Monday 28 January 2013

Recipes: smoked tomatoes and smoked caramel

Preserve them in olive oil.
Yesterday the sun shone and The Secret Garden Club showed how to hot smoke, cold smoke and smoke with tea. In addition to things we've previously smoked (tofu, salmon, trout, peppers, cheese, garlic, salt), we added:
Tiny smoked waxy Cypriot potatoes in their skins (with sour cream)
Smoked 'sun-dried' tomatoes
Smoked vodka from Chase with smoked lemon juice
Smoked halloumi (in a red pepper salad)
Smoked camembert, heated up like fondu and served with freshly baked sesame pitta breads

Semi-dried and dried

Smoked cherry tomatoes recipe:

The tomatoes can be dried on a low oven or in the simmering oven of the Aga. I often find sun-dried tomatoes in the shops to be too tough, reminiscent of rubbery ears. I prefer a semi-dried tomato.
But ooh the taste! So intense, I don't think they will last long in my house. Too good. I bottled them in olive oil.

1 kilo cherry tomatoes
Sea salt
White caster sugar

Halve the tomatoes and lay them, cut side up, on a baking tray. Dry on a low heat (100-150Âșc) for around four hours.
I sprinkled them with sea salt and white sugar (winter tomatoes haven't had much sun to bring out their natural sweetness)
Then lay the tomatoes on a bed of foil and cold smoke for 5 to 8 hours.
Put the tomatoes in a jam jar and cover with good olive oil.
Eat them in salads, on toast, out of the jar! Give as gifts!

Smoked caramel

200g of sugar (I used white caster sugar but use whatever you've got)
200ml of double cream
75g of butter
1 tablespoon of good sea salt
Slug of Bourbon/ Jack Daniels/whisky/Drambuie (optional)

Put the sugar in a sheet of foil. Tuck up the sides so that the sugar doesn't fall out but leave the top open. Put this in the cold smoker for about four hours.
Then using the dry method of caramel making, pour the sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan and let it melt. Do not stir. Brush around the inside of the pan with a pastry brush and water to prevent crystallisation of the caramel or put a tight fitting lid on (mind you have it on a low heat or it'll boil over) which has a similar effect.
Once the sugar has begun to melt, move the pan around, shifting the sugar. But don't stir.
When the sugar is all melted, add the butter and stir in the cream. Keep stirring now.
Add the salt.
Add some alcohol if you like.
Your smoked caramel will taste even more gorgeous. Pour on icecream, on meringues, use in hot chocolate.

I used a ProQ smoker kit. This is ok for smoking small things/thin things but isn't stable enough for whole sides of salmon. I find it cooks the salmon in parts.
ProQ smoker kit which you can put in an existing BBQ and tomatoes waiting to be smoked

The next post Zia will tell you how to tea smoke and give more cold smoking recipes


  1. Wow! They look amazing! I'm always looking for more things to stick in my smoker and will definitely be trying these.

    Which smoke dust did you use for the tomatoes?


  2. These look great. I just brought some at my local farmer's market and now want to make my own!
    thank you

  3. Would love jars of these tomatoes as a gift!

  4. Galen is the brand of BGC Agriculture and Food Ltd with the aim of carrying Agean’s unique flavors. Galen foods is producing semi dried tomatoes as well.


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