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Gourmet Style: Classic American Comfort Food

8 Easy Recipes from Hale Aina Award-winning Chefs


(page 2 of 5)


"The cheese soup/tomato sandwich idea is a twist on the classic tomato soup/grilled cheese combo."—Chef Ed Kenney

Photo: Monte Costa

Recipe from Chef Ed Kenney

Grilled Tomato Sandwich and Cheese Soup

For the Sandwich

4   slices rustic country bread       
2   ripe tomatoes
1    garlic clove, peeled           
     Extra virgin olive oil
     Salt and pepper
For garnish, basil.       

For the Soup (Bacon-Parmesan Broth)

2    tsp. olive oil
6    slices bacon, chopped
1     onion, chopped
1     carrot, chopped
1     outer rib of celery
3    Tb. all-purpose flour
3    cups water
3    cups dry white wine
2    cloves garlic, smashed
1     bay leaf
8    oz. Parmigiano Reggiano rinds
      (or hunk of Parmigiano cheese)



“Tomatoes are so delicious through August and September that I thought they deserved respect, and not to be turned into soup. The beautiful heirloom tomatoes used were from Jeanne Vana at Big Wave Tomato Farm in Waialua. She is at the KCC Farmers’ Market every Saturday.” –Chef Ed Kenney

To finish the soup:

1     cup cream
8    oz. grated fontina cheese
1     tsp. Marsala
1     tsp. chili pepper water
      Salt and pepper to taste

1. Method for the sandwich:

Prepare a barbecue grill or cast-iron grill pan. Place bread on the grill and after one minute flip the bread. Brush the grilled side of the bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. After another minute, remove the bread from the grill and rub the oiled side with the raw garlic clove. Top each slice of bread with slices of tomato and torn basil leaves. Drizzle each “sandwich” with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Method for the soup:

Render the bacon in a pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. After five minutes, add the vegetables and sauté for five more minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. Add the water, wine, garlic, Parmesan rinds and bay leaf, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the broth from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Purée the broth in a blender or with an immersion blender for one minute. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot. Add the cream to the broth and return to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat down slightly and add the fontina little by little, stirring all the while, until the cheese has melted and the soup has become creamy. Do not simmer or boil, as the soup may separate. Remove from the heat, add the Marsala and season with chili pepper water, salt and pepper. Strain again if needed. Serve in a cup with the sandwich.



Recipe from Chef Dennis Franks

Traditional Mashed Potatoes

3     pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1     cup heavy cream
½   cup butter (1 stick)
1½ tsp. salt
¼   tsp. white pepper

1.  Method:

1. Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, then drain well and set potatoes aside. If time allows, chef Dennis Franks recommends substituting the boiled potatoes with baked potatoes (with or without skin). Then proceed to step 2.

2. In pot, heat cream, butter, salt and pepper. Once the mixture is hot, and the butter is melted, add the potatoes and mash together.


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