caramelized butter, cauliflower and tomato raisins.

brown butter.

I came across  a recipe for “brown butter” that was to be drizzled over mashed potatoes. Directions for the butter were simple; slowly heat butter in a pan, the butter will melt, then separate, creating a white “foam” on top.  The white foam will gradually fade and brown bits will appear at the bottom of the pan.

Once you see the brown bits, remove the pan from heat. The butter will have a hint of caramel to it’s scent as well as it’s taste.

This carmelized butter makes everything extra special. I use in the making of omelettes, on pancakes, veggies, pasta, meat, fish, etc. It makes me feel as though I’ve learned the secret to gourmet cooking.

 

cauliflower.

Something I started this year is substituting mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes. I steam the cauliflower in chicken broth (beef broth or vegetable broth). Once tender, I mash it and add bits of sautéed garlic. For those who don’t mind the extra fat, I recommend adding a little cream. This tastes great with the caramelized butter drizzled on top.

 

tomato raisins.

A few articles ago, I wrote about slow roasting tomatoes. I’ve experimented a bit more  with the grape tomatoes by roasting them in an oven set at 200F degrees for 5 hours. The tomatoes will shrivel up looking like red raisins.

After removing them from the oven, the tomatoes can be salted, or sprinkled with parmesan cheese. They are filled with a burst tomato flavor and a the sweet tartness of sun dried tomatoes.

The batch of tomatoes shown in the photo are topped with garlic that was quickly fried in olive oil. This process, gives the garlic a chewy candy-like texture. The olive oil, flavored from the garlic, is poured over the tomatoes and refrigerated. I serve them cold or hot, tossed in pasta or in scrambled eggs or in a sandwich of tomatoes and cheddar cheese on sourdough. Yum!

 

 

Tomatoes

IMG_0001Slow roast cherry tomatoes with garlic cloves in an oven of 200 degrees 3 to 5 hours.

I’ll toss the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, a pinch or two of brown sugar and some balsamic vinegar.  Spread them evenly on a roasting pan and place in the oven. Check occasionally, turning them over, gently, so not to burst them. I might sprinkle dried herbs at the beginning of this process, or add basil leaves at the end when I’m ready to store them in a jar and refrigerate. I add a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper when I store them in a tightly sealed mason jar.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic make a great addition to a salad, or as an appetizer with fresh mozzarella. I’ve used it as a spread on toasted french bread.  I once impressed a friend when I took a jar out of the fridge and tossed it in a pan of fried (diced) bacon. I tossed in cooked pasta and sprinkled on some parmesan…. she thinks I’m a gourmet cook! IMG_0021