sundried tomatoes

sundried tomato & herb buttermilk bread

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I had a bit of buttermilk left over from a different recipe and decided to try making a buttermilk quick bread. I was going to aim for something sweet and delicious, but as I listed the 10 options on this Kitchn article, my boyfriend got super excited when I mentioned the savory sundried tomato option.

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I honestly have to say that yeast-based breads are still my preference, but when fresh out of the oven, this bread was good, and very crumbly and soft.

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It dries out pretty quickly if left unwrapped, so wrap it up in plastic or tupperware to keep it soft and fresh. I was cavalier as usual and just left it out unwrapped overnight, which made it a little dry – totally my fault. But warmed up and with a little butter it could be saved!

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Sundried Tomato and Herb Buttermilk Bread
from The Kitchn

Makes one loaf

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar and parmesan)
2 tablespoons minced sundried tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray a standard 9×5 loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cheese, sundried tomatoes, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, thyme, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the butter, if using. Whisk it in a separate bowl with the buttermilk and the egg.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients. Gently stir and fold the ingredients until all the flour has been incorporated and a shaggy, wet batter is formed. Be careful not to over-mix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and pat it into the corners. Bake for 45-50 minutes. When finished, the loaf should be domed and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and slicing.

Wrap baked loaves tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Baked loaves can also be wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil and frozen for up to three months.

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sundried tomato stuffed mushrooms

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I used to shy away from sundried tomatoes. My aversion to them began when I ordered a sundried tomato pizza at an Italian restaurant and got a pizza *covered* in the things, which were so strong and flavorful that they overpowered the entire pizza.

Since then I’ve come to love them, as long as they are in small quantities and used as a highlighted flavor rather than the main one. These stuffed mushrooms are the perfect place for them.

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Technically, these are meant to be hors d’oeuvres, but we ate them just as dinner. I imagine they’d be really great as a side to steak or grilled chicken.

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Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

From Smitten Kitchen

1/2 ounce dried tomatoes (about 5, not packed in oil)
2 tablespoons olive oil
18 white mushrooms, stems pulled out and chopped fine and caps reserved
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl soak tomatoes in hot water to cover 5 minutes. Reserving 1 tablespoon soaking liquid, drain tomatoes well and chop fine.

Lay mushroom caps, stems removed, face down on baking sheet either lightly sprayed with cooking spray or parchment paper. Bake them approximately 10 minutes, or until their liquid puddles underneath. Remove from the oven. Carefully pour off liquid that has gathered in the bottom of the pan, and then again, carefully, turn mushroom caps over so they are ready to be filled.

In a small skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook chopped mushrooms stems, shallots and garlic, stirring until shallots are softened. In a bowl stir together mushrooms mixture, bread crumbs, tomatoes, reserved soaking liquid, yolk, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mound stuffing in reserved mushroom caps and arrange caps in a lightly greased shallow baking dish, or the same parchment-lined pan you’ve roasted your mushrooms in. Sprinkle mushrooms with Parmesan and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes.

Makes 18 hors d’oeuvres.