March 9: Lunchbreak - Cream of Tomato and Ginger Soup
Lawry's The Prime Rib
100 E. Ontario Street

Chicago Flower & Garden Show
March 10-18
Navy Pier

Cream of Tomato and Ginger Soup
Yield: 1 gallon

2 Spanish onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 knob of ginger
8 cups of peeled plum tomatoes
1 quart of heavy cream
2 quarts of water
1 each, bouquet garni (fresh bay leaf, thyme sprig, basil, parsley, tied with butcher string. Available at grocery stores and markets.)

In a heavy saucepan, sauté the onion to translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Cook until aromatic, no color. Crush peeled plum tomatoes by hand. Add to onion mixture. Add bouquet garni. Stir mixture. Add water, reduce by half. Add heavy cream, keep on stove for 20 minutes. The following day, heat soup up slowly to a boil. Remove from heat, and puree using a Vita Mix. (If you do not have a Vita Mix use a hand blender.) Depending on your preference, strain soup.

Steps to Plate
Serve the soup with a dollop of Crème Friache. Garnish with fennel confit (dice fennel poached in olive oil with a fresh bay leaf until tender.) Feel free to add fresh crabmeat, diced tomato, and micro greens as garnish.

Basil oil is great for dotting on a plate:
2 cups fresh basil (blanched)
2 cups canola oil
Place blanched basil in mixer, add canola oil, run on high speed for 10 minutes.

Mediterranean Chicken Panini

Ingredients: 4oz chicken breast, pounded thin
Marinate in:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 sprig fresh oregano
2 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tsp chili flake
1/2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

Directions: Saute chicken breast to 165 degrees. Slice ciabatta bread, rub one slice with chipotle aioli and one side with tomato jam. Top with sliced Gruyere cheese, placed cooked chicken breast between bread and place onto a hot, oiled Panini grill. Cook until bread is crisp and cheese is melted.

Tomato Jam

1 onion
2 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
2 cups tomatoes, peeled plums (no juice, squeeze dry)
1 Bouquet Garni (fresh bay leaf, tarragon, oregano tied with butcher string)

Heat heavy saucepan to medium heat, add onion and 1/4C olive oil. Sauté until translucent. Add sliced garlic, add drained plum tomatoes and Bouquet Garni. Lower heat to very low. Allow stew to cook 30 minutes to an hour, until the mixture in thick and free of water, stir occasionally. Season with salt to taste.

Chipotle Aioli

1 Tbs garlic aioli
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp lemon Juice
1 clove garlic, roasted
1 cup blended olive oil
1 tsp canned chipotle pepper

Combine egg yolk, chipotle pepper, Dijon mustard, roasted garlic clove and lemon juice in a blender. Slowly add oil to thicken, season with salt and pepper.