These soft, pliant slices of summer sunshine are ready when you are. The flavor is concentrated allowing them to add a new dimension to the taste of the dishes they are added to. They may be used in any recipe calling for fresh tomato.
A general rule of thumb in using this dried product is a ratio of 1 part dried tomato to 2 parts water for every 3 parts fresh tomato called for in the recipe. Example: For 1 cup fresh tomato, use 1/3 cup dried, sliced tomato soaked in 2/3 cup water. Include any soaking liquid in the recipe. It holds a lot of flavor.
You may use water, wine or broth to reconstitute these tomatoes. Use right away after rehydration; but, if you must wait until a later time, store them, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Store the dried tomatoes in your pantry away from light and heat in a tightly-sealed container or the bag they came in. Depending on the climatic conditions of your area, shelf life will be anywhere from 1-2 years.
*Drop into simmering soups or stews; or add to braised meat dishes.
*Stir a few into beans during the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
*Reconstitute in hot water and add to stir-fry.
*After a brief soak in warm water; drain and marinate in a vinaigrette for 20 minutes. Include this preparation on an antipasto tray.
RECIPE: Savory Tomato Jam
½ ounce DRIED TOMATO SLICES, chopped and reconstituted in half a cup warm water for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water for thinning the jam, if needed.
1 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup pecans, chopped
¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon WHITE PEPPER, FINE-GRIND
½ teaspoon SEL GRIS GREY SEA SALT
Place all in an electric blender or food processor. Blend until combined and of a spreadable consistency. Add small amounts of the tomato soaking water at any time to achieve the consistency desired.
*Use as a bread spread.
*Toss with pasta.
*Top steaks and chops right before serving.
* Mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread .
*Stir into sour cream or yogurt for a tangy dip.
* Include some chopped olives during processing.
*Stir into soups and stews to punch up the flavor.
RECIPE: Tomato-stuffed Chicken Roll
15 slices DRIED TOMATOES
½ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon HERBES DE PROVENCE
½ cup Blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about half an inch thick all over
6 long slices smoked bacon
1 10-ounce can chicken consommé
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Simmer the tomatoes and HERBES DE PROVENCE in the wine for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the wine.
Add the cheese to the tomatoes, mixing well. Spread about 1 tablespoon of this mixture per chicken breast. Roll up the breasts jelly-roll style; then wrap one slice bacon around each and secure with toothpicks.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken rolls on all sides until the bacon is fairly crisp.
Pour in the consommé and vinegar into the pan; cover and cook the chicken rolls over medium heat for 35 minutes.
Remove from the pan and allow to rest 20 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and slice into 1-inch thick medallions. Plate and spoon sauce of the slices.
Yield: 6 servings
*Serve with rice or pasta.