I want to introduce Andy Wallack from the blog That Jew Can Cook www.thatjewcancook.com. I am honored that he agreed to guest post for Tomatoes on the Vine. If you have not had a chance to properly welcome Andy to the food blogosphere, please visit his website. He has an amazing food blog that includes mouthwatering photos, cooking videos, and recipes. Check out his blog post on his backyard pig roast www.thatjewcancook.com/?p=847 . He is a fun guy and a talented cook.
Hi, my name is Andy and I am Velva's online drinking buddy. I met Velva through our mutual blogs and when she asked me to guest blog on her site, I thought it would be really apropos to serve up some Bloody Marys using some fresh tomatoes.
My cooking style is usually a little over the top, and my Bloody Mary should be called a "Yes". Does it have horseradish? Yes. Does it have olives? Yes. Does it have celery? Yes. Lemon? Yes. Hot Sauce? Black Pepper? Extra vodka? Of course!
Before we get started, a little background on me. I am Jewish and was raised in a very Italian neighborhood where I picked up a love of food and cooking. Growing up, I usually got a ribbing from my friends when they hear I like to cook. Us Jews are not widely known for our cooking prowess, but we are out there...I embraced the stereotype and named my site "That Jew Can Cook" www.thatjewcancook.com.
Of course, my friends still haven't stopped giving me grief, and last summer when drinking bloodies by the beach, my version was nicknamed the Bloody Manischewitz or Bloody Manny for short.
Bloody Marys are strange beasts. A good one is sublime, and a bad one is usually good enough to get the job done. For example, the worst Bloody Marys are served on airplanes, but on my last trip to Vegas we had half the plane buying rounds for each other. After 3 or 4, they became the best Bloodies I can recall! Too bad I don't recall much after that.
A few notes about the tomato juice: I recommend using a juicer and making your own tomato juice. Previous to the juicer though, I went with V8. It was thick and salty, and almost a perfect starting point to build your drink. Using fresh tomatoes however, turns it into a summer pool drink instead of some hair of the dog recovery tonic. Just look at how bright it is in the pictures.
There are a lot of differences using fresh juice, and not everyone in my posse have bought into this "gourmet crap". Fresh juice is much lighter and little more acidic than the canned juice, so it needs to be balanced with some extra salt and vodka.
So, if you have a juicer, grab yourself a handful of tomatoes and juice away. Any tomato will do, I've done it with cherry tomatoes, beefsteaks, and special this week for Velva, "tomatoes on the vine".
As far as vodka, use the good stuff please and don't get me started on Absolut. Absolut is crap in my opinion. An especially pleasing vodka for this application is Bacon Vodka (I think they spell it Bakon). Pig makes everything better. Always remember " The power of the pig". If you don't have bacon vodka handy, you could always stir in a bacon strip or some rendered pancetta. By the way if you haven't guessed, I don't keep kosher.
Here is the basic formula for the Bloody Manny. I am reticent to call it a recipe, as it is too darn adjustable based on your tastes.
- Use fresh tomato juice. You can use V8 or that canned stuff too, but not for me thanks. If you make the juice fresh, use some extra salt and keep tasting it. If you don't go with any bacon (vodka or a cooked strip), then smoked sea salt is a nice way to get a similar effect. Put it on the rim and you can charge a few bucks more.
- Since you have decided to follow my advice and make the juice fresh, you might as well juice up an extra celery stick and some of the olives. Just because you can.
- Horseradish. Making it fresh is usually beyond my time commitment, plus you run the risk of blowing out your sinuses. I add a heaping tablespoon.
- Add a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce(s). I go for El Yucateco green habanero, whoa Nelly!
- Bacon Vodka, or my old standby Ketel One. Make sure you use more for each subsequent round of drinks.
- Green olives with pimento. Drinks are one of the few occasions I don't go with Kalamata or Sicilian olives.
- A few splashes of worcestershire sauce
- Lemon wedge
- Black pepper