Wednesday, January 14, 2009


serves 4

For the tomato jelly
4 lb 6½oz plum tomatoes, peeled
dash olive oil
2 leeks, thoroughly washed, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bunch fresh basil, stalks only
1 garlic clove
2 bay leaves
8¾fl oz tomato juice
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
5½ leaves gelatine per litre of tomato stock produced

For the bacon onion cream
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lb. 3¼oz white onions, finely sliced
3½oz bacon
7fl oz double cream
pinch salt

For the lettuce soup
2 heads English lettuce

For the garnish
2 onions, sliced into rings
3½fl oz milk
1¾oz plain flour
½ pint vegetable oil, for deep frying, plus 1 tsp extra
5¼oz bacon lardons

For the cheese mixture
1 lbs. 13¼oz cheddar, grated
7½fl oz milk
2¼oz plain flour
2¼oz fresh breadcrumbs
2 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
1 tsp prepared English mustard
good splash Worcestershire sauce

For the sandwich
1 loaf brioche
8 large slices prosciutto
1 black truffle, thinly sliced

For the tomato jelly, de-seed the tomatoes (reserve the tomato flesh) and place the seeds into a sieve over a bowl. Reserve the sieved juice anddiscard the seeds. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, Add the vegetables and fry over a low heat for 5-6 minutes, to soften but not colour. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the basil stalks, garlic and bay leaves. Add the flesh from the reserved plum tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the tomato juice and the juice extracted from the tomato seeds. Season, to taste, with caster sugar and salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for one hour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cool. pour the tomato mixture into in a muslin cloth over a large bowl to collect the juices. Transfer the collected juice to a clean pan over a medium heat and boil to reduce the liquid volume by one third. Allow to cool then transfer to a measuring jug to establish the volume of tomato stock. Soak the gelatine leaves (number according to amount of tomato stock) in ice-cold water until softened, then squeeze out any excess water. Add the softened gelatine to the tomato stock and dissolve. Strain again into Martini glasses and place into the fridge to set.

For the bacon and onion cream, heat the olive oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the onions and bacon and fry to soften and infuse the onions with the bacon flavour. Fry for one hour over a very low heat without colouring, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the bacon from the onions. Discard the bacon or use in another recipe. Transfer the onions to a food processor. Add 3½fl oz of the double cream and blend until smooth. Whip the remaining 3½fl oz of the double cream in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the onion and cream mixture and fold in gently.

For the lettuce soup, place the lettuce leaves into boiling water for one minute, then remove and refresh in iced water and drain. Place the lettuce leaves into a food processor, blend and pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Season, to taste, with salt. Pour into shot glasses and chill in the fridge.

For the garnish, heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped in it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Dip the onion rings into the milk, then into the flour to coat. Transfer to the hot oil to deep-fry in batches until just turning golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Heat the extra teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the bacon lardons. Fry until golden-brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm.

For the cheese mixture, place the cheddar and milk into a large heavy-based pan and heat, stirring regularly, until the cheddar has melted and combined with the milk. Add the flour and breadcrumbs and cook for a further five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a food processor and blend. Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend to combine. Repeat with the egg yolks. Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce, blend again, then place into the fridge to cool.

For the sandwich, preheat the oven to 360F. Cut eight very thin slices from the brioche. Spread the cheese mixture onto one side of each slice. Place two slices of prosciutto onto four of the slices of cheese mixture-covered brioche and sprinkle a few slices of fresh truffle over the top. Place a second slice of brioche on top of each to create four sandwiches. Place each sandwich into a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown on each side. Transfer the sandwiches to a baking tray and place into the oven to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, cut off the crusts and cut into 'soldiers'.

To serve, place a glass of tomato jelly onto each plate. Add a layer of onion cream to each jelly. Garnish with the deep-fried onion rings and the cooked bacon lardons. Place a shot glass of lettuce soup alongside and arrange the sandwich 'soldiers' around.

courtesy of: Jason Atherton, Great British Menu, BBC Food

No comments: