Blind Guy’s Bloody Mary

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Blind Bloody Mary garnished with spicy pickle spear, pickled spicy asparagus, blue cheese stuffed olive, and a grilled cheese sandwich.
Bloody Marys are not only a delicious cocktail, but they can also be whimsical. You can garnish them with just a few crudités like a stalk of celery, pickle, and olive or get creative with oysters on the half-shell and  burger sliders. You can go a little too far. The whole deep fried chicken found at Sobelman’s Pub and Grill in Milwaukee, Wisconsin just might be overkill.

I typically go a little light on the garnishes for my Bloody Marys with spicy pickled asparagus, blue cheese stuffed olives, spicy pickle spears, and maybe a slice of crispy bacon woven around some roasted Brussels sprouts. However for the last several days I have been craving a Bloody Mary with a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s like an adult grilled cheese and tomato soup.

My Bloody Mary recipe is based off of my friend Jeff Fitzgerald’s delicious recipe. This recipe makes nearly one-half gallon of Bloody Mary.

Here is what I do:

Blind Guy’s Bloody Mary

Ingredients

24 ounces Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix
24 oz tomato juice
12 oz good vodka
6 oz dill pickle juice
20 heavy shakes of Franks Red Hot Sauce (approximately 1 Tablespoon)
1 generous squirt of Sriracha (approximately 1 teaspoon)
1 Tablespoon fresh ground or prepared horseradish
Lemon wedge and celery salt to rim glasses

Directions

Mix Zing Zang, tomato juice, vodka, pickle juice, Franks Red Hot Sauce, Sriracha, and horseradish in a large pitcher capable of holding more than two quarts. Wet the rim of a glass with the lemon wedge and then dip wetted rim in celery salt. Fill glass with cubed ice and then pour in Bloody Mary. Garnish and serve.

 

Heirloom Tomato Frittata

 

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Tomatoes are coming on strong now and can be found everywhere at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. We are eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Recently, I made this fantastic, flavorful frittata for lunch, but it would do well for any meal.

A frittata is quick and easy to make when you don’t have a lot of time or if you have several people to serve a quick, satisfying breakfast or brunch. The Italian word frittata comes from the Italian verb friggere – to fry, suggests the simplicity of this great dish. A frittata is somewhat like an omelet, however unlike the French omelet, the frittata requires no flipping or folding.

Heirloom Tomato Frittata

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8 Large eggs
3 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (more for garnish)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut crosswise into 1/4′ slices

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease 12-inch cast-iron skillet with unsalted butter making sure to grease up the sides. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in cheese, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. When butter is melted, pour egg mixture into pan and cook until eggs begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Arrange tomato slices on top of egg mixture. Allow some slices to sink if they want to.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake frittata until eggs are just set in the center, 8–10 minutes. If desired, turn on broiler for a 3 to 4 minutes to give the top a deeper brown. When eggs are set and frittata is browned to your preferred doneness, loosen frittata from pan and slide onto a warm platter. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme or with additional fresh thyme leaves, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Shakshuka: Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

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My daughter and her boyfriend visited this weekend. My son also joined us on Sunday to start the day with Bloody Marys and a light breakfast. Breakfast this weekend was shakshuka.

Although usually thought of as an Israeli breakfast food, variations of shakshuka can be found in the cuisines of many other cultures including the Middle Eastern and North African countries of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt. Shakshuka style dishes can be found in other parts of the world too; the Mexican huevos rancheros is a similar dish. Eggs may be the featured ingredient, but shaksuka is often enjoyed at other meals.

This flavorful one-skillet dish is comprised of onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, and eggs topped with feta and flat leafed parsley. It’s a great way to serve a large group a delicious breakfast in a relative quick and easy way with very few dirty dishes. Shakshuka is typically prepared and served in a cast iron skillet. Pita or another flat bread is a common accompaniment.

Here is what I did:

Shakshuka

Ingredients

1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, crushed
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon. paprika
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled San Marzano style tomatoes, undrained
8 – 10 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pita for serving

Directions

Heat oil in a 12″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add jalapeño and onions and cook until soft and golden brown stirring frequently; about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 2 more minutes until garlic is soft. Then add cumin and paprika. Cook, stirring frequently, until seasonings become fragrant; about 2 additional minutes.

Add tomatoes and their liquid into the skillet and crush them while mixing them up with the other ingredients. Stir in a 1⁄2 cup water and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack the eggs into the sauce evenly distributing them around the skillet. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on desired doneness of the eggs. Remember that the eggs will continue to set after removing from the heat.

Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pita for dipping.