S&C test kitchen–bloody mary tomato mousse

This past weekend, friends LC and CA invited us over for a round of Texas hold ’em. Given they appreciate a good cocktail as much as we do, it was a perfect opportunity for me to test the Bloody Mary Tomato Mousse cocktail recently featured in “Summer in a cup.”

There are many things to like about this drink: the colors are impressive, its innovative, and I love the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. I thought the flavor of the multiple, ripe tomatoes would make my mouth explode, but that didn’t quite happen. While I would make this cocktail again, I would continue to experiment with the ingredients, the portions (notice how I had a lot more of the red mixture), and the layering technique (not quite as beautiful as the original picture).

The original recipe comes from Washington Post Food Section Gastronomer columnist Andreas Viestad. I didn’t alter the recipe much – I added fesh basil, more Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce. I recommend when making, you taste each batch of puree and alter spices accordingly. The S&C modified recipe is the one below.

Ingredients:

· 3 small yellow tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
· 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
· Freshly squeezed lemon juice
· 5 medium red tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
· 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
· Several dashes hot pepper sauce (to taste)
· 5 to 6 tablespoons vodka, plus more to taste (preferably from the freezer)
· 3 small green tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
· 2 ribs celery, washed, trimmed and cut into chunks
· Handful of fresh basil
· Celery salt (kosher salt mixed with celery seed)

Directions:

I made the pureed tomato batches several hours before serving, so I stored each in separate plastic containers.

Original recipe calls for pureeing in a blender for 5 minutes. Fearing my blender couldn’t handle it, I opted for a food processor, and didn’t need the full 5 minutes. The tomatoes were ripe and juicy, so my tomato purees were very liquidy. I put the containers in the freezer, rather than the refrigerator, hoping to thicken the mixture.

1. Place the yellow tomato pieces in a food processor and puree for 3-5 minutes until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar as needed. Add lemon zest and lemon juice to taste. Pour mixture in plastic container and store in freezer for a few hours to thicken.

2. Rinse out the food processor and place the red tomato pieces inside; puree for 3-5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the jar as needed. Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and vodka to taste; puree for a few seconds just to combine. Pour mixture in plastic container and store in freezer for a few hours to thicken.

3. Rinse out the food processor, then add the green tomato pieces, chunks of celery, and basil. Puree for 3-5 minutes, or until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the jar as needed. Pour mixture in plastic container and store in freezer for a few hours to thicken. (For next time: I will try adding a roasted poblano pepper to the green mixture.)

4. Remove puree mixtures about a half-hour before serving. The mixtures should not be frozen (only slightly crystalized along the edge of the containers). In the meantime, make the celery salt.

5. When ready to serve – I had a lot more of the red mixture, so I placed the red layer on the bottom of the glass. Then, carefully pour the yellow mixture on top (pouring it over the back of a spoon will cause less agitation). Add a splash of well-chilled vodka. Then, pour the green mixture on top of the yellow mixture. Sprinkle with celery salt.

Overall rating: 3 out of 4 stars

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