This recipe resulted from a conversation at our island’s Sewing Circle Valentine’s Day luncheon. One of the members, my neighbor Bonnie Hughes, brought tomato aspic. Aspic is old-fashioned, I know, but when it shows up at a potluck lunch, it is greeted with joy. I, for one, love the stuff.
Bonnie and I talked about it, and she said that she was a little unhappy with her recipe, which she made with packaged gelatin dessert. She said, “I think aspic ought to taste like a good Bloody Mary.”
That idea lodged itself in my mind. Both Bonnie and I independently spent some time trying to come up with a version that matched our ideas of a Bloody Mary. I suppose I could have gone out and bought a bottle of Bloody Mary mix, but why pay someone else to add Worcestershire sauce to tomato juice? There is, of course, a bit more to it than that, but I like doing things myself.
A few e-mail consultations with Bonnie and poking through a few recipes online showed me that there was a huge variety of mix ingredients: clam juice, lime juice, lemon, horseradish, liquid smoke, brown sugar, celery, beef broth all can be added to tomato juice — the list goes on and on.
The following made very nice aspic. I suppose if you were feeling a little rascally, you could, in the spirit of Jell-O shots, add vodka to your aspic to make a real Bloody Mary on a plate.
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Bloody Mary Aspic
Makes 8 servings.
2 tablespoons or 2 packets gelatin
½ cup cold water
1½ cups tomato juice
½ cup consomme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste, optional
Juice of half a lemon or lime
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
Half a green or red pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Soak gelatin in cold water then mix it into all the other ingredients except celery and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Allow to begin to set, then fold in the chopped vegetables and pour into a mold or serving bowl to finish setting. Serve with a bit of mayonnaise if desired.