Monday, September 05, 2011

Tomato Crazy

I have been buried in tomatoes this past week thanks to my CSA box so I thought I'd share what I have been doing with them besides making a sauce, which was my go in the past.

I super love tomatoes on sprouted wheat bagels or sprouted protein bread with tofutti cream cheese, this is stand by this time of year for breakfast at my house and its so delicious (add red onion slices if you have them for even more flavor).
I have been making pizza at least once a week since the tomatoes have been so abundant and I love roasting/drying them and using them instead of sauce on my pizzas.
Here's how:
:: Preheat oven to 250.
:: Prepare cooling racks (spray them with cooking spray so the tomatoes don't stick or brush them with olive oil). Place racks over baking sheets lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper (easy clean up).
:: Slice tomatoes and place on cooking racks, sprinkle with salt (you are trying to draw the moisture out). I also topped mine with a dash of oregano and very light drizzle of olive oil.
:: Place in oven on center racks and bake for 30 minutes, switch shelves and bake for 30-45
more minutes depending on the thickness of your slices and the variety of your tomatoes (some take longer than others).
:: Remove from the oven when tomatoes are a bit shriveled and dried.
:: Use immediately or place in an airtight container to use within a couple days.
Looking for a good pizza crust? I have been using the following and love it!
:: 1 paket of instant yeast
:: 2 tsp sugar
:: 1 Cup warm water
:: 1/4 Cup vegetable shortening (I use Earth Balance)
- mix the 4 above ingredients together with whisk attachment of mixer, once incorporated (note, the shortening doesn't really mix in well, sort of breaks up, this is normal), change to dough hook and add the following:
:: 3 Cups Flour
:: 2 tsp Salt
- mix with dough hook for a few minutes until dough curls itself around the hook clinging on
for dear life and cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl.
- remove from hook and add to an oiled bowl, turning over once so the top has been oiled.
- cover with plastic wrap and a towel and forget about it for an hour. I let my rise on the stove top, it seems to work well there.
- after one hour, dough should be doubled, punch it down, kneed about 5-10 times on a board and let rest for 15 minutes while you prepare your toppings.
- preheat oven to 500 degrees - screamin' hot
- brush your pan with olive oil
- toss dough to fit your pan and lay it down
- cover with toppings
- bake 10 minutes then rotate in oven, bake 5-10 more until done to your liking. I like a crispy
bottom so I check the bottom with a pancake turner (usually bake about 20 minutes total for a toasty golden bottom, but ovens vary so please keep checking as no one wants a burnt pizza).
- remove from oven, let cool about 5-7 minutes, slice and enjoy - preferably with an ice cold Peroni.

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