Victor is back from 3 days in New York City.  No more hot dogs and chili burgers eaten at the desk.  It’s time for real food, again.

I’m really bad.  When Victor heads off for a business trip, my cooking ceases.  Well…  real cooking ceases.  Hot dogs and burgers on the grill with canned chili become my mainstay.  I’ve even been known to fry up a can of Mary Kitchen Roast Beef Hash.  It’s not exactly healthful eating, but it’s fun to slum it for a couple of days.  I really do get lazy.

It really isn’t a lot of fun cooking for myself.  If there were to be  longer-than-3-day absence, I would probably break down and create a real meal, but his business travel is pretty infrequent.  Hot dogs work.

The return home was right on time for the cherry tomato harvest.  We have two cherry tomato plants out back that are producing bazillions of tomatoes.  Fortunately, they’re not all ripening at the same time, but I am not going to waste one of them!

I have a dozen ideas for using them, from tarts to salads to frittatas and more, but I was looking for something a bit different tonight.

I came across a fun food blog – The Runaway Spoon – that had a recipe for Baked Ricotta and Goat Cheese with Candied Tomatoes.  The whole shebang sounded good – but I was looking for the tomatoes tonight.  I had the polenta and the pork loin  figured out  and wanted the tomatoes to tie it all together.

Recipes are guidelines to me.  They are generally the spark that gets the creative juices flowing.  Unless I’m baking, I rarely follow a recipe exactly.  And tonight was no exception.  I took the main idea and spun it around a bit.

Candied Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • few sprigs minced parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat butter in skillet.  Add tomatoes and cook until skins begin to pop.  Add wine and bring to boil.  Add brown sugar and continue cooking until mixture is syrupy. Stir in fresh herbs and S&P to taste.

I could see this used in any number of ways.  As I did it tonight, it was great over pork tenderloin and would also be great over chicken or even flank steak.  It could be cooked down even further – letting the tomatoes really fall apart – and used as a bruschetta topping.  The original recipe called for vermouth, I used white wine, but I’m sure any number of wines or liquors could be used.

Let the imagination run…

One of these days I do want to try the recipe as written with the ricotta and goat cheese.  Victor has been making a really really good homemade ricotta.  I think it would be perfect.