Tomato Gratin and Summer Shrimp Salad In Basil Dressing

Two good dishes I made for dinner last night that are worth memorializing in the blog so I can remember how I made them.

The first, Tomato Gratin is inspired by the Cook’s illustrated recipe of the same name. Cook’s has a pay wall, but if you want to go right to the source you can look there. I changed mine up a little and am not giving you every detail about skillets and types of tomatoes. I did make the base of this recipe a day in advance, but did not bake it. I think it makes it so much better if it can soak up all the juices. Because of making in advance before I went to bake it I did feel like it needed a bit more liquid around the edges so I drizzled a little spicy V-8 around the sides before baking and it was yummy. Tastes much better than it looks.

6 T. Olive oil

1 large french baguette – cubbed into 1/2 inch cubes

4 cloves of garlic- chopped

4 large ripe good tomatoes- chopped

3 t. Sugar

1 t. Salt

2 t. Ground black pepper

1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup spicy v-8 juice

In a big hot skillet heat 4 T. Of the olive oil and after hot add the bread, stir quickly and often and brown in the pan. Takes about five minutes. Set the bread aside.

Add the rest of the oil and the garlic and cook on medium high for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and cook on medium high for ten minutes Stirring occasionally. Take off the heat.

Put 2/3 of the bread In The pan with the tomatoes and mix everything well together and pour into a gratin pan (or any casserole dish.)

Scatter the remaining bread on top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but 24 would be better.

Preheat oven 375°. Drizzle the v-8 around the outside edge of the tomato bread. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven for 50 mins with foil tenting the top.

Summer Shrimp Salad with Basil Dressing

This is the kind of salad where you just throw in whatever vegetables you have with cooked shrimp. It is the dressing that makes it.

I used Grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, grilled onions, green pepper and jalapeño peppers With the shrimp.

To make the dressing put the following in a blender or cuisinart.

Juice of one lemon and peel of that lemon

3 cloves of garlic

1 Shallot

Two big handfuls of fresh, cleaned basil leaves

1/2 c. Champagne vinegar

1/2 c. Olive oil

1 T. Honey

Big pinch of salt

Lots of black pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Blend together, pour over the shrimp and veggies and let them marinate it the dressing for at least two hours.

Happy summer!

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