Tomato Vodka Aspic


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This is like a gelled Bloody Mary. Serve with shrimp as an elegant first course.

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  • 4 C. fresh or canned tomato juice
  • 1/2 C. lemon juice
  • 1/2 C. vodka, or substitute 1/2 C. additional tomato juice
  • 1 Tbs. horseradish
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 envelopes ( 1/4 oz. each) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 C. minced celery
  • 1/4 C. minced green onion
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh basil, tarragon or parsley
  • 1/4 C. thinly sliced olives, optional

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In a large bowl combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, vodka, horseradish, celery salt, hot red pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 C. of the tomato mixture into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the juice gently, scattering it evenly so it does not clump. Let the gelatin bloom in the bowl, about 5 minutes. Place the remaining tomato mixture in a non-reactive saucepan and warm it gently. Do not boil. Add the bloomed gelatin to the hot tomato juice and stir to dissolve it. Remove it from heat. Cool to room temperature. For a fun presentation, serve the aspic in martini glasses. Evenly divide the celery, onion, herb of choice and olives, if you use them, into 6 or 8 martini glasses. Pour the cooled aspic mixture over the top of the vegetables and refrigerate until it's firm. The aspic also may be chilled in a 6-C. mold or bowl. If you use one mold, chill the aspic mixture in the refrigerator until it has a slushy texture, then fold in the vegetables and herbs. Pour the mixture into a mold and chill until firm. Turn out the mold to serve.

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