"Soup and Sandwich" -- Grilled Farmhouse Cheddar, Early Girl Tomato Consommé, and Butter-Fried Chips
The intro to this dish discusses Keller's love for an American classic: grilled cheese and tomato soup, which also happens to be one of my favorite combos in the whole world. Whenever I've had a bad day, I reach for some mac and cheese, or if I'm feeling particularly industrious and in need of serious dunkage along with my comfort food, grilled cheese and tomato soup. We called it a toasted cheese sandwich growing up; I'm guessing that's a regional thing. Whatever you call it, it's good.
This haute version of such a classic doesn't evoke the same feeling of comfort food, but it was pretty and delicious, and made for a nice weekend lunch. Let's go...
Here are the halved and cored tomatoes for the Consommé:
You'll also notice there's a soaked dried chipotle pepper in there, too. Yummmm..... I put the tomatoes and the chili into the food processor until they were finely chopped. Then, I put that giant blob of chopped tomato loveliness into a dishtowel, tied it tight, and strung it up in the fridge so that the tomatoes could drain into a bowl:
[There's the foie -- so I'm sort of busted. Yes, I made this dish to serve the same day I made the foie gras for my parents' anniversary. I'm only posting it today because I'm on vacation and knew I wouldn't be cooking much this week, so I saved this one for your viewing pleasure this week. Sue me. No, wait. Don't. Thanks.]
The tomatoes hung (hanged?) there overnight, leaving a little over 2.5 cups of tomato water. I strained it and kept the remaining liquid in the refrigerator for a few hours, until we were ready to eat it:
Next, I blanched these cute little cherry tomatoes:
Man, I wish I didn't have acid reflux. I could eat these things like candy, I tell ya. I blanched, ice-bathed, and peeled them and let them sit in a container at room temperature until they were ready to be served:
Up next? Some gratuitous butter porn:
Now that you're done wiping the drool from your chin, I can tell you that was the clarified butter for the potato chips (which I never made) and the sandwiches, which I did make so let's talk about those. It's pretty straightforward -- cut the crusts off a few slices of brioche, shave some white cheddar, make a sandwich, brush the clarified butter on the outside, then cook them on a nonstick surface over medium heat. Here's a shot of the final product:
And, the final shots of the Tomato Consommé (served chilled):
Up Next: Not sure, but I bet it might involve lobster. I wanted to do the soft-shell crab sandwich, but I hate softshell crabs, and I don't know anyone who likes them. So, I need to find someone who will eat it before I commit to making it. Anyone? Anyone?!?!
Brioche from Balducci's
Tomatoes from Whole Foods
Chipotle from my pantry
365 organic butter
Music to Cook By: The Joel Plaskett Emergency; Various. I'm on vacation, and they're boppy and Canadian. Perfect.