Posted on 22 June 2011 by

Tomatoes and Mustard

By David Harbilas

These are not the most outlandish of partners, as tomatoes are sweet and mustard is sharp, the two a great partners to a simple ham and cheese sandwich.

Yet there are other ways to combine tomatoes and mustard that we don’t normally think of.

The most old-fashioned of French classics calls for things like mustard in a choid-froid sauce, that forgotten concoction of mayonnaise and gelatin that coats poached fish served cold with a salad.

Others might be a variation of steak Dianne, the cream sauce enriched with mustard. My favorite is probably French ketchup a mixture of prepared ketchup, brandy, mustard, and mayonnaise.

About the only way I could ever imagine of improving on the original is to roast fresh tomatoes, strain them and reduce the sauce over very low heat for a very long time to create a thick, sweet extract that is folded into a homemade mayonnaise that is seasoned with Dijon mustard. So here is a recipe for a modified croque monsieur sandwich, made with this sauce.

  • Two red globe tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons brandy

Preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Coat the tomatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a sheet pan and roast for 3-4 hours, or until soft and shriveled. Remove and cool slightly. Puree the tomatoes and strain into a saucepan. Reduce the sauce by half, or until thick. Cool. Whisk the Dijon into the mayonnaise with brandy and salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk the cooled tomato puree into the sauce. To make the sandwiches, spread the mayo onto each side of bread and fill with ham and cheese. For hot sandwiches, grill on each side, about two minutes each side, or until the cheese melts.

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