I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato Obsession

Sometimes, I will admit that I get obsessive.  It sorta happens all the time, really (much to my husband's dislike, I'm afraid).  I find something I really love and exhaust it in every way I can.  Lately, I have begun an obsession with sun dried tomatoes.  I've always been a tomato girl.  I will eat them like apples.  What I am not, however, is someone who can handle any sort of unusual textures in anything.  Seriously, at 27, if I can see a chopped onion or pepper, I'm eating around it.  Thus, this recipe has taken form.  Really, this stuff is really great for a multitude of things.  Keep it in a jar in the fridge for a spread on sandwiches (might I suggest a peppered turkey with mozzarella!), add it to warm pasta as a sun dried tomato pesto, serve over cream cheese with crackers as an hor d'oeuvre, or add to a couple of pounds of 80/20 ground beef, roll into balls, brown in a skillet on all sides, and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes to finish cooking for the most flavorful meatballs ever...without running the risk of finding a chopped onion all slimy and full of onion-ness in your mouth. There are about a million things you can probably do with this stuff.  Give it a shot and be creative...if not obsessive!

What you'll need:
A clove of garlic (or, if you're like me and hate chopping garlic, a tsp from the jar)
One shallot
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
4 to 5 (or about 1/3 of an 8.5 oz bottle) sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp of olive oil

I use a little bitty mini food processor to make my life easier.  I start with adding the garlic, then I chop up the shallot, just to help the processor out a little bit.  For me, it's super important that these two things be as chopped as finely as possible.

Next, add the seasonings- the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Blend it up again.

Next, add the sun dried tomatoes (add a bit of the oil from the jar, too) and cheeses.  Blend it really well.  It should look like this.

Add olive oil if yours needs a bit more moisture to make it into a paste. Blend, blend, blend away.  When it's like a thick paste, jar it up, spread it on a sandwich, pour it over hot pasta, or add it to meats and enjoy a smack in the face flavor filled bite!

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