The next guest is the one and only Mr. Solo. If you don't know who I am talking about, trust me.... you know!!!! Good thing setdinnerhereveg has a executive board of only ONE, because if we put this to a vote, I might lose my head chef/blogger status... replaced by Mr. Solo.
He contributed two courses of a fantastic meal that he cooked for fellow friends and forwarded the pictures and description. Here is part one.
I guess [Mr. gorgeous] wasn't kidding about having a guest month on his blog! SO without further ado...a little bit of background on this I'm a pretty voracious meat eater, but with an increasing cadre of vegetarian friends. In the interests of being able to have people over for dinner every once in a while without thrusting steaks on unwilling palettes I've been forced to explore their strange and unfamiliar world. Fennelwhatnow?
Being a meat eater at heart, the first dish is actually a riff off of raw steak tartare, the idea being that you could use tomatoes instead and approximate the same color and texture as uncooked beef. I've been referencing the French Laundry cookbook, a recent Bible of mine, so I definitely can't take credit for the concept. There's two main techniques you need for this dish, quick blanching and slow roasting. Basically you take some vine-on tomatoes, dunk them in boiling water for about a minute, and then immediately shock them in ice cold water. What this lets you do is remove the skins really easily. Then you quarter the skinned tomatoes, remove and discard the pulp, add some olive oil, salt, and thyme, and slow roast the remaining tomato pieces in the oven at 250°F for about 2 hours. What you get is super concentrated tomato with a somewhat more solid texture, that you can rough chop, add chopped shallots and toss in a ring mold. Tartare: done. The salad on top is green beans in a mixture of heavy cream and red wine vinegar (with a pinch of salt), and then the sauce is the oil drippings from the roasted tomatoes.