Tomato-Gin Soup with Mushroom and Bacon Flambé
Yield 8 soups. A fair amount of work but soooo delicious
Red Striped Roman
5 shallots, diced
10 white mushrooms, sliced thin
7 strips bacon, cut into lardons (short thin strips)
2 tbsp butter
15-18 beefsteak or paste tomatoes such as Black Krim, Red Striped Romans, Bulls horn)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp black pepper and salt to taste
2 cups of tomato juice
1-2 oz (30-60 mls) Gin or Vodka, optional just for effect
1 cup heavy cream
Dip tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds then cold to remove skins.
Cut into quarters and remove seeds. Cut 3 tomatoes into julienne strips and chop the rest.
In a skillet, use 1/2 the butter and sauté the chopped tomatoes for 3-4 minutes, add paprika and all the other spices, add the tomato juice and bring to boil. Simmer until tomatoes are soft. Strain through a sieve or blend in a blender to make the tomato stock and put aside.
Melt the other half of the butter and fry the bacon, when it’s done add the shallots and then the mushrooms. Cook for 5 min. Add the julienne tomatoes.
Pour the Gin or Vodka gently on top and flame!!
Add the tomato stock and simmer for 5 min of low heat, add the cream just before serving. Garnish with a basil leaf or 2.
Tip: if you use fresh herbs, you will need 3 times the amount and add them towards the end, in the last 5 min of cooking.
Yield 4 cups
4 pounds of plum or paste tomatoes, such as Striped German/Cuban/Topaz (for colour)/Vernissage Black
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup sweet onion
1/2 brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Add everything to the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for about 2-3 hours or until it reduces to a thick jam. Like fruit jams, it needs to be stirred slowly at the end to prevent it from burning. The cooking time varies depending on the amount of juice in the chosen tomatoes.
Heirloom Stacked Tomatoes with Blue Cheese dressing and Bacon
Yield 4 cups
5-6 large heirloom beefsteak tomatoes such as Black Krim/ Montreal Tasty/ Aussie/ Berkley Tye Dye
cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 thick bacon stripes cooked until crisp
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3-1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tbs sliced chives or scallion greens
1 bunch arugula or watercress, rinsed and spun dry
Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with a whisk. Stir in the blue cheese and chives.
Divide the greens between 4 plates. Stack the tomato slices on the greens, leaning a little. Salt and pepper to taste then drizzle with the dressing. Crumble the bacon on top.
Stand-Over-the-Sink Tomato Sandwiches
Yield: 2 sandwiches
1-2 large, ripe, juicy, heirloom tomatoes such as Mortgage Lifter, Montreal Tasty, Black Krim, Purple Calabash
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
4 slices of your favourite bread, toasted
Thickly slice the tomatoes, Nibble on the end pieces- a taster’s duty. Spread the mayo on 2 slices of the toasted bread, add slices of tomato and S & P to taste. Top it with the other 2 slices of toasted bread. Cut the sandwiches in half or quarters. Pick up the sandwich and lean over the sink. Devour.
Yellow Striped Romans
Yield: 10 pieces
4 paste tomatoes such as Red Stripped Romans and Yellow Striped Romans or Amish paste
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbs fresh basil
Loaf of French bread
Mix first 4 ingredients together. Cut 1/4 inch slices of French bread, brush with olive oil and broil until light brown. Turn over and spread with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan, Broil for 1 minute or until brown.