I thought I would be able to reenter the realm of Charcuteapalooza: The Year of Meat by fulfilling their call for a Terrine or Mousseline. Time and, more so, money has been a factor in not participating in the past three rounds and I found myself, again, not being to justify plunking down the money on a piece of equipment that I may or may not use again. I thought I had found salvation from purchasing a $50+ terrine mold by using a recycled Trois Petit Cochon package. It would allow me to do an uncooked terrine which I thought would be kosher--I mean, even Ruhlman throws us a vegetable one at the end of the chapter of 'Charcuterie.'
As luck would have it, Bon Appetit even published a stunning Tomato Terrine in this month's issue. Surely the God's of 'Poor Man's Charcuterie' were smiling down on me. But, they weren't. Not really.
Yes, I had made a terrine. Yes, it worked because I didn't have to cook it. Yes, it met Mrs. Wheelbarrows plea for 'pre-sen-ta-tion.' Yes, I had justified in my head that this fit into the "Year of Meat" because of the use of gelatin. But, I hadn't read all of the rules--that it needed to be more about the binding, than the vessel. That Mrs. Wheelbarrow, herself, had published a terrine that was not cooked in the oven and, therefore, I could have too. I could have also made a cooked terrine using ramekins. I could have done just about everything else that I did and fell into the paramaters that were clearly set out before me.
Just as I was about to declare victory and felt great about what I created, I fell on my face.
At least a little.
I mean, what I made was probably one of the most visually stunning dishes I've made in my own kitchen. There were some errors, like losing too much juice to too much weight before it had time to set, making it a lot more delicate than needed.
But, the flavor equaled the visual and, for that, I do have to declare victory, even if it wasn't in the name of 'Charcutepalooza.'
From Bon Appetit:
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 shallot, halved
1 garlic clove
10 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
10 black peppercorns
3 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)
6 pounds large firm ripe tomatoes (a mix of colors but of similar size), peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives plus more
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Extra-virgin olive oil
Special EquipmentYou will need two 8x4 1/2" loaf pans.
PreparationBring first 8 ingredients and 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until stock yields 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large measuring cup. Strain stock, discarding solids. Cover; keep hot
Uncover terrine; invert onto a platter. Remove pan and plastic wrap. Slice terrine; transfer to plates. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chives and sea salt.Set a fine-mesh strainer over another measuring cup. Cut each peeled tomato into 4 wedges. Place wedges, cut side up, on a work surface. Cut away seeds and pulp from tomato and transfer to strainer. Place filleted tomatoes on a double layer of paper towels to drain; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Pat tomatoes with more paper towels. Let stand for 30 minutes.Press on seeds to yield 1/2 cup tomato juice. Sprinkle gelatin over juice; let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Add to hot stock; whisk vigorously to dissolve gelatin. Stir in 1/4 cup chives, vinegar, and kosher salt to taste.Spray 1 loaf pan with nonstick spray; line with plastic wrap, allowing for a 3" overhang on each side. Smooth plastic to remove wrinkles. Pour 1/2 cup stock into pan. Chill until set, about 40 minutes. Arrange 1 layer of tomatoes in pan, pressing down gently, then drizzle 2 tablespoons stock mixture over. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes and stock. Pour remaining stock over to fill pan. Cover terrine with plastic wrap. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet.
Place second loaf pan on top of terrine. Weigh down terrine by placing 2-3 small canned goods in top pan (some of liquid mixture in bottom pan may spill out). Chill terrine until set, about 6 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
I drizzled some basil oil over top of the terrine, as well as some sliced mozzarella from Vermont. A more visually stunning spin on the Caprese salad and perfect for an August get together with friends.