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Gabriel Kreuther
rising stars
November 2002 NEW YORK
Chilled Green Tomato Soup
with Peekytoe Crab

Gabriel Kreuther, Atelier - New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs


Wine Suggestions: 2001 Pouilly-Fume, "Pur Sang", Didier Dagueneau, Loire Valley, France 2002 Sauvignon Blanc, Forefathers, Marlborough, New Zealand

Yield:
6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 medium (or 1 very large) shallots
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 small artichokes, about 2 inches in diameter, or 1 medium globe artichoke
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds green tomatoes (preferably an heirloom variety such as Brandywine)
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream (see note)
  • 2-4 cups filtered water or a neutral mineral water (see note)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel and roughly chop the onion and shallots; chop the bell pepper. Trim the artichokes, removing all tough leaves and trimming and peeling the stem (do not discard the stem, however). Quarter the artichokes and trim away the hairy internal fibers; if using a larger globe artichoke, use ¾ of it, roughly chopped.

In a heavy 4 or 5-quart non-reactive saucepan or casserole, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chopped vegetables and a sprinkling of salt. Cook slowly to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the vegetables are cooking, cut the green tomatoes in half crosswise, and remove all seeds and juice by squeezing them like lemon halves and running your fingers into the tomatoes' cavities. Then cut each half into four pieces.

When the vegetables are fairly soft, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and stir well to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 hour over fairly low heat, stirring occasionally, until falling-apart tender.

Preferably using an immersion blender, completely purée the tomato-vegetable mixture. If you use a counter-top blender, let the mixture cool for a few minutes before puréeing, and work in batches. You may need to add a little water at this stage, but if your tomatoes were very moist it may not be necessary. Put the purée through a very fine sieve, such as a chinois. Scrape and press vigorously with a big spoon to extract as much of the solids as possible; very little should remain behind in the sieve. Check for salt and pepper, bearing in mind that the soup will be somewhat diluted before serving. Cool and refrigerate in a covered container, preferably overnight.

Plum Tomato Confit
This can be made while the soup is simmering.

  • 6 fairly large red, ripe plum tomatoes
  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 225ºF. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of cold water ready.

Working in batches, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the bowl of cold water to cool, then peel each tomato and remove the base of the stem. Cut each tomato into quarters lengthwise, and scoop or cut out the seeds and ribs. All that should remain are clean "fillets" of tomato flesh.

In a bowl, combine the tomato pieces with the oil, garlic, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast for a total of 80 minutes, carefully turning the tomato slices every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven; set aside to cool. Set aside until needed or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Crab Salad

  • 6 ounces cooked peeky toe crab meat
  • 2 teaspoons sour cream
  • Juice from 2/3 of 1 lemon
  • 6 leaves fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Using a fork, thoroughly break up the crab meat in a bowl, removing any scraps of shell or other debris; it should be in shreds. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and lemon juice. Pour over the crab, add the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To serve: When everything is chilled and you are ready to serve, add the cream and water to the soup base. Because the water content of the tomatoes varies, the amount of cream and water will also vary. Begin by measuring the puréed soup base. Add about ¼ cup of heavy cream and ¼ cup water per 1 cup of purée. The consistency should be fairly liquid-similar to that of heavy cream; if necessary, add more water and a little more cream until you have attained that consistency. If your tomatoes were not at all watery, or if the mixture thickened a great deal in the cooking, you may need to add as much as 1 cup water and ½ cup cream per 1 cup of purée. Just be sure not to dilute the soup so much that you wash it out. Taste again for salt. Put the soup into a nice pitcher that you can bring it to the table in, and refrigerate.

Choose 18 of the nicest pieces of plum tomato confit (for 6 servings), and carefully pat them dry with paper towels-be careful-they are fragile. Place a little clump of Crab Salad on each piece of tomato and then fold the tomato over the crab to form a little "cannelloni" style bundle. Arrange a triangle of three bundles in the center of each soup plate (use shallow bowls rather than deep ones). Drizzle with a tiny bit of the flavorful oil in which the tomatoes were roasted.

Bring the soup plates to the table with just their centerpieces of crab-tomato "cannelloni," Then pour just enough around each trio of cannelloni so as to encircle the garnish but not so much as to submerge it. Guests can do this for themselves. Leave the pitcher on the table for second helpings.

 
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