Cooking with Jonny69: Sundried tomatoes

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We've had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes this year. Only problem is I don't like them and my girlfriend is away, so there is nobody here to eat them. I fed a punnet to my office mate but felt it was a bit unfair on the other half if I didn't save some for her, somehow. I know she loves sundried tomatoes so I thought I'd have a bash myself, in the oven.

Drying food is dead simple. You simply leave it in the oven at 100 degrees C for about 4-5 hours, or longer if your oven goes lower.

I cut the tomatoes in half and laid them out on an oiled tray:

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I gave them a very light sprinkle of salt, but nowhere near as much as I'd put in if I was cooking with them. They then had a good four hours in the oven until they looked like this:

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To keep them I put them in oil in a jar:

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They will keep like that for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but if you really want them to last you need to heat the oil and the jar to sterilise it all. I turned the oven up to 120 degrees and put the open jar with its contents and lid in the oven for around 15 minutes to get it hot all the way through. Put the lid on while it is hot and allow it to cool and it should keep for several months in the cupboard.
 
Soldato
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They look lovely. I'd be tempted to bung a load of herbs (oregano is my fav) into it, maybe with some garlic too. What sort of oil do you use?
 
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There isn’t any, can’t you read. :p

Yes, of course, but... wait, I guess you introduce the meat later? Like, keep the tomatoes for some time in the fridge or cupboard or whatever, then use them to garnish a steak? Okay, I'm on the case. Phew, thought this thread was pointless then, but turns out it isn't - boy, do I feel foolish!
 
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They look lovely. I'd be tempted to bung a load of herbs (oregano is my fav) into it, maybe with some garlic too. What sort of oil do you use?
I used 50/50 extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil. Herbs would be good, I should have chucked some dried in :p

Yes, of course, but... wait, I guess you introduce the meat later? Like, keep the tomatoes for some time in the fridge or cupboard or whatever, then use them to garnish a steak? Okay, I'm on the case. Phew, thought this thread was pointless then, but turns out it isn't - boy, do I feel foolish!
You plonker, you put them IN or ON meat :D
 
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Cheers Jonny69, these look awesome!

Quick question in regards to putting the jars in the oven to sterilise, is it better to have heated the oil in the jar first, or can you put the toms in cold oil and then heat?
 
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I love the idea of this kind of thing, growing your own food and eating it and then saving what is left and I don't really mind the extra effort, you learn stuff and it is interesting. but if you calculate the cost of electricity for the oven it is probably more than some tomatoes from the shop. maybe.
 
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Nice thread Jonny! I made the mistake this year of going for beef tomatoes in the garden and the washed out August along with their growing time meant my crop has largely been terrible. Back to the tumbling toms next year.
 
Man of Honour
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Quick question in regards to putting the jars in the oven to sterilise, is it better to have heated the oil in the jar first, or can you put the toms in cold oil and then heat?
I put them in cold oil and put the whole lot in the oven to heat. As I understand it you just need to get the temperature high enough to kill any bacteria, then it's good to go :)
I love the idea of this kind of thing, growing your own food and eating it and then saving what is left and I don't really mind the extra effort, you learn stuff and it is interesting. but if you calculate the cost of electricity for the oven it is probably more than some tomatoes from the shop. maybe.
I think the tomatoes themselves work out more expensive if you grow them because you have to factor in the plant, soil, pot, water and fertiliser.

Electricity-wise, I did a quick calculation when I was baking bread. With the oven on flat out for 2 hours at 3KW it uses about 75p of electricity, so 4 hours at 100 degrees won't use much.

Just need to convince the government to hurry up and get that from a low carbon source and it's guilt-free too :D
 
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Good thread!

I've been growing tomatos for the first time this year and I've got tons of them which are basically all ripe now. It's starting to get colder, the plants and withering and there is no way I can eat them all, so had been wondering what to do with them.
 
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Good thread!

I've been growing tomatos for the first time this year and I've got tons of them which are basically all ripe now. It's starting to get colder, the plants and withering and there is no way I can eat them all, so had been wondering what to do with them.
Freeze them use them for cooking just like peeled plum tomatoes. Put them in the freezer with skin on, run under tap when ready to use and the skin will just rub off and as there frozen they are extremely easy to chop up.
 
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