say toe-may-toes, I say . . . . .
should be in a good, plentiful supply in the UK right
now. Nice summer tomatoes, sun ripened, sweet and delicious.
I am sure there will be many people pickling, bottling,
making chutney out of them, etc and when they are so
readily available and cheap, why not?
recipes however are for something a little different,
something light to serve as an appetiser for a dinner
party or as what we call an Amuse Bouche (amusement
of the mouth) . . . something to kick the palate into
action before the meal. It would also make a great first
course for a Sunday brunch, when you are sat outside
on one of those lazy summer dayss - a Chilled Tomato
Essence or a Consommé with a Tomato Sorbet.
is actually a classical soup, essentially a strengthened,
clarified stock. Here we are taking a little poetic
license with the word. It is a consommé in the
sense that the soup is clear, an unusual crystal clarity
in fact, which given the look of the initial mixture,
the look of the final essence will be quite surprising.
the first recipe (essence) the tomatoes must be sun
ripened, with a strong sweet flavour. For the sorbet
I will often use tinned, Italian plum tomatoes. They
have a great flavour and remove the need for skinning
fresh ones but I have included the method for skinning
tomatoes and making what we refer to as tomato concassé
if you prefer to make it from fresh.
basic kitchen preparation will come in very handy for
many recipes. You can of course stop at stage five once
you have peeled the tomatoes and then use them whole
for stuffing, slicing for salads, etc - a great technique
to use if you are not a fan of tomato skins . . . which
interestingly enough the body does not have the capability
to break down anyway, they leave us as they went in!
serve the final dish, I would usually place the consommé
in a small ornate bowl, place a quenelle of the sorbet
in just before serving and top with a nice sprig of
fresh mint or basil. The flavours of both will be very
intense so only a small amount should be served
make quenelles (oval shaped dumplings) use a dessert
spoon, dip it into warm water and scoop out the sorbet.
With a little practice you will perfect the art and
soon have great oval shaped quenelles, of course the
larger the spoon the larger the quenelle or if you want
to make really dainty ones try using a teaspoon
are what we call basic preparations and they will no
doubt feature or be referred to in future columns.
CONSOMMÉ / ESSENCE
and half the tomatoes
in a food processor until very finely chopped but
not quire pureed
a large bowl with at least three layers of muslin
cloth and pour in the tomatoes
up the edges of the cloth and tie off to form a pouch
over a bowl in the chiller overnight to drain
resulting liquid (the essence / consommé) will
be crystal clear and rich with the very essence of
the tomato's flavour
the tomato pulp or use for soup
all the ingredients and puree in a blender
/ process in an ice cream machine
and place in the freezer until required
French word concassé means to chop or crush.
the core of the tomato with the tip of a small knife
the other end, lightly score the skin in a cross (score
= just break the surface)
the tomatoes into a pot of rapidly boiling water for
10 seconds (this process is called 'blanching')
with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of iced
water or under cold running water to halt the cooking
process (this process is called 'refreshing')
skins should now easily slip or peel off; if the tomatoes
are not quite ripe, they may need to be blanched and
the tomatoes on a cutting board with the core side
down and cut in half
the seeds with a teaspoon and discard
chop the tomatoes to the desired size
and bon appetit . . . . .
quantity (add to taste)
meaning a whole one of
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