After much thought, I am always thinking, I am going to incorporate some food thoughts on Friday's for the weekend cooking types, like myself. I prefer to do my lengthier cooking on the weekends, listen to NPR, and just "create," it is my time to just unwind. I do cook during the week but it is usually a 30 minute meal type creation, which is always good, but on the weekends I like to just create every now and then without being rushed or deadlines to meet during the week.
I happened to run across a novel item, don't recall where I saw it, but it has stuck with me and I might have to create my own version this weekend. It was the Grilled Cheese Truck in Los Angeles. I am telling you their grilled mac and cheese sandwich caught my attention. That is one of my most favoritest items when the cooler months start to hit-the delectable grilled cheese. The Grilled Cheese Truck has even kicked it up a notch by adding BBQ pork with caramelized onions, OMG, I could just rub my face with that sandwich right now.
Photo from the FoodLedger.com
When I saw the program, it looked like TGCT made a batch of homemade mac and cheese and chilled it, in a loaf pan perhaps, sliced it and put it between two slices of cheese and then put inside the bread. The bread was spread with MAYO AND BUTTER on the outside, cheesy stuff inside, and then grilled to a golden perfection. This is what I am doing this weekend baby. Hopefully, my business bud might be able to catch them in LA one of these days.
And I could not complete the meal unless I had me some fresh homemade tomato soup. I was thumbing through my Ina cookbooks and came across her Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup, I am gonna make that again and freeze for the week as well.
Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup
Adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
Croutons, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that's left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.
Yields 5-6 servings
Note: I am not really a basil kind of person, I did not put that in and it tasted fabulous without it.