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Finding Fire-Roasted Crushed Tomatoes

I am having trouble finding fire-roasted crushed tomatoes for a recipe. What can I substitute?

Oh boy, can we relate to that! Just the other day we were looking for some 4.36-ounce, malt-infused, wasabe-scented, sliced-on-the-bias, free-range, southern-Washington-state, line-caught, hand-massaged salmon fillets for a special recipe, and in the end, we just used salmon. We suggest you use crushed tomatoes. (It drives us crazy when recipe writers specify foods that are all but unobtainable — and act like it's the most reasonable little request in the world, and that your food won't be worth eating unless you kill yourself trying to do just what they say!)

You could also roast a few tomatoes in a pan on a grill, slip them out of their skins, and crush them yourself. Or try the following recipe from one of our favorite new cookbooks. If you're competent to follow a recipe that absolutely requires fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, you're certainly competent to roast a few tomatoes yourself.

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
From Not Afraid of Flavor: Recipes from Magnoila Grill, by Ben & Karen Barker

Preheat oven to 250F (120C). Cut tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil to coat, and place, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Roast for 1-1/2 hours, until the tomatoes are soft and have just begun to exude their juices. Cool, remove the skins, and pack into a container. These are delicious tossed with roasted or grilled vegetables, in soups, and with simple pastas and risottos. They keep for several days, refrigerated.

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