Monday, March 19, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato Gastrique

Gastrique over pasta with Italian Squash
With most restaurant menus reading like your high school French textbook, it seems difficult for the average home chef to recreate these masterpieces. In a world of cassoulet, bechamel, and amuse-bouche, the gastrique is my new favorite technique.

A gastrique is a French culinary term for creating a glaze by reducing sugar, vinegar, and fruit. Using the sun dried tomato, we get the sugar and the fruit all in one and just need to add vinegar to create our gastrique!  This is a tasty and unique way to impress all of your gourmet friends. And trust me they will be very impressed.

1 3 oz bag of sun dried tomatoes
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3 sprigs of thyme
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbs salt
1/2 tbs pepper
1-2 dashes sugar (most of sweetness is from the tomatoes so don't worry about the sweetness)

Rehydrate the sun dried tomatoes in balsamic, water, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and dash of sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer 20 mins covered and then 10 uncovered.  Until the sauce is the consistency of a thick syrup.

This beautiful thickened glaze is a fantastic addition to pizza, on a toasted baguette with brie cheese or just atop some pasta as a quick dinner. Try this one on for size and please comment and let me know what you do with your Sun Dried Gastrique!

Au revoir ya'll!

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