HAWAII COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Lakeisha Germany-Ross' elegantly plated Cherry Tomato Compote, above, made with Kamuela tomatoes, took first place in the You Say Tomato Recipe Contest.
Italian pudding topped with cherry tomato compote makes a winning dessert
A 17-year-old wannabe chef took home the top prize in the You Say Tomato Recipe Contest, for a sophisticated compote served over a pudding with the cheery name of "budino."
Lakeisha Germany-Ross, an 11th-grader at Connections High School, a public charter school in Panaewa, placed first in the preserves and condiments category and first overall with her Cherry Tomato Compote.
The contest, held last week in Hilo, was sponsored by Hamakua Springs Country Farm, growers of tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers and bananas. It drew more than 50 entries from statewide, narrowed by judges to five in each of three categories: soups and bisques, entrées, and preserves and condiments. The recipes were prepared for the panel of seven judges by culinary students at Hawaii Community College. Recipes were judged on visual appearance, taste, originality and best use of tomatoes.
Germany-Ross' dish uses cherry as well as beefsteak tomatoes, cooked slowly in a sugar syrup. She served the rich, sweet concoction atop a budino (Italian for pudding) made of mascarpone, cream cheeses and citrus zest. The combination of compote and budino captivated the judges and received the highest scores.
"I was looking through books for tomato recipes and found one for a compote. But I didn't like it; my sister and I modified it," said Germany-Ross, who hopes to pursue a career in the culinary arts. The food-science student has entered two recipe contests, but this is her first win.
Her prize includes round-trip airfare for two to Honolulu and dinner at Alan Wong's restaurant.
The winning recipe
Cherry Tomato Compote
1 basket cherry tomatoes, preferably red and gold
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
Half a lemon, sliced thin and chopped, with peel
1 cup sultana raisins
1-1/2 cups large tomatoes, diced and puréed in blender
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut tomatoes into sixths and place seed side up on mesh rack. Place rack on cookie sheet and sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over tomatoes. Bake 15 minutes.
Sprinkle 2 more tablespoons sugar over tomatoes. Continue to bake until tomatoes are dry but not brittle, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
When tomatoes are almost dry, bring water and remaining sugar to boil In small saucepan. Add lemon. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Add roasted tomatoes and raisins. Cook until mixture is bubbling fiercely and add tomato purée. Cook 4 more minutes, stirring well to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Serve over desserts such as budino.
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
13 ounces mascarpone cheese
1-3/4 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 8 ramekins with oil and line bottoms with circles of parchment.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until blended. Add mascarpone and beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl well. Add lemon juice and zests and blend.
Pour into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in large, deep pan. Pour boiling water into pan until water reaches halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until set, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the water bath.
Refrigerate ramekins until thoroughly chilled. Invert onto plate and discard parchment. Top with tomato compote. Garnish with additional citrus zest, if desired.
Nutritional information unavailable.