Peter Gordon: How to slow roast tomatoes
Slow-roasted tomatoes can be a delicious addition to a dish.At a restaurant recently we were served "double-roasted tomatoes". They were delicious. What would you suggest is the best way to cook them at home to get that firm texture and sweet flavour? - Kath Burrett
I cut tomatoes in half horizontally, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and bake on parchment-lined trays at 150C for two hours or so depending on their size. "Double-cooked" probably just means reheated for service in a hot oven (180C).
I have a vexed question about oil from both a health and a cooking standpoint. We were told to cook with olive oil because it is used in the healthy Mediterranean diet, but lately we hear that olive oil becomes unhealthy when heated. Would adding butter counter that effect? Asian cuisine is also meant to be healthy - what sort of oil do Asian cooks use? - Diane Knowles
I've not heard any news about unhealthy olive oil so I'm not sure where that's coming from. Extra virgin olive oil loses its flavour characteristics when cooked, so it's a waste of money to use it for that. Olive oil (ideally from the flesh, not the seeds) is great to cook with, and I often add equal parts of canola or sunflower oil when frying at high heat. I never deep-fry in olive oil. Asian chefs often use peanut oil which has a high burning point, although it's wise to check for a peanut allergy among the people you're cooking for.
We see a lot of recipes advising to let meat rest after cooking to make it more juicy and succulent, but none advise on how long to let it rest. I've always worked on around two to three minutes, but recently found a recipe for pork advising 20~30 minutes. Any advice on how long to let different types and cuts of meat rest, and the best way of maintaining its serving temperature? - Allan Forsyth
Take from the oven and cover with foil and a cloth, although this will make crispy skin soften a little. Resting time depends on the size of the joint. A large turkey is best left for 30 minutes, a small steak for five.