Monday, September 28, 2009

Oops, I did it again! Oven Cured Tomatoes

I have a confession. Again. Oh yes, my peeps, we’ve been down this road before. Here goes ...

(Insert a deep breathe here) I made an entire oven tray’s worth of Oven Cured Tomatoes and I .... I ... ate them. Right. Off. The. Tray. I've done this before. Oh super, I'm a serial cured tomato stealer.

Why do I do this? Why? I’m a responsible person. I strive for good manners, healthy living, exercising good judgement, etc. So what is it about these blasted oven cured tomatoes that causes me to completely loose control.

Well, *sigh*, it’s simple. They are heavenly. Way, way, WAY better than store bought sun dried tomatoes. Someday, I vow, in my lifetime, I will make these and not devour them straight from the oven.

For those of you who have mastered your self control far better than I, let me assure you that these are super easy to make. One caution, though. They take hours to cure. Some folks like to put them in the oven before going to bed at night, but I’m not fly with the idea of having something cooking, albeit at a low temp, in the oven whilst I sleep. I just pop them in the oven first thing in the morning, and let them do their thing for about 7 hours.

Ideally, these should be made with roma tomatoes. Romas are a meaty variety, and dehydrate to a lovely, chewy, tangy texture. Today, I wanted to use up the last of my tomato garden bounty which was just regular ole toms.I sliced them up into medium thin wedges, slathered them with high quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled them with sea salt, onion powder, garlic salt, and black pepper. I don’t add herbs to mine so that I can use them in various recipes. Use them, that is, if they could ever make it to the storage jar.Spread the oiled up ruby gems on a rimmed baking sheet and pop them into a preheated 400 degree oven. Immediately, turn the oven down to 200 degrees and leave them alone for 6-8 hours. Today’s batch took 7 hours.

One side note, let’s say you want to make these but about half way through the curing process, your aunt mabel calls to remind you that you promised to bring her dinner tonight. No worries. Just pull these babies out of the oven, combine with some pasta and herbs, top with grated cheese and you're good to go.Here’s what they look like at the half way mark. Lovely. Come to mama. Even half way done, they would make an awesome, awesome roasted tomato sauce.

That said, if aunt mabel does not call, let them cure the full amount and you will have the most delectable, addictive cured tomatoes ever. EVER. Oh, and obviously, these are gluten free.Just look at this perfection. Here, here ... just try one. You’ll be hooked. Forever. I wonder if this was how it was for Adam with Eve in the Garden. Perhaps it wasn't an apple afterall ... perhaps it was a cured tomato. They are both red, you know. And lots of stuff gets lost in translation. *sigh* I'm in big trouble now.

On a different and less blasphemous note, here are some pics of my boy. He has no trouble refraining from eating the oven cured toms. In fact, he won’t touch them. He grew this big on meat and potatoes, baby. And corn. The boy loves his corn.

Anyway ... my young fella played in a soccer tournament this past weekend. It was a soccer extravaganza on Saturday and Sunday. Our weather was gorgeous both days; in fact, we are all a little sun kissed after being out and about at the games.Can you see the outline of magnificent Mt. Hood in the background? I just had to throw in this shot so you all could take in the spendor of mother nature's Mt. Hood and the adorableness of my mountain of a boy. It seems really strange to not see snow on the mountain. Every summer, there is less and less. However, the rainy season is supposed to return this week which means rain here in the valley and snow up at the mountain. With luck, this time next week, Mt. Hood will be covered with snow.Whew, it was hot that afternoon. Lordy, when did this kid grow up? Isn’t he my little fella that used to fall asleep on my shoulder? Those days are long gone, but fresh in my memory. This is game 2 on Saturday. A real nail biter, it ended in a tie. By the way, Saturday marked my 47th birthday! Happy birthday to me!

24 comments:

Noodlegirl said...

The tomatoes look so delicious

Great pics by the way

Mickle in NZ said...

Belated Happy Birthday - I hope your family spoilt you all day.

Ooo - those tomatoes look good. And that's a good looking son you have too (still growing I guess)

care and huggles, Michelle and Zebbycat

Manggy said...

Happy birthday Paula! I hope you guys celebrated with ice cream or something :) I am dreaming of those tomatoes on a bed of pasta with a light sprinkling of cheese and black pepper... :)

Chris said...

Oh my, I thought I was the only person who could down a tray of oven cured tomatoes. It is not my fault mind you that they jump into my mouth right from the oven :)

They are awesome in recipes but more likely to be eaten by me like candy. My husband can't figure out what it is I like about them.

Sparow said...

Happy birthday!

Those tomatoes look terrific.

How amazing to be able to have Mt. Hood as a soccer photo background :-)
Gorgeous.

Cathy said...

These tomatoes do indeed look heavenly. And I'm going to use Romas also. And I like your suggestion to let them roast overnight.

Happy Birthday, Paula. I hopep you had a wonderful weekend.

Lisa said...

Hope you had a great birthday. Nice pictures. I am bookmarking to make these. Have never tried to make my own before.

prairierunner said...

They look so good I might have eaten the whole tray too! I'll have to try this, they look like they'd be a handy thing to have around:)

Dawn said...

Hey girl! I love love love dried or roasted tomatoes. Oh that flavor is so concentrated.
Happy Birthday sweetheart!

Peter M said...

Happy B-day! Slow-roasted tomatoes are a fave of mine - when I want to coax all the flavour I can from a winter tomato.

Marjie said...

I knew your birthday was last weekend! Did the kids make you those cookies? Glad your boy has fun at soccer; I sigh every time I look at his counterpart here. I had to giggle when he and I went to pick up Mark at a birthday party, and one of Ryan's friends was there, also picking up his younger brother. The friend wanted to know who I was; Ryan responded "My mother," and the other kid said, "I know you said you're taller than her, but that's ridiculous!"

I never got any tomatoes this year, so I can't oven dry them. Sad, because yours are so pretty!

Pam said...

I really need to try making oven cured tomatoes...I would eat the whole tray too.

My son starts soccer today - he's 4. He's really excited.

Grace said...

happy belated birthday, paula! shame on you, trying to sneak it in there. i hope you were properly pampered. :)
i roast tomatoes on a weekly basis--it truly can't be beaten.

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy belated b-day! The tomatoes were just a late present.

ISadora tommorow!!! :)

Cheryl said...

I adore oven cured maters, my mouth is watering just looking at those, YUM! Sweet looking kiddo BTW! And happy birthday, finally someone older than Me! Dont hit me please :)

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i know what you mean about eating baked veges straight off the tray - this is what i usually do with peppers...

children grow fast, but my kids are still shorter than me, so i havent quite noticed it yet!

happy birthday to you too!

noble pig said...

Hilarious, I'd eat them all too! And I hope your Birthday was grand!!

Pam said...

Hope you had a Happy Birthday!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

I would love to work at Disney's creative writing dept. I could cause so much chaos--let the Princess visit the Lion King, Toy Story all up in Milan...

I did not know there were matching thermoses. I must find them.

Robynn's Ravings said...

Be still my heart. I have never seen this done and I will be doing this after my visit to the Farmers' Market Saturday. Paula, you make THE best food and hey! I MISS you! Was it something I SAID or DIDN'T say?! Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

The Blonde Duck said...

The next one will be even spookier, but it gets better after that. :) Don't worry, I won't keep you awake...


But I can't guarantee what the person in the house will do...

Anette said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I followed your link to, and went straight in to the army of LOVELY tomatoes! Irresistible! You have a lot of great photos! I'll come by again for sure!

Zupan's Markets said...

These oven-cured tomatoes look so divine. Half-way or fully cured, we can't wait to try them out with our favorite pastas—if we can refrain from eating the whole batch before the pasta cooks, that is!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Okay, Paula....I'm goin' in and makin' these today!!