I am starting a new feature on my Chef On Call blog called tips. As a personal chef and an all around lover of food and cooking, I am frequently asked by clients and friends about how to cook certain items, various ingredients and food related products. Case in point, a couple of weeks ago during oral surgery, my dentist started asking me what pots he and his wife should buy since they were in the market for a new set. Needless to say, it is hard to express an opinion while two people have their hands in your mouth. (For the record, I recommended All-Clad if he wanted to make a serious investment, which is what I use at home or Cuisinart, which is what I use for my personal chef business. I bought them because they were reasonably priced but they have held up to some heavy duty use and mistreatment.)
Today's tip is a relatively unknown product called tomato powder. I found it online at The Spice House and now use it regularly. It is great in recipes that call for a small amount of tomato sauce where you don't want to open a can or you don't have any on hand, but it is also great in marinades and rubs to boost the rich tomato flavor. The bright red color looks great, too.