Le Grand Fooding, September 27-28, 2013

What’s French for DeLorean? This weekend’s Le Grand Fooding (hosted by Paris-based indie mag Le Fooding) explores the theme of time travel through food. The event, called Time Mach’Inn, is sold-out but we have an exclusive recipe from participating chefs Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, of Brooklyn’s Frankies Spuntino, Prime Meats and the Res, where everything will go down on Friday and Saturday.

The menu for each night makes stops in three distinct cooking eras: fusion (1991-1999), bistronomy (1998-2007) and the farm-to-table movement (2008-present). The Franks will take on the last category with a sweet-savory dessert, dubbed Tomato and Honey. Here, the recipe, which features a tomato granite over decadent ricotta semifreddo. It’s further garnished with a simple tomato marmalade, which by itself would be great on cheese and crusty bread.

Tomato and Honey
Makes 8-10 servings

Tomato Granite
2 pounds tomatoes
1 ounce Champagne vinegar
4 ounces sugar
1 cup cold water
½ bunch of basil

Deseed and juice the tomatoes. Make a gastrique from the vinegar and sugar. Puree the rest of the ingredients, transfer to a cheesecloth-lined strainer or piece of hung cheesecloth and add the gastrique, drain for 12 hours. Put the liquid and half of the pulp into a pan and place in the freezer; stir every 20 minutes until frozen.

Tomato Marmalade
10 tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
2 quarts simple syrup

Place cut tomatoes skin side up in a shallow sauce pot then pour the syrup over; it should come up ¾ of the way up the tomatoes. Cook in a preheated 350° oven for one hour or until the tomatoes cook through. Remove the skins while still hot (they should remove easily). Strain the tomatoes and coarsely chop. Pour a little syrup into the tomatoes to loosen the mixture.

Ricotta Semifreddo
½ cup sugar
¼ cup milk
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons orange zest
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces ricotta
8 ounces heavy cream
3 tablespoons chilled Sicilian honey, for garnish
Small basil leaves, for garnish

Line a shallow half-sized pan with plastic wrap. In a blender combine the sugar, milk, ¼ cup of honey, orange zest, vanilla, salt, cream cheese and ricotta. Pour into a bowl.

Whip cream to stiff peaks. Fold in ¼ cup of whipped cream into ricotta mix. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Pour into mold, and freeze up to eight hours before serving.

To serve, once the semifreddo is frozen, whip the mixture and place it in a piping bag. Pipe some of the mixture into the bottom of a 5-ounce paper soufflé cup. Scoop out some of the granite and place on top. Garnish with tomato marmalade and drizzle with some Sicilian honey. Finish with the small basil leaves.

Recipe courtesy of Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo.