Location: One Skytop, Skytop, Pa.
A stay at the Four Diamond Skytop Lodge can be as jam-packed or as restful as you please. Spread over 5,000 acres in the Pocono Mountains, the scenic luxury retreat is a nearby getaway with something for everyone. Whether dogsledding in winter, golfing in spring, hiking the grounds or indulging in a spa day at The Nest, you are going to get hungry.
Guests and locals alike can dine at one of several restaurants on the Skytop property to enjoy great service and artfully prepared dishes with special touches, like this versatile tomato confit. To confit, or to cook in fat or a sweetened base at a low temperature, is a great way to enhance vegetables. Skytop Executive Chef Chris Chludzinski uses confit tomatoes in fall and winter when peak tomato season is over, pairing them with warm Brussels sprout panzanella salad or as a side for chicken or steak.
- 15 to 20 Roma tomatoes (depending on their size)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons broken star anise
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ bulb garlic, crushed
- 1½ liters white wine
- 1 cup sugar
To assemble and serve:
- 2 tablespoons poaching liquid
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the tomatoes by first scoring an “X” on bottom ends, removing the stem cores and submerging into boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds. Shock the tomatoes in an ice bath and remove at once when cool. Working over a bowl, halve the tomatoes from the top to bottom and remove the seeds without damaging the ribs. Strain the resulting tomato juice into a bowl and reserve.
To prepare the light syrup, put the thyme, mustard, star anise, anise seeds, coriander, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic in a sachet. Put the wine, sugar, reserved tomato juice and sachet in a pot and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes.
Transfer the tomato halves to a large sheet pan and cover with the light syrup and sachet. Cover the pan with foil and poach for 1 hour in a low oven or grill. Remove foil and transfer the contents to a fresh pan to cool. Tomatoes should maintain their shape when finished.
Once cooled, place the tomatoes in a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons poaching liquid. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Heat the tomatoes through and reduce the liquid to a glaze, adding a small nub of butter to bind the glaze. Use the tomatoes as a component or garnish to a dish.