Grilled Salmon in Tomato WaterI stumbled upon a recipe for tomato water many years ago and was completely intrigued. For those of us lucky enough to have a surplus of tomatoes this culinary curiosity is a great way to maximize your largess. This clear liquid, when made correctly, packs a whollop of tomato flavor. The beauty of it is that it completely discards the acid or sharp taste that tomatoes can have.
The secret to making tomato water is not to squeeze. Let the juice flow naturally out of the fruit. When you force it, bits of detritus get mixed with the fluid. You want to get a completely clear liquid when you make this. Although I typically have discarded the puree, you can always use it for a basic pasta sauce.
The recipes produce a pretty decent amount of the even though the punch it packs only require you use a little bit. The problem I have had every time I made it is that I only have a handful of recipes for it. You have to be a bit creative with it using with artichoke hearts, or grilled chicken breasts or even with your martini. But probably the most obvious option is to use it to prepare fish.
Puree the tomatoes with the salt in a food processor.
Line the sieve with two or three layers of cheesecloth and pour the tomato puree inside. Gather sides of cheesecloth up over puree to form a large sack and, without squeezing puree, gently gather together upper thirds of cheesecloth to form a neck. Carefully tie neck securely with kitchen string.
Suspend the sack over a non-reactive container and let drip for at least 8 hours and possibly as long as 12.
Discard the sack and tomato puree. Transfer the tomato water - you should have about 6 cups - into a lidded container and refrigerate. I will keep about 4 days.
Prepare a fire on a grill. Allow the coals to become completely ashen and spread evenly on the bottom grate. Place the cooking grill about 6 inches above and apply olive oil to the metal before cooking.
Bring about 2 quarts water to a boil. Add pearl onions and cook just until barely tender when pierced, about 3 minutes. Lift out with a strainer or slotted spoon and rinse under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Trim root end from each onion and squeeze out of peel.
Add peas to boiling water and cook until barely tender to bite, 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.
Rinse salmon and pat dry. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Lay pieces on a well-oiled grill over the coals. Cook, turning once, until barely opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part, 6 to 8 minutes total. Remove the salmon from the grill.
Heat the tomato water until steaming but not to a boil. Pour a bit of the water on each serving plate and then put the salmon in the middle. Add the onions and peas and serve immediately.
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