I love the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes and when paired with a few extra herbs, I am floored. I have this vision of laying out freshly picked tomatoes on a clean towel….in the open sun...under an untainted sky….in the Italian countryside. What a lovely vision. But! I live in a small studio, in the middle of a city, and my windows face….wait for it...a brick wall. Easy to say I get almost no sun, so I went digging for other ways to accomplish this (without a fancy contraption I have no room for).
For Sun-dried Tomatoes
1 Lb Roma Tomatoes
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Tsp Dried Parsley
1 Tsp Dried Basil
For Dutch Baby Pancake
¾ C Flour
¾ Milk, 2% or Whole
2 Tbsp butter
1 Clove Minced Garlic
3 Sprigs Rosemary
1 ½ Lb Sirloin Steak Tip, Thin Cut
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Bunch of Kale
½ Sweet Onion
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tsp Fresh Squeezed Lemon
5 Tbsp Canola Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Honey
For Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The oven is a magical thing. By setting my gas oven as low as it could go (200℉) and after 10-12 hours I have sun-dried tomatoes!
Quarter your tomatoes lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lay on a un-tinfoiled cookie sheet (we don’t want to taste the aluminum) cut side up and sprinkle with seasoning.
Place in the middle of the oven for 3 hours with the door propped open a few inches releasing moisture. Turn tomatoes over and press down with a spatula squeezing out excess moisture. Repeat process until tomatoes are dry.
I was not home for a whole 12 hours in one day, I am a busy young lady. So I honestly went through this process for 6 hours (had a terrible thought to leave my oven on and go to sleep for the night, don’t do that), then resumed the process the next day for a total of 10 hours. As far as I am concerned, pausing the process did not poorly affect the tomatoes.
For Dutch Baby Pancake
You have turned your kitchen to the rolling hills of Italy and your tomatoes are something to write home about, it is time to chop those up and begin out pancake. Set your oven to 400℉ and place your cast iron skillet within.
In a food processor or blender, chop rosemary and garlic (we don’t want a dust) use the pulse feature to achieve the right texture. Add in eggs, milk, flour, and salt and blend just until combined, only a few seconds. We want this mixture resting for 20-25 minutes giving the flour time to absorb the liquid.
Tip: For a 9” Skillet use 2 eggs, ½ C Milk and ½ C Flour. My Cast Iron is 12”, therefore I need more batter to accommodate the larger skillet. Otherwise, it is flatter and less custardy.
Once your skillet is heated and it is time to add batter, coat bottom and sides of the pan with butter and scatter tomatoes. Pour batter into the center and let it move outward on its own, tilt pan if necessary to evenly distribute the mixture. Bake the Dutch Baby for 15-20 minutes, until the center has puffed up and edges are a darker brown. The batter should climb up the sides of your pan as it cooks and continues to hold on as the center deflates. Serve warm with topping, recipe to follow.
Place pan over a stove on high heat and allow to get very HOT. Rub down room temperature meat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. With all the other flavors floating around this meal I chose to have a light hand when seasoning my meat, just enough to bring out some of its natural flavors.
I purchased and seasoned Sirloin Steak Tip, ideal for steak sandwiches, a very thin cut and quick to cook. Melt butter in the pan (life is better with butter) and place steak in the center, keep an eye on it because it will cook fast and I think there is not much worse than overcooked red meat.
After 2 minutes flip once for 2 more minutes (It will cook FAST because it is so thin). Set aside on a plastic cutting board, cover with tinfoil, and allow to sit for at least 3 minutes. Once ready to carve cut against the grain. We want there to be a break between muscle and meat that way it is tender. If you cut with the grain you are more likely to have a tighter grouping of muscle fibers and more chewing.
For our vegetables we want to start by ribbing the kale, simply run the tip of a knife on either side of the stock and remove the greens. I like to give my greens a quick cold water bath to liven them up and get some crunch back into the leaves, especially if they have been sitting in the fridge for a few days.
Lightly toss in a mixing bowl with sliced onion with homemade dressing: oil, vinegar, lemon, minced garlic, honey, salt and pepper to taste. A common ratio is 3:1 oil to vinegar, I dislike the mouthfeel of that much oil and prefer to leave out one Tbsp.
Form a small pile of salad over top of your warm Dutch Baby Pancake and top with thinly sliced steak. We don’t want to overwhelm our beautiful pancake for our presentation, place any extra in a separate serving dish. Dig in!