Roasted Caramelized Beets

Sometimes I really miss the television. Usually I’m too busy for it, or it would just keep me up insanely late.

Thankfully we go to the gym, and there I can get my T.V. fix. We go to the gym at 5am most weekdays, which means my early morning programing consists of Married with Children followed by The Nanny (luckily the volume is muted and we are provided with subtitles so that instead of listening to her screeching voice we can listen to the techno-pop music they have in the background. Actually, I’m not sure which I prefer.)

When I’m lucky, however, I get one of the treadmills or ellipticals with a T.V. attached to it, and I can select my own show. Those occasions are few because, despite how early it is, the gym is packed at this hour. When I can choose my show, it is always the food channel. In Spanish of course. Which is usually a strange experience because they are often shows originally in English but dubbed in Spanish. I can read their lips sometimes in English. weird. I prefer subtitles to dubbing, but I take what I can get.

This morning, Sunday, there was hardly anyone at the gym. Still, 3 out of the 4 machines with their own screen were taken. I ran for it. It was mine. Immediately I scrolled to the cooking channel and I encountered this recipe. One root veggie roasted to perfection with the most simple seasoning. It was a good thing we had beets at home. This is my new favorite way of preparing them. Crispy and salted around the edges; the stems are particularly delicious. It’s almost chip-like. Sweet and caramelized, even more dramatic than your average beet.

Roasted Caramelized Beets
adapted from food network canada

Ingredients:
4 beets, thoroughly scrubbed and sliced into wedges. Leave stems in tact.
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
Heat oven to 425ºF. Roast for about an hour.

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Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic (In the Slow Cooker)

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had a lot of tomatoes around the house recently. We shop at Pricesmart (Guatemalan CostCo) for some things, like coffee, milk (it comes in a box here in Guate), beer, canned items, soap. Items we consume a lot of that has a long shelf life. Usually we also buy pears and apples, onions, and occasionally cheese if its a good deal. But sometimes we make stupid purchases. Like 10-or-so pounds of tomatoes. It didn’t really look like that much. But then we get home, make our first batch of tomato soup, and realize we have almost the same amount of tomatoes as we started with.

What do people do with so many tomatoes? Tomato soup, check. Pan tumaca, check. Tomato pie, check. Still, we had lots and lots of very ripe tomatoes. Now the question was more along the lines of how to preserve them because I’m getting a little tired of tomatoes. So this morning I sliced them in half, placed them on the toaster oven baking sheet, drizzled them with a little olive oil, salt, dried herbs, and some un-pealed cloves of garlic for good measure. In the oven at 225ºF and set the timer for 3 hours.

But…just two hours later our lovely little toaster oven let out it’s lovely alarm and then turned itself off. I forgot that it has a “safety” timer, and if you leave it on too long it shuts itself off. Thank you very much, Black and Decker…but I know what I’m doing here and no you haven’t finished your job. (No, we don’t have an oven. Don’t feel abd for me, I love our little kitchen).

But thankfully Héc is inventive, and suggested the crockpot. I know that many of you are thinking to remind me that the crockpot generally uses “wet heat” to cook, rather than the dry heat of the oven. However, if you place a dish cloth under the lid and leave the lid ajar a bit, the cloth will absorb much of the moisture, and trapping much of the heat inside, creating a similar environment as the oven.

I transplanted the tomatoes to the crockpot, drizzled a bit more oil on top, and set it on high for two more hours. They look gorgeous, and I don’t have to eat them for a few days if I don’t feel like it. Although, suddenly, I feel like spreading a juicy slice of roasted tomato over a piece of toasted homemade bread.