Classic Tomato Aspic
~ just like Grandma would've made if she was an insane perfectionist 50's housewife!
1 3/4 cups tomato juice (NOT V8!)
3 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons minced celery (the leaves on the top of the bunch work just as well)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (doesn't make it sweet, just sets off the salty)
1/2 teaspoon salt (doesn't need much b/c juice is canned)
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
4/5 whole peppercorns
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 cup COLD water
1 envelope unflavored gelatine
Boil juice, onion, celery, sugar, salt and spices for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour gelatine into the cold water & set aside. This will "soften" the gelatine, which means that it will expand and get somewhat gooey. Pour the gelatine into a large bowl (preferably with a pouring edge on it). Add the hot mixture by pouring it through a strainer so that you lose all the chunky bits. Stir a lot so that it's smooooth. Add lemon juice and hot sauce while stirring. Pour into a ONE QUART mould. (To find out how big your mould is, fill it with water and empty it into a measuring cup/bowl thing.) Cover with plastic wrap if you want to. Put it into the fridge, making sure it's sitting level. Placing the mould on a plate helps with this. Chill overnight or at least 4 hours. When ready to unmould, fill a large pan with HOT water. Immerse the mold in the hot water for 10 seconds or so. This melts the gelatine on the outside just a little bit so that it will release. Put a plate on top of the mould and flip over. Tada! Wiggly aspic!
Dill Shrimp Salad
~ Now this is the good stuff!
1 bag very small shrimp, sometimes called 'salad' size or equivalent amount of diced shrimp
2 stalks diced celery
3 green onions, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced You can seed them first so that you get firm little chunks of tomato.
1 container (8 oz) sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) Squeeze it above your hand and let the juice run through your fingers so that you catch all the seeds.
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH dill (dried really doesn't cut it in this one)
black pepper and salt to taste (I use a lot of pepper.)
Chop everything. Throw it all in a big bowl. Combine sour cream, mayo, lemon juice and spices in a small bowl. Add to other ingredients. Mix. Yes, it's that simple. Serve with crackers (water crackers or unsalted crackers work best) or slices of toasted French bread.
For Dill Sauce to accompany Tomato Aspic:
Mix together everything but the shrimp and vegetables.
Add a little less mayo.