to look up a recipe and make some (for sure) this week-end !!! Thanks for the reminder !!!