Tag Archives: confit

Glory

So last week I showed you how to preserve tomatoes in their own precious juices (okay, really, the precious juices of olives, but that’s not as dramatic.)

And now you get to see the wonder of what I did with them. You should go out and do it too. Right now, after you finish reading this post. Because the tomatoes aren’t going to be this good again. In fact, it’s mid-September. It might ALREADY BE TOO LATE. Hold onto this recipe though, and be ready for next year, because I promise that you won’t be disappointed. This is a tomato tarte tatin – an upside down fruit tart traditionally made with apples in which caramelize the fruit in sugar and butter. Barbara Lynch twists the concept into a savory dish using tomatoes – and what a dish it is!

So you’ve already made your tomatoes en confit.

DSC09760

Tomato confit.

Next, you’re going to caramelize some onions:

DSC09765

Onions pre-caramelization!

Those guys are just getting started. We’re going to really caramelize them. So that doesn’t mean throw them in a pan and blast them with high heat until they’re burnt and terrible.

DSC09766

Closer…

It means we will be patient. We will cook them slowly. Gently. And 45 minutes to an hour later, we will have the softest, sweetest, lightly browned onions imaginable.

DSC09768

Perfection!

Now you can either keep going, or save those for a day or two until you’re ready, because there’s a bit of work left.

Ready? Okay. Mix those onions up with some Dijon mustard and some basil – preferably basil from your garden – that you chopped up. Mix it good! Sadly, I seem to have neglected to photograph this, but it looks like you’d imagine.

Grab your tomatoes, some tart pans, and some frozen puff pastry. (I know, I know, but you won’t ALWAYS have the kind of time to make your own puff pastry, will you?)Use the tart pan to cut the appropriate sized puff pastry circles. Let that hang in the fridge while you work.

Then, take your little tart pans, and spread some honey on the bottom. Place your tomatoes in a layer skin-side down on the honey.
DSC09779

Top that with your onions.
DSC09780

Get out your puff pastry circles, and put them on top of it all. Whip up some egg and brush it on.

DSC09781

Now put your little pans on a bigger pan (because this WILL get messy). Bake it at 375°.
DSC09782

Give them a few minutes to rest and relax. But not too long, or they’ll stick! Run a knife along the edge and unmold. Admire the beauty.
DSC09783

Now you get to be artsy! Get some more basil leaves, and fry them for a few seconds on either side. Be careful, because they will spit a bit. Grab some marscarpone and just dab some in the middle of your tarts. Garnish with your fried basil leaves.

How’s that for glory? Serve them immediately, they deserve to be eaten hot. They will be sweet and savory, buttery and delicious, a perfect encapsulation of the end of summer.

DSC09784

Glorious!

If you would like a more precise recipe, you can buy Stir, or you can visit The Pêche, who have laid it out nicely.

Advertisements

An Abundance of Tomatoes

My dad grows a lot of tomatoes in his garden – both in quantity and variety. He and mom love a wide variety of heirlooms, but also grow some conventional tomatoes since the heirlooms don’t produce nearly as much fruit. They eat a LOT of tomatoes in the summer, in salads, scalloped, and just straight off the vine. Luckily for me, they still have enough to share, and a few weeks ago, they brought me these beauties:

Shiny

Home-grown tomatoes.

I was super excited, because as we all know, a tomato fresh from the garden is to a supermarket tomato as bacon is to a piece of cardboard. They are full of flavor – the very essence of summer. But! I was also worried, because it was a LOT of tomatoes, and they go bad so quickly, and Mr. Menace does not care for tomatoes in their un-sauced, un-ketchuped state. WHAT TO DO?

Then I remembered, vaguely, that Barbara Lynch’s Stir had a recipe that might do the trick – help me to extend the life of the tomatoes without completely removing the fresh sweetness of them.

People – you can confit tomatoes.

Okay, maybe this isn’t as exciting to you as it is to me, or maybe you don’t know what confit means. It’s often done to meat, specifically waterfowl in the French tradition, and usually the legs. You take your duck legs, you salt and season them, and you poach them in duck fat. This preserves them, and also makes them incredibly tender and delicious. Any non-waterfowl prepared this way (say, chicken legs in goose fat) would be properly called “en confit.”

You can also confit fruit, with sugar. Essentially it comes down to preserving your food WITH the essence of the food, right? So how do you confit a tomato?

With olive oil!

So fresh and so clean

Ready to go!

You core and de-seed all of your tomatoes:

THE SLAUGHTER

Tomato guts

Delicious

The tomatoes are ready to go!

Then cover them with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and some thyme (which was from my own garden!), and let them slowly cook in the oven:

The result is soft, incredibly flavorful tomatoes and some pretty tasty olive oil, as well! The best part is that they’ll keep for 5 days, far longer than the tomatoes will on the counter.

What can you then do with these products? I used the oil to cook up greens, flavor some quinoa, and over pasta. The tomatoes can be put in salads or a supremely tasty grilled cheese sandwich, but the confit recipe is actually part of a larger recipe in the book – tomato tarte tatin. I made those beauties too – so check out next week’s post to see how they came out!