tomato confit

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tomato confit

Why is that when the temperature and humidity rises, I get the urge to cook and bake. I hate the heat; somehow standing over a hot stove or canning pots of boiling water makes it better.

So, last week’s heat brings me to tomato confit - tomatoes cooked in fat. Simple enough, but the results are amazing. I googled a bunch of tomato confit recipes. Some of them were kind of putsy, blanching the tomatoes first, deseeding the tomatoes. Me, I don’t care so much about it. I want to keep this as simple as possible. Why do tomatoes need to be deseeded? I have not gotten a good answer from everyone I’ve asked. It is a texture thing? Or a visual thing? Do the seeds react with the heat and become toxic?

I got some ripe tomatoes, a good handful of thyme, rosemary and basil from the garden. Turned the oven to 200°. In a sided jelly roll pan, I poured a some olive oil, sprinkled some kosher salt and pepper. Washed and chopped the herbs, sprinkled them into the oil. sliced a couple of garlic cloves, added them to the herb and oil mess in the jelly roll pan. Added a pinch of sugar. Cut the tomatoes into 1 inch chunks. The tomatoes went into the pan, cut side down. Put it all in the preheated oven turned on the oven fan. After an hour, I stirred the tomatoes. Every half hour after that, I opened the oven to let moisture escape. The tomatoes collapse and start to dehydrate. Juice from the tomatoes mingle with the herbs and olive oil. The color of the tomatoes deepen. About two and a half hours later, I pull them out of the oven. And when they are cooled, I jar them up and stick it in the fridge. The confit can last about 2 weeks in the fridge. I’m trying to freeze some, but am a little concerned that the tomatoes will totally disintegrate, which would be ok for sauces.

My house smells so good.


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