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Monday, 22 April 2013

DIY Sun Dried Tomatoes!

You may wonder am jobless at home and have all the time in the world to make DIY Garlic Powder and Sun dried tomatoes. Frankly, these ingredients are not easily available to me and somehow I find the whole drying process therapeutic. 

SUN DRIED TOMATOES are ripe tomatoes that are let to lose majority of its water content by drying them in the sun. They add a gourmet touch to a variety of recipes. You can use any type of tomatoes for this even the cherry types. You really need a large batch of tomatoes to make a small batch. So make as much a you want and store them in an airtight contain in the fridge or even in olive oil with fresh herbs. The final product will not be crisp but there will be no moisture. So wait patiently till all the moisture has dried up to avoid growth of bacteria. If they attract flies or insects, cover the tomatoes with a cheesecloth in such a way that there is proper ventilation.

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You Will Need:

Firm Tomatoes – As much as you want
Dried Basil (Optional)
Sea Salt

Direction:
  • If you are using cherry tomatoes, just cut them in half and you can leave the seeds in.
  • But if you are using the hybrid plum ones, half it and remove the membrane with the seeds. It make the drying process faster. But you can leave the seeds in if you wish to. Sprinkle little sea salt and dried basil.
  • Arrange skin side down on a large plate and place it directly on the sun. I made a very small batch.

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  • Bring them back to the house in the evening and let it dry further. You don’t want the night due or anything to spoil the batch. It may take anywhere from 4 days to a week to dry up completely depending on the weather. I live in a very sunny place, so this small batch took 3 days to dry out completely.
  • You can also do this in the oven. Place them in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let it dry out in a preheated oven at 140 degrees for 4 – 5 hours or more…
How to Use Sun – Dried Tomatoes?

If the dried tomatoes are not stored in oil, then you need to reconstitute them before use. So, just soak them in warm water for 30 mins until soft. Pat dry and use as directed in the recipe. Alternatively, you can also use wine or broth to reconstitute. To reconstitute in oil, cover the tomatoes with oil and leave it in fridge for 24 hrs. Don’t discard the oil once you are done with the tomatoes. The oil picks up all the wonderful flavours of the tomatoes, so do keep them for later use as salad dressing. Reconstitute only required number of dried tomatoes. Once reconstituted, use them within several days or pack in oil / Olive oil and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Sun dried tomatoes are so packed with concentrated flavour. So a little will go a long way.
Happy Cooking!

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