Monday, October 26, 2009

Mr. Solo Part 2 - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

The main man, Mr. Solo, is back for round two. Exciting news, I have two more guest bloggers lined up maybe more. And here he is....

Mr. Solo -
The idea for the second dish has actually been kicking around in my head for about a month for no better reason than hunger and the fact that my roommate and I seem to share a love of pan-fried bread. It's a grilled cheese sandwich with cream of tomato soup. Take some Challah bread, some dried oregano or other herb, and heat up some oil in a non-stick frypan. Throw the bread on there until it's soaked up most of the oil and is starting to brown. In the meantime baste some swiss cheese in truffle oil (you've essentially ended any effort to make this dish taste less than awesome once the truffle oil makes a showing). Flip your bread, throw the cheese on to melt for a few more seconds. For style points, add caramelized onions and chopped chives to the finished sandwich.

The tomato soup is actually pretty involved, but well worth the effort. You need to roast roma tomatoes with olive oil/herb of your choice (thyme works well) at 400°F for an hour. You also need to throw some standard tomatoes through a food processor, and then throw the pulp on a strainer with some salt in the fridge overnight. All the liquid drips out (incidentally, you've just made tomato water which has about a hundred amazing uses) but what remains is your very own homemade tomato paste. Fire up some onions on the stove with some butter, let them rock until they're translucent, throw in some rough chopped normal tomatoes, then the roasted tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and water to cover, and let that simmer down. When you're finding that the water is coming out of the tomatoes and things are trending more liquid than creamy, throw in your homemade tomato paste. It soaks up all the excess liquid like a friggin' sponge. When everything's softened down, throw your concoction through a fine-mesh strainer. Add a junkload of butter, a touch of heavy cream, salt to taste, back in the pot and crank the heat until the whole thing comes to a boil, then immediately turn off your heat. D for done.

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