Chef's Choice 60 Days of Holiday Edition: Canned Tomatoes

Dec, 11 2020


Chef's Choice 60 Days of Holiday Edition: Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

When grocery shopping, I always walk down the canned vegetable aisle to see which canned tomatoes are on sale. Not only is my pantry filled with various canned tomatoes (Whole, Diced, Sauce, Stewed), I've had to store some in our laundry room cupboards because I literally ran out of room in the kitchen. They're one of my favorite quick go-to's for weeknight meals and have proven to be the most versatile in my laundry room. Er, I mean, pantry. Enjoy!



Serves 2-4

Lately, I have been enamored with Middle Eastern food. I had no idea what this dish was a short while ago. This is a recipe I have taken from one of my favorite restaurants, Kismet. I enjoyed this for a late lunch on my first visit to the restaurant. I quickly found out that it is a perfect dish for any time of the day. I also use it in a bunch of other meals as you'll see in my cook's notes below.


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo or pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon finely diced serrano chili -optional
  • ½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • ½ medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ green bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 15oz can diced or stewed tomato
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro leaves (garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves (garnish)


  1. Heat oil in a medium sautee (or fry) pan (one with a lid) over medium heat. Add cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and paprika and toast until fragrant, about thirty seconds.
  2. Add onion and saute until they start to brown, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and sautee for 30 seconds, being careful not to burn it. *Add the optional serrano chilies.
  3. Add tomato paste, working it into the onion mixture.
  4. Add the bell peppers and saute for another 5 minutes, until they're soft.
  5. Add the diced tomato and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Allow the tomato liquid to reduce and tomato mixture to thicken, about ten minutes, stirring often.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Turn heat up to medium-high. Make four indentations in the tomato mixture. Crack your eggs and drop each one into the wells you made. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 5 minutes. If you like your eggs cooked more, let them cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  8. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve immediately with favorite toasted bread


Chef's Notes:

Try these serving suggestions for alternative entree ideas: 

  • For a beautiful chicken dish, brown chicken thighs or chicken breasts in a separate pan. Add the chicken, skin side up, to the tomato mixture. Finish cooking in a preheated 350 degree over for 15-25 minutes or, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees. Serve over rice.
  • Add your favorite ground meat (beef, pork, turkey) to the sauce and until meat is done to create a middle Eastern "Bolognese". Combine with your favorite pasta.
  • Spoon the sauce over your favorite grilled meat
  • Simmer firm tofu and garbanzo beans for 20 minutes for a wonderful vegetarian meal served over rice or quinoa. Garnish with Greek yogurt and extra herbs.
  • Blend the tomato mixture and let cool. Serve as a dip for pita chips.

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