Thomas Keller's Tomato Sorbet, good and bad breaks and a giveaway preview!
Breaks come in several forms. In my case, there are two; a broken wrist and a vacation. What is unfortunate is these two breaks are happening simultaneously. The broken wrist is going to prevent me from doing a lot of commenting for a while...you'll have to hang in there with me. I'm reading you though!
And the other break? We are taking a vacation in August ( I wish I could tell you I will be diving and snorkeling in the beautiful Caribbean but it looks as though I will be watching, not doing). So next week I will be posting a short recipe and a lovely giveaway from American Spoon Foods and then we're off.
Please be patient with me for a month or so...I'll be back the end of August with a giveaway winner, but will still be typing with one hand!
On to a lovely Thomas Keller recipe!
Let's be honest: you're probably not going to make this entire dish. It takes too long. (And even then, I skipped a couple elements.) But if I tell you the tomato sorbet has one of those roll your eyes flavors, will you at least try the sorbet part? It's worth the time.
The composed dishes that comprise most of The French Laundry Cookbook recipes are time consuming to make. I think that's why I like Ad Hoc...geared more for the home cook. But I couldn't resist making the sorbet and when I licked the spoon before I put it in the fridge to chill, I DID roll my eyes and say Mmmmmmm. Will it be as good frozen? Yes, it was! I discovered it's best to use the same day because this sorbet freezes really hard if you keep it overnight. But if you're not able to, just let it soften and all will be well.
And do you have to skin all those little grape tomatoes? No. (Although that was the easy part and aren't those little veins in the tomatoes neat looking?) Just slice some heirloom tomatoes, dress them and top them with a small scoop of this sorbet. It does look nice on the bread, so do what I did. I took a left-over croissant half, cut a circle out of the bottom and toasted it. You could, however, serve it on a lettuce leaf.
That little cracker on top? It's adorable (and delicious), but you don't have to make it. I did omit the basil oil which, when I serve this again, I will definitely make if only for the sake of presentation and I also skipped the tomato tartare. I liked mine just the way it was. I'll give you recipes for the components I used, OK? Up to you which ones you use.
Thomas Keller's Tomato Sorbet on a Tomato Pyramid
Ingredients for sorbet:
6-7 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces (I didn't peel)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pinch chopped tarragon
3/4 cup simple syrup
julienned zest of 1/2 orange (about 1 teaspoon) brought to a boil in cold water, drained and repeated 2 more times
salt and pepper
Method for sorbet:
Bring the tomatoes to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat and cook, stirring often about 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced by half. There will still be some liquid remaining
Heat the oil, add the onions and cook for 7-8 minutes until tender.
I ran the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the skins. Then put both the tomatoes and onion in a blender until smooth.
Press the mixture through a tamis (I don't own one so I used a sieve) and then blend again. There should be about 1 cup. Add the remaining sorbet ingredients and blend again. Refrigerate until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Best to use the same day.
Ingredients for garlic tuilles:
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian parsley, minced
Method for garlic tuilles:
Mix the flour, sugar and salt in one bowl. Beat the butter in another bowl by hand until creamy. With a spatula or spoon, beat the egg white into the dry ingredients until smooth. Add the butter by thirds. Whisk until smooth. Preheat oven to 325°.
On a silpat, spread about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the batter with the back of a spoon. The batter does not have to be even, the silpat can show through; it actually looks more interesting. Make it the size of a small cookie. Sprinkle the tops with the rosemary and parsley. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
Ingredients for cherry tomatoes:
A variety of cherry tomatoes, try to choose the same size
salt and pepper
Method for cherry tomatoes:
Blanch the tomatoes in salted boiling water for a few seconds to loosen the skin. Peel the skin with a paring knife. Toss the tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Soften the sorbet if needed.
Arrange a layer of the tomatoes on a crouton and top with another layer. You may need to trim the bottoms to get them to sit evenly. Try to make them the same size. Top with sorbet quenelle.
Keller adds basil oil around the base.
Here's a smaller version with just one layer of tomatoes: