Friday, November 4, 2011

Slow Smoked Tomatoes and Garlic

Pin It Now!

Big plans?  Cleaning out that grill/smoker of the bird's nest and planning a weekend warrior session???

I have a treat for you that is so good you may just look for excuses to buy a dedicated smoker.

Click the photo to see my first post
of Kale Chips ala
Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo
First off, credit for this idea goes to my first repeat honoree... You first met Ginny, author of the "Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo" blog last month.  She blogged me through slow roasted Kale chips that I made on my grill.  To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement.  Her kale chips came out terrific!

But while looking over her blog and the submissions she has made to, I saw another recipe that tweaked my interest.  And once again, I was drawn to Ginny's blog for inspiration.

Bit of background, I first gained confidence as a cook on my grill and dedicated smoker.  I was gaining skills and slowly began to fit in with my fellow Cul de Sac-ittes.  Grilling and smoking meat, while rewarding, is no longer the measure of a king of the que.  Instead, it's the side dishes that we are starting to brag on.

Also, finding ways to use the limited size of a grill/smoker in creative ways.  Basics of smoking your beans under the meat so the steam from the beans adds moisture to the meat (and the dripping spice rub from the meat seasons the beans) is pretty basic.  But, when smoking, there is always a question/problem of the cook session usually being finished a few hours before serving.  "Foiling" the meat, also known as a "Texas Cheat" and putting it in an ice chest (no ice) keeps the meat hot and evens out the temperature for up to 6 hours.  That leaves all that heat in your smoker just begging for something new...

Like these...

Think sweet sun dried tomatoes.  But with a hint of smoke flavor (remember, I cooked these in the residual heat of the smoker, about 225 degrees, with the wood chips already burnt, just the bit of smoke that comes from the coals).  But, much like making a marinara sauce, the tomatoes sweetened as they roasted.  They ended up tasting like tomato candy.  Incredible!

Click the Bottle
to see O's
I made a biog sheet of these, one of my most bountiful garden plants this summer was my cheery tomato plants.  As Ginny suggested in her original post, simply cut in half, add some garlic cloves if you like (I did), drizzle with some Extra Virgin olive Oil (low temperatures, again allow you to use this oil without fear of burning.

It is a sad day, I received a WONDERFUL bottle of oil, unlike anything I have had, O Olive Oil co, has a pressed oil, BLOOD ORANGE.  I say pressed, as they actually press the citrus same time they press the Olives, making a much more than flavored, much more than infused oil.  Just killer on salads, and prefect for this slow roasting (smoking) session.

I used this Blood Orange pressed oil to season the tomatoes.  I also added some of my own herb mix, "Not Your Grandmothers Herbs de Provence".  my version of Herbs de Provence has most of what the accepted recipe features, as well as garlic flakes, fresh lemon zest and a few surprises.

And that's it... Tomatoes, Garlic cloves, Oil and herbs... and low heat.

Click Ginny's photo to see her
Original post of  Roasted Tomatoes
If you take a look at Ginny's original post, you will see that she uses a conventional oven, set low, 225 degrees for a few hours to get the same results (although without the smokey taste).  This is a wonderful treat that was fun to share with my fellow master of the spatula.  A wonderful side dish of roasted garlic and sweetened candy tomatoes (no sugar, the tomatoes just naturally sweeten up as they roast).  And best of all, I pulled these off the smoker just as my neighborhood competition thought he had seen all of my faire for the day.  Sliding these into a side dish bowl and eating mere minutes from when they were revealed is a sweet trick to play on my friend.

Ginny's recipe and the smoking technique were perfect for these!  I do hope you take a moment, drop by Ginny;s blog and get your own inspiration.  Serving them as side dish candy was fun, but I also made enough to do something equally amazing with the next night...

Anyone want to guess what I used the left overs for???  10 player points can go to the first to guess correctly.  I will be posting my "left over" recipe tomorrow!

And before I leave Ginny and her "Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo" blog, I want to point you to a set of links found on her page...

Ginny has posted a few tips, very well written pages on the basics of cooking.  From the pantry to planning ahead to an absolutely MUST READ article on the Family Kitchen Table Experience, these quick reads have a wealth of information.  Anyone with kids would be very well served to read over these posts (but especially the last...

The Basics of Cooking

Got kitchen questions?  Maybe these will help!

#1:  Meal Planning
#2:  Stocking Your Pantry
#3:  Kitchen Efficiency
#4:  Let's Get Cookin'!

#5:  Kitchen Tips and the Importance of the Table

So, yes, I am a big fan.  I adore the recipes Ginny blogs, and her use of fresh ingredients, her wonderful photography, presentations and writing style.  I am also hooked on her message.  IMO, she gets it right.  Raising a family is a tough thing to do.  I love reading over her daily efforts and I especially look forward to reading her triumphs as her Elmo loving family begin to appreciate the metaphoric Chopin she loves.

So, if I have tweeked your interest in Ginny and the Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo Blog , head on over and say HI for me!

And for a quick look at what she blogs, click on the logo link image to the right.  You will see all the eRecipeCards that Ginny has submitted to  You can add her recipes to your eRecipeBox (once you have a free account).

See how useful the site is and how easy it is to find new favorite bloggers!

These posts continue to highlight bloggers and recipes that I have found on  ""..


  1. I've made these in the oven. Like the idea of flavored oil and smoking. Pizza?

  2. hi Dave!

    thank you so much for your time and for inviting me to your site. I will consider it and I will register as soon as I get enough time.

    thank you again and hope to see you here more..

    xoxo, Haus of Gala

  3. I love smoked veggies and I really wish I had a smoker just so I could get that luscious flavor whenever I want it! Guess I might just have to move closer to you. :P

  4. This has to be good! Couldn't fin O oil, but I didnget some good one.