Friday, August 18, 2006

Something From Nothing

I've always admired people who make food from what most people throw away. Use every part of the chicken except the cluck. Two of my favorite examples.
1) The "baby" carrots we purchase at the local mega-mart are not babies at all. Some wise person developed a machine to shape the carrots that are broken in processing. Nice football shapes that are great for crudities.
2) "Broccoli slaw" is made from the stem ends left over after the easy to market crowns are removed.
My best effort to date was convincing my friend to save the ugly slices of tomato that he threw out from his sandwich shop. The tomatoes were cored and pushed through a slicing machine. The top two slices and the bottom slice were discarded for appearance. After the busy weekend I would pick up a couple of quarts of slices. Off to the food processor for a killer salsa.
Last week I read an article in the New York Times by Florence Fabricant. It talked about bartenders using "tomato water" to build some great summer drinks. The following night I was making salsa fresca for a Mexican dinner. Brandywine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, salt, pepper, fresh lime juice and garlic combined for a tasty salsa. I let it sit to meld the flavors. In the bottom of the bowl juice formed. In the past I would have poured the liquid off into the sink. If left in the bowl things get a little soggy. This time I poured the liquid through a strainer and refrigerated it. At cocktail time I combined the spicy result with vodka, garnished it with tiny tomatoes and a pickled jalapeno. I called it a salsa martini. Something from nothing indeed!
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Salsa Martini


cookiecrumb said...

Simply WOW.
I like the color of yours better. And I can just imagine the *pow*!!

cookiecrumb said...

Greg, I just want to come back and say how much I agree with your "waste nothing" mentality. Yeah, you save a few pennies, but best of all, you really stimulate your head, and, just maybe, come up with brilliant new ideas.

Mona said...

Greg, wow that was inventive of you. Way to go!! I worked for a catering company when I lived in Carmel a few years ago and I was always impressed how Karen, the chief, NEVER threw anything out. I tried to sneak chucking a few veggie entrails and she would always catch me and yell...Monica! Throw that in the broth. Ok, Karen, if you say so:) So, how were the salsa martinis?? Kind of a cross between bloody mary and martini? Yum! Hope you're having a good summer, and again, thanks for being my #1 loyal supporter, Greg!

Cate said...

Looks delicious!