Fall in Love with Tomato Pudding

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Here is my family’s absolutely hands down favorite side dish and a recipe you will just fall in love with. Actually it is Fall and does finally feel like it. The cool weather inspired a double request last night for Tomato Pudding. That is such an easy request to honor I think I could do it in my sleep. It requires five ingredients not counting salt and pepper, no chopping, one dish, and maybe two minutes to assemble. Then it just goes in the oven and makes your house smell divine. You probably have all the ingredients on hand! Vintage cookbooks sometimes have a version of this dish, and it occasionally shows up in Southern restaurant’s meat and three combinations, but I’m going out on a limb here and saying I’ve tweaked the recipe for Tomato Pudding to make it the best ever. The secret is good canned tomatoes and both brown and white sugar. It’s a sweet savory dish, in other words, the best of both worlds. Tomato Pudding is just incredible hot and bubbling right out of the oven, but it’s still pretty lovely if it cools to room temperature. Older recipes don’t use brown sugar and often call for vinegar – maybe because canned tomatoes weren’t quite as good as they are now. I’ve tried to mess with it and add other ingredients, but this recipe is just right – the Goldilocks of Tomato Pudding. We like it with almost anything, grilled or roasted chicken, pork, or beef, seafood or even as part of a vegetarian meal. It pairs well with other veggies like potatoes, beans, cooked greens - you name it. It may sound simple but the complex flavors suggest you have spent lots of time and effort on this dish. And it’s fun to make, you can use your hands to smush up the tomatoes or be prissy and use a spoon, then you stir in sugar and tear up the bread and throw it on top. You don’t even need a knife to make this dish. In fact it would definitely be fun to put this together with aspiring young cooks. I’m excited for you to give this recipe a try, and pretty sure it will be an immediate favorite. Enjoy!

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Tomato Pudding

Ingredients

28 oz can whole tomatoes (get the best you can find)

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

Salt and pepper – about a tsp of each

5 slices white bread

6 Tbsp melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour un-drained tomatoes in a large bowl and break up using your hands or a spoon.

Stir in both sugars and salt and pepper.

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Tear bread into pieces and put on top of tomatoes.

Pour melted butter over the bread.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

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Pour tomato and bread mixture in baking dish and bake for about an hour until bubbly and top is slightly brown.

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Serve immediately – but also good at room temperature. Hope for leftovers

© Deer One Publishing 2017