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Amazing new substance discovered

August 27, 2007 |  2:28 pm

Tomato21 The heat and humidity over the weekend might have caused bad hair days for some, but for others it meant bad tomato days. A couple of pounds of gorgeous, fat Brandywines sitting on my counter suddenly went all overripe and oozy. Aha, I thought, I'll turn them into a tomato soup, remembering a fantastic one we'll be running in an upcoming issue of Food.

Perhaps because the recipe hadn't yet been put through its paces in The Times' Test Kitchen, something went wrong: Either the cooking time was too long or the oven temperature was too high. In any case, the tomatoes, which were cut in half, placed on a baking sheet, enhanced with a little sea salt, a few branches of thyme and a few cloves of garlic and roasted for two hours at 400 degrees, no longer had all the juices at the bottom of the pan they were supposed to; they were fairly dry-looking, and the juices on the bottom had turned black. I almost tossed them out, then I put them in a bowl and mashed them with a fork. Unbelievable -- it was like a tomato confit: thick, rich, incredibly sweet and almost perfectly seasoned. I turned them into bruschette, which were fabulous. But I couldn't stop thinking about the perfect use for it: on a burger, instead of ketchup.

And that soup recipe? Look for it in Food on Sept. 5. Meanwhile, have you ever had a kitchen disaster that turned into something great? Tell us about it!

-- Leslie Brenner

Photo by Leslie Brenner