RECIPE: Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar-Chive Biscuits

More than half of the food the average Trinbagonian eats is imported. This should come as no surprise since our twin isle’s annual food import bill is approximately $6 billion. By purchasing local, you funnel money back into our community and support its growth and sustainability for future generations. Our weekly column “In Season” features a sweet and savoury recipe for one readily-available ingredient, so you can take advantage of the vibrant bounty from farmers’ markets, local farm stands, and your own yard.

 

In Trinidad, tomatoes are found growing in most people’s yards, coming in many different sizes, shapes and colours. It holds a special place in our cuisine as we’re famous for throwing ripe tomatoes into stews, sandwiches and salads. This week, we could have stuck to the basics and given you our homemade tomato choka recipe, but you already know how to make that (and we bet your mom’s secret recipe can’t be beat). So, here's one completely new, out-of-the-box idea to switch things up.

 

Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar-Chive Biscuits
 
Cobblers, quintessential summertime dishes for America, are usually served sweet with a stone fruit base of peaches or plums. Biscuit dough tops it off in small rounds, resembling a cobbled road, hence the name. We switched the fruits for vegetables and made it savoury. Lucky for us, roma tomatoes fill our markets year-round, so this skillet dinner can be made with fresh tomatoes anytime you please. The flaky, buttery biscuit is flavoured with Cheddar and chive. It sinks into the tomatoes and sops up all its delicious juices while the top gets brown and firm; the middle remains perfectly spongy.
 
Serves: 5
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS
1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pimento, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
8 roma tomatoes, chopped
1⁄2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 tablespoon red or white wine
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut in 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1 1⁄2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1⁄3 cup fresh chives
 
DIRECTIONS
1
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
2 Lightly grease a 9-inch seasoned cast iron skillet, or pie dish, with butter; set aside.
3 Sauté garlic and pimento in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the onion; cook until translucent. Throw in the tomatoes, and simmer 10 minutes or until tomatoes are softened. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
4 Prepare the cobbler topping. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
5 Cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Using your hands, rub the cubes of butter it into the flour until it resembles coarse meal with pea-sized pieces.
6 Pour in the cream and stir until just combined; the dough will be quite wet. Drop balls of dough over the tomato filling and brush the tops with milk.
7 Place the cobbler on a baking sheet (to catch drips, of course) and bake until golden and bubbling, 45 to 55 minutes.
8 Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
 
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