Monday, August 3, 2009

Tomatoes are carb free . . . . ???

man, i bought around $15 worth of heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market this past weekend

whooooo-weeeeee! Look at those Cherokee Purples!!! I got three of those big suckers

And then five of the yellow tomatoes, I dont know what they were, Lemon Boys or whatever. The yellow tomatoes were markedly sweeter than the Cherokee Purples, but just take a look at how meaty the Cherokees are - barely any gel and seed!

Here's a great closeup

Here you can see the beautiful color striations, green, purple and red (well sort of, it's still the same crappy lighting in my kitchen, although I put it on a white platter this time)

So much meat!

I made the most delicious tomato salad with these tomatoes. I was trying (and failing) to recreate the most delicious tomato salad I have ever had in my life. It was at my best friend's wedding, last year at Citronelle in Washington, D.C. I don't think any of us were quite expecting a salad of heirloom tomatoes to explode in our mouths and then shimmy around like velvet to be washed down with a nice white wine like a song the way that chef's tomato salad was, but man, what did he use? I've always wondered? It was a wedding, he could have served us the same old tomatoes with slices of buffalo mozzarella and basil and we would have stuffed it in our mouths. As for me, I wanted to do these tomatoes the same justice.

So I found this recipe from Gourmet Magazine, circa July 2000.
  • 3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (preferably flaky sea salt or fleur de sel) 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 lb ripe tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally
  • Whisk together oil, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Arrange one third of tomatoes in 1 layer on a large plate, then drizzle with some dressing and sprinkle with some scallion. Make 2 more layers of tomatoes, drizzling each with dressing and sprinkling with scallion.
Cooks’ note: Tomatoes can be sliced and dressed, without scallion, 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap. Sprinkle scallion over tomatoes just before serving."

Here's our version:

I added a little bit of roquefort cheese, leftover from the huge cheese block I bought at Costco weeks ago for the arugula roquefort steak dish.


I'd love to know how others make their heirloom tomato salads. Many recipes suggest balsamic vinegar and I do not like balsamic vinegar for salads, although I have some from Little Italy in NYC that is 20 y/o and pretty good. It is just too sweet, I think. I used tarragon vinegar instead of malt vinegar in this salad and it turned out good.

But, surprisingly, the real stunner in this meal was THE SHRIMP.

You should really get yourself some shrimp and keep it in the freezer. It's so easy to prepare as an easy dish - with pasta, with greens, , etc. etc. I love it! It's the summer version of frozen meatballs! :)

Anyway, this month's issue of Cooking Light had this great recipe for "Jerk-Spiced Shrimp" and we made it and I AM IN LOVE!!!
Ok, here is the photo from Cooking Light:

The Recipe:

1 tbls sugar ( I used light brown sugar and I recommend it)
1 tbls paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 tblsp olive oil
1.5 lbs peeled and deveined large shrimp
Cooking Spray

- Combine spices. Toss shrimp and oil in large bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle spices over shrimp and toss. Thread shrimp evenly onto skewers. Place skewers onto grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once.


I will definitely be making these at at least one party per year from now on. These are so freaking delicious that we were looking at one another with puppy dog eyes, sadly, asking if there were any left. Thankfully, there was a LOT of the tomato salad.

All in all, I love summer. You can make a lot of no-carb meals. Nice and healthy! This shrimp recipe is called "jerk-spiced shrimp" by Cooking Light but it is not really spicy enough for a true jerk name. Still, it is so tasty that I thought about cooking up another batch tonight. Wowza! I had five leftover shrimp for lunch today and they were just as good.

I highly recommend these recipes!


Isaac said...

Those things look amazing!!!

TKW said...

So funny! That shrimp is on my "to try" list for this month! I'm glad they're good; now I can try them freely.

Your tomatoes are amazing! I love a good blue cheese on my tomatoes--mouthwatering!



Chris said...

OMG, beautiful tomaters!!! I will try the shrimp recipe for the wife.Where have you been? Has the garden recovered at all?

Sally said...

So, when are you opening your restaurant? I'd be there in a minute.

Seeing and reading about your tomato salad makes me regret not buying any tomatoes at the farmers market this morning. I didn't see any heirlooms anyway. I guess I have this thing where I feel that if I'm in the middle of growing something, it would be some kind of violation to go out and buy what someone else has grown. I should get over, since this year's harvest potential is in question.