Kitchen Tip of the Week – How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

8 09 2008

 

If you have a fruit bowl, you could be at risk for fruit flies!

If you have a fruit bowl, you could be at risk for fruit flies!

 

This week’s kitchen tip is not quite as appetizing as previous tips but it’s no less useful. Today I’m going to share with you my trick for getting rid of fruit flies.  Fruit flies are mysterious creatures – I never see them until there is older fruit around and then they multiply like crazy.  Where do they come from?  Are they hiding behind the fridge, waiting for fruit?   It’s as though the materialize right out of the fruit.  Anyway, I was away over the weekend and left some plums out in a bowl on the counter so now I have to get rid of them.  There are many different ways to do this but this is the technique that has worked for me:

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

1.  The first and most important step is to get rid of the offending fruit. They are attracted to old fruit and fruit juices, including alcohol. Refrigerate or throw out (if it’s past its prime) any fruit you have on the counter. Wash counters to make sure there is no sticky residue from fruit or spilled drinks. If you have a recycling bin in your house, make sure all bottles and cans are rinsed out before putting them in the bin so you don’t attract any unwanted pests.

2.  Make a fruit fly trap:  Pour about half a cup of orange juice into the bottom of a small bowl.  Cover bowl tightly with saran wrap.  Poke some holes in the saran.  Leave out on the counter for a couple of days.  The flies will be attracted to the fruit juice but will get trapped under the plastic.  Within a short time, you should be able to get rid of them all.   

 

A easy way to get rid of fruit flies

An easy way to get rid of fruit flies

 

With all the fruit and berries that are in season now, you’re bound encounter a few flies. Yes, the whole thing is a bit disgusting but fruit flies are a fact of life and now you know how to deal with them.  Next week, I’ll return to showing you something delicious instead of pest control pointers!





Slow Roasted Tomatoes

4 09 2008

With tomato season in full swing, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of their abundance by trying different tomato-based recipes.   This slow roasted tomato recipe was inspired by the Pomodoro Al Forno recipe that appeared in the September 2008 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  I have adjusted the seasonings and simplified the technique so that you can just let them cook without having to turn them part way through.  The secret to success is ensuring that you cook the tomatoes long enough – if you do, the results are impressive.  I give a few suggestions of how to use them at the end of the recipe. 

This recipe can also be made in the winter with greenhouse plum tomatoes that you wouldn’t normally want to eat – the roasting process concentrates the flavour so the resulting flavour is sweet and vibrant.  

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 8 medium sized plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded  – See ‘How to Peel Tomatoes’
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano OR chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil 
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place peeled and seeded tomato halves in a large roasting pan, cut side up. Pour pour olive oil over tomatoes and ensure that oil covers the bottom of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle tomatoes with fresh chopped herbs, chopped garlic, sea salt, sugar and balsamic vinegar, making sure it is evenly distributed.
  4. Roast tomatoes for 2 hours.  Check on them at 2 hours for progress.  Continue cooking until they have collapsed and turned dark red, approximately 40 more minutes.  
  5. Serve with your favourite dishes.

Serving Suggestions

These tomatoes are very versatile.  You can basically use them anywhere you want a rich, concentrated tomato flavour, such as:

  • Tossed with your favorite pasta.  Add a bit of fresh oregano or basil and top with grated parmesan.
  • For an hors d’oeuvre at your next cocktail party: Cut a baguette into rounds.  Toast baguette slices and rub with a peeled garlic clove.  Spread a spoonful of ricotta cheese on each round and top with chopped roasted tomato
  • Layer tomatoes in a small baking dish.  Top with grated parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, approximately 20 minutes.  Serve as a side dish to grilled or roasted meats.
  • Place a couple of spoonfuls of roasted tomato inside a grilled cheese (try it with aged cheddar!).  
  • Top a homemade pizza with roasted tomatoes instead of your regular tomato sauce.
  • Compose a caprese salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil.  This is a great idea in the winter when fresh tomatoes are less than stellar.
  • Use tomatoes in a lasagne – layer tomatoes with other roasted or grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes.
  • Just eat them on their own!  
  • Use your imagination – the possibilities are practically endless!
Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Bon Appetit and Enjoy!





Kitchen Tip of the Week – How to Peel Tomatoes (and Soft Fruit)

3 09 2008

 

It’s prime tomato season right now so many people are interested in canning them or making batches of sauce to preserve through the winter.  This method can also be used to peel soft fruit, such as peaches or plums.   

How to Peel Tomatoes (or soft fruit)

You’ll need:

  • Tomatoes or other soft fruit such as peaches or plums
  • A large bowl filled with ice water
  • A large stockpot, filled with water and brought to a boil
  • A sharp knife
  • A slotted spoon or colander

 

 

1. Cut an 'X' in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife, making sure you cut all the way through the skin
1. Cut an ‘X’ in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife, making sure you cut all the way through the skin

 

 

Place tomatoes in pot of boiling water for 40 seconds
2. Place tomatoes in pot of boiling water for approximately 40 seconds

 

 

3. Using a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes from boiling water and place them immediately into ice water
3. Using a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes from boiling water and place them immediately in ice water

 

 

4. Peel skin from the bottom of the tomato - it should pull off without any trouble
4. Peel skin from the bottom of the tomato – it should pull off without any trouble

 

 

5. Cut tomatoes in half.  Scoop out the seeds trim the stem end.  Your tomatoes are now ready to use!
5. Cut tomatoes in half. Scoop out the seeds trim the stem end. Your tomatoes are now ready to use!