We have a new food truck in Birmingham. It is a grilled cheese food truck. I about died from excitement. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to keep a consistent schedule or location, and they don’t inform people with their times promptly, so it has been a failed attempt at tracking them down when I have free time.
Today we had the city’s first Street Food Rally. Birmingham is actually a very up-and-coming food scene. Well, we have Chef Chris Hastings and his restaurant Hot and Hot Fish Club. He won the James Beard award in 2012 and even won against Iron Chef Bobby Flay last year as well. We also have Frank Stitt, and his multiple restaurants, including Highlands Bar and Grill. He has received several honors, including being inducted into the James Beard Foundation.
But lately, we have seen the rise of several food trucks. Cupcakes, Vietnamese, Mexican, Seafood, just to name a few. And now we have Melt. Unfortunately, our city is trying to make it really hard for food trucks to do business. Brick and mortar restaurants (not all of them) are complaining that food trucks are taking away their business. This is, in my opinion, ridiculous. If I want to eat at a specific restaurant, I am going to go to that restaurant, no matter what food truck might be near by. Anyway, to make a long story short, today’s food truck rally was to gain support for our city’s food trucks.
The turnout was really good. Super long lines. But back to Melt. The line was just too damn long. So here I am, writing this blog, after enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich and the most amazing tomato basil bisque I have ever put in my mouth. I guess I will have to catch Melt later.
I used canned tomatoes because I wanted this recipe to be low-budget. Tomatoes can get expensive. The addition of the fire roasted tomatoes gives this bisque a nice earthy flavor.
- 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 large can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, I like the Hunt's brand, made with garlic
- 1 small can of tomato sauce
- ½ cup freshly chopped basil
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp toasted cumin powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ stick butter
- Combine all ingredients whole tomatoes through red pepper flakes in a large saucepan.
- Simmer for half an hour to 45 minutes.
- Blend in a blender.
- Strain back in pot and let simmer for 5 minutes, stir in cream and butter and let simmer another 5 minutes.