Thursday, May 08, 2014

DIY Sun-Dried Tomatoes

As I mentioned in my Instagram, when life gives you tomatoes and sunshine, you make sun-dried tomatoes. Corny, I know, I know. I'm not exactly Tina Fey or Mindy Kaling. Summer-harvested tomatoes are usually plump and red, and very cheap, if I might add. I made a batch back in 2011, which was delicious, but being drizzled with olive oil, it turned rancid a few months later. So I wouldn't suggest olive oil if you're going to store them.

1. Use ripe and plump tomatoes.


2.  I quartered and de-seeded them, but I suggest that you just halve them. Once they dry, quartered pieces are too small for snacking. Yes, I snack on them. But if you are just going to add them to dishes, quartered pieces are fine, and it dries faster.

3. Sprinkle salt on the baking pan. A friend suggested that I use a bilao for better ventilation. I don't have any, so... Lay all the quartered pieces, inside up, and sprinkle salt again. You can sprinkle herbs as well, but I want to keep my options open. I covered this with a "table-top umbrella," you know, those screened thingies used to cover food on the dining table.

4. It's either the particularly hotter summer or using quartered, instead of halved, pieces that made drying so much faster. I remember the 2011 batch took me a couple of weeks, but this batch only took me a few days.


5. Et voilà! Cheap sun-dried tomatoes -- perfect for pasta and snacking. By the way, that tray-full of tomatoes? It only filled half a cup. Might have been able to fill three quarters, but I already snacked on a few pieces. Seriously, ako lang ba ang nagpapapak ng sun-dried tomatoes? Weirdo!

I only used perfect tomatoes for drying. All those with bumps, I sliced off the bumpy parts and chopped them, then I added the pulp I removed from the quartered ones (those for drying). I added a cup of water and a bit of salt and boiled it. After boiling, I cooled and placed it in ice trays. When you need just a bit of tomato sauce,  you can just break off a couple of tomato cubes. Easy-peasy.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Seriously, I cannot take good pictures if my life depended on it. Can anybody teach me the easy way to take good pictures + editing using iPhone 4? Keyword is easy. Please lang.


I'd love to hear from you, good or bad. And remember, if you can dish it, you better be able to take it!