Recently Jedd I have been watching a lot of Top Chef, which has been really fun. Thanks, Hulu! We’d only seen a few episodes on television, because we only had Bravo for a nanosecond in ’07.
However, it did give us an evening of fun a few years ago. We wrote a little “Top Chef” parody called “Cooking For Your Life” where cooking contestants didn’t realize that they’d signed onto a show where the loser would be hunted down by “Parma” and killed at the end of every episode.
Let’s go to the Judge’s Table.
“Marcel, your seared scallops with a cilantro foam really missed the mark,” Tom ‘Carpaccio’ said. “That dish was so bad that I want to kill you myself.”
In the real Top Chef, you’ll often hear a contestant say, “it’s time to step it up a notch for the next challenge” or “I’m really cooking for my life here.”
Really?? Well, let’s see how much more you mean that when “Parma” is hunting you down with an ax and some sea salt. Yeah, you might want to consider “bringing your A-game” – but you’ll need more tenacity than just “standing by your dish” to make it to the end of the episode.
Goofiness aside, the other night I realized that a Top Chef contestant kept cooking with “tomato water” and that piqued my interest.
“What’s tomato water?”
Well, it turns out tomato water is pureed tomatoes that are strained to get the sweet, sweet essence of the tomato.
Tomato water, come to Mama.
This is one of those recipes that you can only make in summer, when tomatoes are so sweet that they beg to be the star of a dish or drink.
So I made this into a spicy bloody mary, and settled in to watch some Top Chef. The blood-red tomato pulp wrapped in cheesecloth looked suspiciously like “Parma” had been in our kitchen, but the results were divinely delicious.
Tomato Water Bloody Mary
Yields approximately 2 cups.
3 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in a food processor or blender. Line a bowl with cheesecloth, and let the tomatoes drain overnight.
Discard tomato pulp.
I think the tomato water would be great in tomato bread salad, risotto or to cook pasta when you’re going to make a tomato based sauce. But with this initial batch, I just mixed it with my favorite bloody ingredients.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)