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By Anonymous 07/30/2008
I know you asked for a fresh tomato recipe but here is a very, very easy Bloody Mary Mix to make at home:
3 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a blender combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, lime juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and hot sauce and process until smooth. Transfer to a non-reactive container and add salt and black pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
By D. (Guest Post)07/30/2008
TOMATO COCKTAIL (Bloody Mary Base)
Served straight and iced, or spiked with vodka to make a Bloody Mary, this spicy brew has the freshness of good vegetables and none of the strong flavoring additives found in many canned or bottled cocktail bases.
(Makes about 1 quart of juice from each 2 quarts of whole tomatoes)
Fully ripped Italian-type plum or pear tomatoes, without spoiled spots or bruises
For each 2 quarts of whole tomatoes:
1/2 medium red or green sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 to 1 rib celery (depending on size), with leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 small dried hot red pepper (about 1 1/2 inches long) or a 1/2-inch slice fresh hot pepper (use more if you like "hotter" juice, or add bottled hot pepper sauce to the finished juice, as described in the directions)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 bay leaf
2 or 3 small sprigs parsley
3 or 4 fresh basil leaves or 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried basil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Strained fresh lemon or lime juice to taste (see note below)
1. Wash the tomatoes well. Cut away any green or yellow parts and remove white or green cores. Quarter the tomatoes and measure them into a stainless-steel or enameled kettle; each 2 quarts of whole tomatoes should yield about 5 cups, cut up.
2. Add to the tomatoes the sweet pepper, onion, garlic, celery, peppercorns, hot pepper (if used), coriander, bay leaf, parsley, basil, and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.
3. Force the vegetables through the finest disc of a food mill. Sieve the juice if it isn't smooth enough, or if any seeds have passed into it. If the juice seems too thin, let it settle, then skim off and discard the thin liquid on top.
4. Taste the juice for seasoning and add sugar, salt, pepper sauce (if you are including it), and strained lemon or lime juice to taste.
5. Return the juice to the rinsed-out kettle and bring it to a boil, then ladle it into clean, hot canning bars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, put on two-piece lids, and fasten the screw bands.
6. Set the jars on a rack in a deep kettle half filled with boiling water. Add boiling water to cover the jars by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil hard (process) for 15 minutes for quarts, 10 minutes for pints.
7. Remove the jars from the boiling-water bath and cool.
Note: Because you want highly seasoned cocktail juice, you'll undoubtedly add enough lemon or lime juice to ensure that the juice is acid enough to be canned safely in a boiling-water bath.
A Note On Canning Safety: Tomatoes, because of their acid content, have in past years been considered safe to can in a boiling-water bath. However, in recent years hybridizers have developed "sub-acid" varieties that may be on the borderline of acid content where the safe canning of tomatoes or their juice is concerned. to be on the safe side, taste the juice before canning it. If it lacks tartness, be sure to add enough lemon juice to re-create the characteristic pleasant tomato sharpness.
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