2419 W. 14th St., Chicago
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Explosion
2 c of your favorite tomato soup
8 leaves gelatin; soaked in cold water and squeezed dry
2 slices cheddar cheese; cut into 4 squares each
Finely ground breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
½ pint cherry tomatoes; quartered
Few sprigs of basil; chiffonade
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Gently warm the tomato soup over medium heat and in the meantime, line a ¼ sized sheet pan with plastic wrap on the bottom. Once warm, add the softened gelatin into the soup and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the soup into the prepared pan, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Once completely cooled and gelled, carefully remove the gelled soup and place on a cutting board. Cut into small squares and place in the freezer. Prepare the breading station and alternate by dipping the square in the flour, followed by the eggwash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process to ‘double bread’, and store in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
Preheat oven to 155 degrees F, and heat the oil in a tabletop fryer to 315 degrees F. Fry the breaded soup until golden brown, remove to a resting rack and season with salt. Top each of the portions with a slice of the cheddar cheese and place into the preheated oven to melt and keep warm. In the meantime, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat and add the quartered cherry tomatoes. Saute until tender and fold in the basil. Season with salt and remove from the pan and onto a paper towel to soak excess liquid.
Divide the warm tomatoes onto four plates and top with the fried tomato soup. As there is warm liquid on the inside of the breaded exterior (from the gelatin melting), it is important that the fried piece be eaten in one bite.