Last night Matt & I were invited to a dinner at Corner Table featuring Muir Glen Tomatoes. If you are a reader of this blog you know we are big fans of Corner Table & Chef Scott Pampuch's cooking but, we were surprised he was doing a dinner featuring canned tomatoes. Scott is known for cooking with as much local & seasonal food as possible. (He even bragged that they had to search out a can opener for this dinner since they don't use canned goods.) So, how did canned tomatoes fit into his ethic?
Scott talked about how he only trusts ingredients where he can go visit the farm where they are grown & raised so, he visited the Central Valley California fields where Muir Glen Tomatoes are grown & met the farmers. The tomatoes are all grown organically & hand-harvested which impressed him. Plus let's face it unless you are canning your own tomatoes, your only other local option in MN in winter is hot house tomatoes which probably leave as much of a carbon footprint as those trucked from CA. As for us, we've been fans of Muir Glen Tomatoes, especially the fire roasted, since we lived in California. We do can our own tomatoes but, when we need to buy some Muir Glen is our go to brand for their superior taste (really there is a difference).
Now let's talk about the food, which was of course amazing...
The evening started with passed appetizers including a tomato tart & tomato soup with grilled cheese sliders.
Then we were served a pasta dish with an Amatriciana sauce that really highlighted the tomatoes. We loved the sofrito stuffing in the pasta.
The second course was a take on a burger with the protein actually lamb terrine. What really made this dish was the combination of homemade pickle relish, tomato gastrique & mustard. It was also served with a tomato salt which seems to be basically oven dried tomatoes ground fine with salt. It had a pretty red color but we didn't notice a strong tomato flavor to it even when tasted along.
The night ended with an olive oil cake topped with tomato sorbet, strawberry basil ice cream & a fennel seed tuille. We didn't care for the tomato sorbet on its own but mixed with the strawberry basil ice cream the flavors became much more mellow. Love, love, loved that fennel tuille.
All & all a very fun night. It was quite interesting to see what a chef of Scott's caliber can do with a can of tomatoes.
Disclaimer: Muir Glen/General Mills paid for our dinner but all opinions in this post are our own & we were not required to write about it.
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