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Better-Than-Canned Stewed Tomatoes Are All About Freshness

Stewed tomatoes in white bowl
Stewed tomatoes in white bowl - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

The most dangerous job on the planet has got to be, not smoke jumper or airline pilot, but rather, county fair judge in the canned food division. The reason, in one bone-chilling word, is botulism. To elaborate, home-canned foods -- tomatoes included -- are among the leading causes of foodborne botulism, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Far less risky than canned tomatoes, however, are freshly stewed ones. As developer Patterson Watkins says of her Better-Than-Canned Stewed Tomatoes recipe, "This process of stewing tomatoes is a great way to preserve your tomatoes without all the fuss of canning and processing."

Okay, but what if you typically outsource tomato canning to the professionals at Hunts and Del Monte? Even then, you may want to try homemade stewed tomatoes as a change. "Making your own stewed tomatoes," says Watkins, "is a surefire way to ensure you're getting only the finest ingredients." One more reason you might want to consider trying this recipe is that it will allow you to use up an end-of-summer surplus from your vegetable garden (or perhaps your neighbor's, if they're getting desperate to rid themselves of an overabundance of tomatoes).

Read more: Mistakes You're Making With Your Corn On The Cob

How To Use Stewed Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes in water
Roma tomatoes in water - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Watkins says she enjoys using these stewed tomatoes in country captain chicken, and we just so happen to have a recipe for a slow cooker version of same if you'd like to try it. She also suggests that they could be used in chicken cacciatore (yep, we've got a slow cooker recipe for this, too), though you could use them for other types of pasta sauces as long as you don't mind the addition of celery and bell pepper.

Another use for stewed tomatoes is to accompany a main meal. While you could serve them on their own, one Southern classic combines this vegetable with stale bread and cheese to make it into a casserole, while Watkins suggests that "stewed tomatoes with cheesy grits or buttery rice [makes] for a super simple side dish." You can also thin out the tomatoes with some beef, chicken, or vegetable stock, then puree them to make a quick tomato soup to accompany your grilled cheese sandwich.

Read the original article on Mashed.