Friday, September 07, 2007

"Tomato Juice"

I don't remember where or when was the first time I heard of tomato water - pureed tomatos drained through cheesecloth so that you are left with a clear "water" - but it has always intrigued me. It intrigued me, but not enough to actually try it out. Not until my bounty of tomatos from a recent farmers market starting taking up most of the counter space in my kitchen.

As was this pasta dish, I got my idea for my "Tomato Juice" from the new Jamie Oliver show Jamie at Home. Jamie made a Tomato and Vodka Consomme that looked incredible. So I thought I'd try my hand at something similar.

So here's the next installment of Operation: Too Many Tomatos - "Tomato Juice"


Get out your food processor or blender. Wash and core 2 lbs of tomatos and throw them in. Add 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tb dried basil (or a handful of fresh), 1 tb red wine vinegar, and 2 or 3 shots of vodka. Or leave the vodka out. It's not really enough to alter the flavor so much that it's ruined without it, it just adds a bit of a kick. Puree until smooth.

For the straining, you can either drain the puree in a colander, or suspend it over a bowl. Either way, dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth and wring out. If you want to drain in a colander, line the colander with the cheesecloth, place the colander in a bowl, and pour in the puree. Let drain at least 3 hours, or overnight.
If you want to suspend the cheesecloth, gently pull in the sides of the cloth and tie with some string or an elastic. Suspend with a spoon or what have you over the bowl. Let sit the same as above. As you can see in the picture below the liquid is mostly clear.
And now you can see below, it's not so clear anymore. That's because after 3 1/2 hours I wanted my counter space back, so I gently squeezed the bag to get out as much of the liquid as I could. It's now pink instead of clear, but I think it's much lovelier in pink.
I have no pretty glasses, so here's my "Tomato Juice" in a shot glass. It's completely wonderful, and very, very refreshing. Scott, who I initially had to chase around the house with a glass of it to get him to try it, totally loves it!
Isn't it pretty? If only tomatos were in season at Valentines Day, this would be perfect to serve your loved one that day.


The Cooking Ninja said...

hmm...sounds and looks very tasty :) But think I will give it a pass ... too much work for me to core all those tomatoes with a 1 year old running around the house and most likely dipping her hands into the puree before I could set it up to drain it.

Mike said...

Sounds like a great way to prepare tomatoes (sans the vodka) for canning. I've always cooked the tomatoes to get rid of the water, but if this could be done on a large scale (25 pounds or so), this would make for some mighty fine canned tomatoes.

Rachel said...

It sounds great to me!

Susan said...

Hmmm...I'm intrigued. And if Jamie does it, it's good to be good, right?
Thanks for the idea!

Sara said...

cj - yes i agree, you don't want tomato puree all over the floor!

mike - i bet it could!

rachel - i really enjoyed it. it was so refreshing.

susan - i am loving his new series so much.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes, I've wanted to try this forever. Yours is beautiful.

Lis said...

well I'll be dipped. It sounds disgusting yet delicious at the same time. I'm not exactly sure why disgusting.. there certainly isn't anything disgusting about how it's made.. but it sounds delish as I'm a totally tomato juice freak.. love it.. love it!

I love your experiments too.. you guys rock!

Brilynn said...

I made some of this last year after seeing it on Chef at Home!