Something got me reading the Wikipedia page for headcheese. From there, I ended up looking at the page on aspic!
On the aspic Wikipedia page, it mentions that tomato aspic is a popular form/flavor. That little tidbit inspired me… I got to thinking how tasty an icy cold bit of tomato jello would be on a warm spring eve! My thoughts drifted to presentation, and the idea of a ring mould seemed appropriate. I could fill the center with a bed of crushed ice and some shrimp!
But wait… why not put the shrimp directly in to the jello? Oh god.
I started witha can of Compliments tomato juice, and some packets of Knox gelatine. Having never jellified tomato juice before, for this first experiment I opted out of doing any flavor enhancing of any sort… opting instead to stick to the plain tomato juice.
According to the directions on the packets of the Knox Gelatine, 1 packet is pre-measured to solidify 2 cups of liquid. However, the instructions for activating it require the use of 1/2 cup of liquid! So my process was this.
Starting with 1/4 cup of tomato juice in a glass, I dumped in one packet of the gelatine. On top of this I poured 1/4 cup of boiling water from my kettle. I stirred this for a minute or two.
Once I deemed everything to be well mixed, I added the 1/2 cup of gelatinized tomato liquid into another 1.5 cups of tomato juice I had ready in a pot. This brought the total liquid up to 2 cups, which is the appropriate amount according to the instructions on the Knox package.
I poured one cup of the mixture into a ceramic ramekin I had handy, and let it set up in the fridge overnight. Here are the results!
To get the jello out of the ramekin, I sat it in a hot water bath for a minute or two. This probably explains the excess liquid on the plate.
Verdict? Well, first of all, the final product wasn’t quite as firm as I’d like it to be. So next time I’ll probably up the gelatine ratio. Second, when I was tasting, there were little bits of clear gelatine mixed in to the tomato… probably due to a failure to properly dissolve the gelatine… so I need to watch that.
I have another batch in the fridge with chopped shrimp added to it. It seemed to set up the same as the non-shrimp version, so I guess the shrimp doesn’t really affect the gelatine! Onwards and upwards.