By Emily Paster
Because I love canning, people often ask me if I can my own tomatoes. The answer is that I do not. Canning tomatoes makes sense if you grow your own tomatoes and end up with more than you can use right away. But personally I am not interested in buying tomatoes to can because it's costly to do so, and the truth is: there are many great varieties of canned tomatoes already on the supermarket shelves. One of my favorite brands of canned tomatoes is Red Gold, a family-owned, Midwestern company that makes fresh, great-tasting tomato products.
Canned tomatoes are a pantry staple in my house for making sauces, stews, chili and more. However, I recently learned a new way to use canned tomatoes: to spice up my favorite burger recipe. Yes, if you want to make your burgers extra-juicy and flavorful, try mixing a 14 oz. can of well-drained diced tomatoes in with your ground meat. This trick works especially well for chicken and turkey burgers, which have a tendency to be dry.
Red Gold has several varieties of flavored diced tomatoes that, when combined with your favorite ground meat, will open up a new world of burger possibilities. For example, how about a Caribbean Chicken Burger made with Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice and Cilantro? Or a Spicy Tomato Burger made with ground beef and Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles? After my family's recent trip to New Mexico, I am excited to try anything with green chiles in it!
The other night I tried Red Gold's recipe for an Italian Turkey Burger made with Red Gold Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano. We really try to limit our consumption of red meat for health and environmental reasons, so I rely on ground turkey a lot to make burgers, meatballs and other kid favorites. I loved how the tomatoes in this recipe made the burger tender and flavorful — unlike the many dry, tasteless turkey burgers I have had in the past. With some Italian cheese — like Fontina — peppery arugula, and a little mayo, this is a turkey burger that will win over even the most ardent hamburger lover.
One tip: it is important to drain the tomatoes well, or your burger will be too moist and will fall apart. Also, this recipe calls for 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, but feel free to add more if your burgers aren't holding together.
To celebrate the summer grilling season, Red Gold is having a fun contest on Facebook: the Red Gold Summer Grillin' Party. Now through August 30, Red Gold is giving away a "Summertime Tomatoes All Year Long" apron every week and one grand prize winner will receive a Big Green Egg grill — a $1000 value! You can enter to win on Facebook and you receive additional entries for every friend that your refer. You will also find recipe videos and summer grilling tips from Red Gold. To follow the conversation on Twitter, follow Red Gold and use the hash tag #RGparty. So join the Summer Grillin' Party with Red Gold today and maybe you will be the lucky winner.
Full disclosure time: This post is sponsored by Red Gold. I received a sampler kit of Red Gold products free of charge to facilitate this review and am being compensated for my work. As always, all opinions expressed herein are my own.