A Weekend Supper Of Tomato Salad And Roasted Cornish Game Hen

With my wife away this weekend on a roadtrip, I decide to add some ‘new’ dishes to my repetoire.  Recalling how much I enjoyed the meal at the Ritz Carlton, SF, I decided to try a recipe from Chef Ron Siegel.  If my memory serves me right (with apologies to Chairman Kaga), Thomas Keller (Chef Ron Siegel’s former boss), liked a ‘simple salad’ and roast chicken (see http://www.lafemmeepicure.com/2010/04/thomas-kellers-favorite-dinner.html).  With that in mind, decided to make Chef Siegel’s Tomato Salad and a roast cornish game hen.

I started to prepare the supper by seasoning a 1.6 lb cornish game hen, which I popped into the  oven to roast for 50 mins at 450 degree (see https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/on-salting-2/)

Seasoned cornish game hen before going into the main oven

I then turned my attention to preparing Chef Siegel’s Tomato Salad whose recipe can be found at –

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/07/22/CM209382.DTL&ao=2

With my wife on a roadtrip, I decided to resize the recipe for 1 person (down from 4). So I began by make the vinaigrette and setting it aside –

Measuring out the balsamic vinaigrette

Measuring out the olive oil

Then I minced up 1 1/2 tablespoons of shallots

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of minced shallots

I know the reduced recipe basically called for 1 lb of tomatoes/person, but as I guessed correctly, a single 1/2 lb tomato sufficed.  So, as per the recipe, I began by x’ing the bottom of the tomato, then dropping it into boiling water for about 30 seconds to a minute and then shocked it in ice cold water to remove the skin.

X’ing the tomato in preparation for peeling

Boiling the tomato to remove the peel

Shocked in ice cold water to remove the peel

Peels removed

Once I got the peel off, I ‘cored’ it by removing the stem area.

Tomato cored

I then sliced up the tomato into ~1/4″ slices and placed the slices on to a flat dish

Tomato sliced into about 1/4″ slices

and then spooned the vinaigrette over the slices, scattered the minced shallots over the tomato slices and seasoned them with 2 (3 finger) pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix (about 1/2 teaspoon).

Marinating with balsamic, olive oil, shallots and 1/2 t 4:1 salt/pepper

I let the tomato slices sit for about 30 minutes.  Once that was done, I ‘re-constructed’ the tomato’s shape using the top of the tomato as the base (saving the x’d tomato slice as the ‘cap’ of the tomato) and used the vinaigrette used to marinate the tomato slices to toss a handful of mixed greens.  I carefully tried to place the greens on top of the tomato ‘stack’ and covered it with the tomato ‘cap. I finished the plating by spooning a little more of the vinaigrette over the top.

Tomato reassembled, with vinagrette tossed mixed greens and recapped

I blanched a 2 handfuls of peas and carrots to plate beneath the cornish game hen.  As soon as the hen was done I plated the blanched vegetables onto a square plate and place the crispy skin roasted hen on top.

Main course

Simple and very satisfying….

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