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How To Make Your Own Sundried Tomatoes
Nothing perks up a meal like the taste of sun dried tomatoes. What many people do not realize is just how easy it is to make your own sun dried tomatoes in the comfort of your own kitchen. With summer time and tomato season just around the corner, now is the time to plan for making enough sun dried tomatoes to last the entire year.
Go to your local farmerís market and look for plum tomatoes. You can buy them by the Bushel and then, you can decide just how many you would like to dry. Make sure you get the plum tomatoes since they produce the best end result. Keep in mind that they will shrivel into almost nothing, so the more you use the more you have in the future. What looks like a lot of tomatoes will fit into a quart-size zip top bag! This is why they are so expensive in the super market.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 200 degree F. Wash the tomatoes, and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. You don't even have to peel them. Lay the slices out on the baking sheet, making sure not to touch sides. Place in the oven, and WAIT! This can take anywhere from 6 to 10 hours, but baking them faster will ruin the consistency and the flavor. Periodically check the tomatoes, as sometimes the tomatoes around the edges of the baking sheet will bake faster than the ones in the center of the baking sheet. Rotate positions, if necessary, to keep appearances uniform.
You will be able to tell your tomatoes have completely baked when they have the consistency of fresh raisins. If they are undercooked they will be too wet and sticky; if they are overcooked they will be dark brown and dried out. Sometimes certain slices will be done before the rest- simply remove them to a plate and continue baking the rest. Keep your eye on them.
Bring the tomatoes to room temperature on the baking sheets. Transfer them to quart-size zip top bags, and place in the refrigerator. They will last indefinitely. They also taste wonderful right out of the bag! Be careful, though- you can consume about 4 tomatoes without even thinking about it, and you'll need to buy more tomatoes to "sun dry" before you know it!
Now that you have your very own sun dried tomatoes, here is a great recipe that you can make quickly -
QUICK & EASY FRIED CHICKEN WITH SUNDRIED TOMATO CRUST
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast (pounded or sliced to 1/8" thickness)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine breadcrumbs, sundried tomatoes, Romano cheese, basil and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute or until dried mixture is smooth. Pour contents into a large resealable bag. Melt butter and olive oil in large skillet. Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture to coat. Place 1 piece of chicken into bag and shake to coat. Fry each piece about 1 minute per side until light golden brown. Remove from pan and place on lightly sprayed baking sheet. Do this for each piece until all chicken is coated. Bake for 15 minutes.
We know you will really enjoy this slightly different twist on the fried chicken recipe. It is quick, easy, and very tasty! Serve with any of your favorite side dishes. Serve this with baked potatoes or light garlic & butter noodles and fresh veggies.
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