Monday, August 27, 2012

RECIPE: Corn and Cherry Tomato Tart


Verrill's Corn and Tomato Tart
Courtesy of Ellie Klepacki Cookbook with slight modification

1/2 chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 T olive oil
4 ears of corn, steamed with kernels cut off
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baked pie crust
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 T fresh thyme or tarragon
3 scallions, chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream

Heat to 375. In a medium sauce-pan over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil and garlic after two minutes. Cook until onions are translucent. Add corn kernels and cook about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put half of the corn mixture into Baked Pie Crust. Layer grated cheese evenly on top. Add remaining corn mixture. Scatter cherry tomatoes, scallions and herbs on top. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and cream; pour egg mixture over tart. Bake 30 minutes until tart is golden brown. Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Baked Piecrust
This recipe is for a 9x10" pie pan (or use a tart pan)

3/4 C flour
3 T unsalted butter 
3 T lard
1/4 tsp salt
2 T cold water

Heat oven to 375. In a food processor, pulse together flour, butter and salt until mixture resembles corn kernels. Add water & pulse just until the mixture forms a ball. Roll out dough and place in pie pan. Cover with parchment paper and a handful of dried beans or pie weights. Blind bake 15 minutes. Let crust cool, remove beans/weights, add filling. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tomato Time: Roasted Cherry Tomatoes


Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
While you sleep.....

This method of cooking tomatoes will result in something similar to sun dried tomatoes except more lush, liquid and fresh. The tomatoes can be served alone as an appetizer, they can be part of a green or grain salad, they can be served as a side dish or on home made pizza with fresh ricotta. For later use, fill a small jar with oven-roasted tomatoes and add more olive oil as well as herbs and garlic as desired.  Place in fridge. This recipe is courtesy of Chef Donna, diva of lush, liquid and fresh.

Equipment

parchment paper
baking sheets

Ingredients

4- quarts cherry tomatoes, any kind
olive oil
sea salt, peper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425

Halve cherry tomatoes and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle liberally with olive oil, sea salt and pepper
Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow tomatoes and allow to continue cooking while you sleep. 

DO NOT OPEN OVEN UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING. 

Remove and serve warm or place in jars with olive oil and herbs and refrigerate, or freeze, for later use.



RECIPE: Canned Plum Tomatoes


RECIPE: Canned Plum Tomatoes



Putting food by is the art of preserving the freshness of summer. Flavor as well as nutrition are benefits of taking the time to can summer food. 

According to the USDA, vegetables handled properly and canned promptly after harvest can be more nutritious than fresh produce sold in local stores.

Sure it can take a little bit of time to do this but look at it this way, what else can you do to get local tomatoes in winter?  Um...
RECIPE: Canned Plum Tomatoes: Yield: 1 dozen quarts. Time: 3 to 4 hours.

EQUIPMENT
12- 1-quart Ball Jars with lids and bands, cleaned and warm
1 canner (21-quart) with canning rack
1 set canning tongs 
1 canning funnel 
1 small saucepan for lid sterilization
1 stockpot for scalding tomatoes
1 large bowl or cooler for ice bath
1 small set of tongs for removing lids from saucepan
1 plastic spatula to remove air bubbles
1 cutting board
1 small paring knife
Clean Dish Rags

INGREDIENTS
36 lbs tomatoes, about 6 tomatoes per jar
24- tablespoons bottled lemon juice or 5% acidity vinegar or 6 teaspoons of citric acid   
12- teaspoons salt 

DIRECTIONS

Create this assembly line in your kitchen:

1)    Fill your canner ¾ full of water. Bring to a simmer, put the lid on and keep on a back burner until ready for use.
2)    Fill a stockpot with water to scald tomatoes in batches. Bring to a strong simmer.
3)    Fill a small saucepan half way with water and keep water almost to a boil.
4)    Wash tomatoes in batches and set aside for scalding
5)    Prepare ice bath for scalded tomatoes by filling cooler or bowl with water and ice.
6)    Place cutting board next to ice bath for skinning and coring tomatoes.
7)    Next to that, have a bowl ready for the skins and cores and line up 6 jars and bands.
8)    Place lids with rubber lining in sauce pan to sterilize.
9)    At the end of the line, have lemon juice, (or 5% acidity vinegar) salt, measuring spoons and dishrags ready.

Wash all of the plum tomatoes in cold water. In batches, place in boiling water to scald. When splits appear in skin, after around 3 minutes, remove several tomatoes at a time with a slotted spoon or small colander and place in the ice bath.

When the tomatoes are cool enough to touch, remove skins and cores with a paring knife. Try to keep them intact, if possible. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or vinegar or citric acid) and one teaspoon of salt to each jar. Using the funnel, fill each jar with tomato flesh only, leaving about 1” of headroom in the top of the jar.  

Use rubber spatula to remove air bubbles in mixture by sliding it around the edges of the jar. Wipe the neck of the jar clean with a dishtowel. Use a small set of tongs to remove a lid from the saucepan. Place lid on top of jar with a tap of the tongs and screw the band around it, “finger tight,” but not too tight. That will make it possible to allow air to escape during processing. The goal in processing is to eliminate all air to prevent contamination.

Bring water in canner up to a strong simmer. When all of the jars in the canning rack are filled with tomatoes and the lids are screwed on, place entire rack in water, turn heat up to high and process for approximately 45 minutes. Jars should be fully submerged with 2 to 3 inches of water above the jars. Add boiling water to bath if necessary.

When the jars have been processed in boiling water for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.

Using jar tongs, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.

Remove each jar with tongs and place upside down on dishtowel. Repeat this process until all of the tomatoes have been processed. Leave jars undisturbed for 24 hours. You will hear a popping sound when the seal is made.

To check to see if a seal has been created in the jar, press on center of cooled lid. If jar is sealed, the lid will NOT flex up or down. If it does flex up or down, refrigerate and use within 2 weeks. Store sealed jars in cool, dark place for up to one year.

Congratulations! You have just put canned tomatoes. Enjoy this summer’s bounty all year long. See www.valleylocavore.com for additional tomato recipes.