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Old 02-20-2005, 03:20 PM   #11
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Note: when I cooked the fra diavolo I let the pot simmer for about 15 minutes after cooking shrimp, onions, etc. I added the vodka near the beginning of the simmer process.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland
Okay I tried making my shrimp fra diavolo with vodka but I didnt taste anything different. Can someone explain what jenny is saying here:


Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema

Because you are using the alcohol for the purpose of bringing out the taste in tomatoes, it's better to add vodka to the tomatoes rather than the other way around. It doesnt make a lot of sense to evaporate part of the alcohol before adding the tomatoes. Do that while the vodka is doing it's magic on the tomatoes.
Now tell me what this means. add vodka to tomatoes not the other way around? what does that mean?

Do you mean to add it at the end of cooking because this about all I can figure when you say not to evaporate the alcohol before adding to tomatoes? Or do you mean to add it while the tomatoes are cooking?

I dunnno, please explain this.
Sorry to be confusing.

Since the only point of using the alcohol is to affect the tomatoes, you should put the tomatoes into the pan and then the vodka. Then simmer together. It doesn't make much sense to evaporate the alcohol before it can work it's magic by adding it to the pan first and simmering it alone.
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Old 02-22-2005, 05:58 PM   #13
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okay. Now THAT makes sense...

Can someone elaborate on what the different taste is like? Is it more tangy w/ the vodka? More aromatic? what?
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Old 02-22-2005, 06:51 PM   #14
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I would imagine that the 'maters would be more flavorful in general. Give it a shot and let us know what you think, JP! You might have a different experience that we're not aware of! :D
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:25 PM   #15
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I used the crappy canned, chopped up or diced up whatever tomatoes for the diavolo. The overall dish came out great w/ olives, capers, hot peppers etc. The tomato was so busy that I cant recall how much about the tomato sauce per se.

Also I used a little anchovies sauteed in butter/garlic in order to get the tomato sauce going. The anchovy brings out an authentic taste to me. I dunno if the anchovy would interfere with the vodka effect. I have seen recipes with both anchovy and vodka so not too worried but would like other comments.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:33 PM   #16
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jp - I know some would disagree but I think there is a time and place for canned tomatoes. And this time of year is the perfect reason. I have made fra diavolo before but I used white wine. I'll have to find my recipe and post it for you. Your dish sounds great - I bet the anchovies gave another flavor layer that was great!!!!
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:38 AM   #17
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Canned tomatoes can be excellent. During the winter they will mostly be your best choice depending on where you live. My only comment about them would be this...don't buy the diced or chopped canned tomatoes. Buy them whole. That way a lot less processing has gone into them. You can then chop or dice or do whatever you want to them.

I just used canned whole tomatoes in my Bolognese Sauce recipe and it turned out to be the best batch I ever made, aside from the batch in which every vegi came from my garden.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:06 AM   #18
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I guess I'm horrid, but I don't find vodka (and, yes, I've tried many brands) to have enough flavor to bother with it in cooked sauces (yes, maybe in a tomato salad). Guess I'm just not a super-taster, because the flavor just disappears to me.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:10 AM   #19
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The point of using vodka is that is has almost no flavor. You just use the vodka to bring out the alcohol soluble flavors in other foods (like tomatoes). These are flavors that you would not taste unless in the presence of alcohol. You could use something else like wine, but wine has so much flavor that depending on what you are making, the wine flavor could hide the alcohol soluble flavors you are trying to bring out. That is why vodka is such a good choice. Most vodkas have very little flavor themselves so you will really taste the flavors you are bringing out in the tomatoes.
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:13 AM   #20
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one of my favorite things to do in the summer is take a bunch of cherry or grape tomatoes, skin them and soak them overnight in vodka. then serve them with worcestershire sauce.
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