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the bloodiest merry

If you’re like me, you weren’t feeling so great on NYE because you spent the night of December 30th at a farm in the middle of a rainforest on a Caribbean island drinking rum and eating hog.  no?  really?  huh.

well, lucky for you that I saved the recipe for today!

Bloody Marys (what’s the plural of that?  Maries?  Marys?  gorsh) are one of those recipes that has as many iterations as drinkers, but I’ve had some practice and I think I can claim best ever.  At least, I like mine better than any bar’s or friend’s recipe.  🙂

The cast of characters:

Cast of Characters

Cast of Characters

Low Sodium V8

  • Low Sodium V8 (NOT clamato that’s disgusting.  and be sure you buy the low-sodium V8.  If you’re going for a bloody mary, you’re probably already dehydrated; you don’t need more salt).
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Bitters (Angostura today, but you could use celery, whiskey, or some other savory concoction)
  • not-too-hot hot sauce (I LOVE Cholula’s Chile Lime)
  • prepared horseradish (or cocktail sauce since I was out of horseradish)
  • celery seed
  • manzanilla olive with pimientos
  • Wickles pickle (sort of funky, spicy-dill-sorta sweet pickle slices from Georgia)
  • slice of lemon
  • slice of lime
  • decent vodka
  • ice cubes (not pictured)

Take a pint glass and fill it with ice cubes.  Pour in a glug of vodka.  Add five big dashes of Worcestershire, two small glugs of Bitters, a couple swigs of hot sauce, a tiny spoonful of horseradish, and a tiny sprinkle of celery seed.  A note on the use of horseradish–this is where the good, intense spiciness comes from so use more if you are into spicy, spicy Bloodies; don’t rely on hot sauce for heat.

Add a few olives and a pickle or two.  Squeeze in the lime slice and lemon slice.  Finally, pour as much V8 to fill the glass as needed.

Pour into a bar shaker (or another glass).  Pour back in your glass.  Pour into bar shaker.  Pour back into your glass.  Repeat once more.

Take two of those, a cold ass beer, fried egg sandwich, and three glasses of water and call me in the morning.  😉

Bloodiest Merry

Garnish with a flourish and a smile.

Let us Begin

Let’s begin with a dinner menu.  I constantly search for exciting, funky, delicious dinner menus online but I generally come up with individual recipes.  The problem my lie in my search technique, but I find other junk for which I look.  Whether the issue lies in my searching or in the lack of the resource online doesn’t really matter.  Here is a post of our gorgeous, wonderful, mostly-healthy dinner from Thursday (Boxing Day) night.  I didn’t choose this because of the holiday, but it worked well for a nice dinner.

***Ribeyes with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and a Savory Mixed Greens  served with MollyDooker’s The Scooter 2010 Merlot

Start with a heavy cast-iron skillet perfectly seasoned with years of bacon grease, butter, and cornbread cookin.  Turn the heat on med-high and add a tbsp. of olive oil.  When the oil glistens, add 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion and two crudely diced cloves of garlic.

(Note: my knife skills are sub par so crudely diced is my go-to technique).

Saute the onion and garlic until they smell fantastic but aren’t yet totally cooked (about 3 minutes).  Stir with a wooden spoon.

Next add clean chopped greens.  I used two smallish bunches of collard greens and a few leftover leaves of kale, but you could use whatever you have available that’s fresh and crisp.  (Note #2: when you chop greens, remove the thick parts of the stems.  You could cook these down eventually but they are equally important for a healthy compost pile).

As soon as you add the clean, chopped greens, begin stirring with a wooden spoon.  The heat is still pretty high and you don’t want to burn any leaves.  Continue moving the greens and onion-garlic mixture around the hot pan until the leaves are just slightly wilted.  It’ll take a few minutes and really, you’re just looking for the color to go nuts.  Think springtime on an Alabama interstate where the green is bright and exciting.  It sort of jumps at you.

When the leaves appear brighter and glisten in the fluorescent glow, turn the heat down to medium-low and add several nice glugs of broth.  You can use beef, chicken, or veggie broth.  I used beef this time because it was open in the fridge and because we’re eating with steak.

While the greens simmer in the broth, start the creamy mushroom sauce.  Use a deep frying pan.  Put it over medium heat and melt 2-3 tbsp. of real, unsalted butter.  You want the butter to melt completely and even begin to brown.  So watch it, but don’t freak out when it starts to sizzle.

When the butter smells incredible  and is just the tiniest bit browned but long before it burns, add about 1/4 cup of diced yellow onion and one or two cloves of crudely-diced garlic.  Stir those to cover in the melted butter.  Then add your quartered mushrooms.  You can make this with any mushroom variety.  I live in the VI where groceries are insanely expensive so I use button mushrooms.  Let me know how your trials with shitaki and oyster and all the others goes.

You want to sauté the shrooms, onion, garlic, and butter mixture until the water they produce starts to sizzle away.  Then add a fat glug of red wine (use the old stuff you opened and didn’t finish; it’s okay to cook with vinegary wine in this recipe) and some salt and pepper.  Simmer down until the red wine gets almost gooey.  You’ll see a definite reduction in the amount of liquid.  Then add several solid glugs of broth.  I used beef for reasons noted above, but you can use any kind.  Heck, you can use water or more wine really, but adding a savory broth helps to enhance the complexity of finished sauce.

Continue simmering until the broth starts to thicken.  This will take somewhere around 6-8 minutes.  Keep your eyes on it.  Don’t forget to stir your greens.  Don’t let the green s cook dry, add more broth–don’t be skared.  Add a pinch of cayenne, a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper, and salt.  Don’t oversalt your greens–you can add salt at the table!

As soon as the broth on the mushroom mixture starts to thicken, add about a 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Turn the heat down low.  The pan should simmer but not boil.  Stir frequently so you don’t grow a cream-skin (won’t hurt the dish just isn’t pretty).

Check on your greens; don’t let them cook dry.  Add more broth (or water) if you need to and cover lightly.  The lid should allow the greens to vent while simmering.

Allow shrooms and greens to simmer over low heat for ten minutes more.  Check frequently as you don’t want either to cook dry!  Add more broth to greens and more cream (by the tablespoon) to the mushrooms.

At ten minutes, remove the greens from the cast iron and move to a serving dish.  Cover to keep warm.  Turn the heat off the shroom sauce and cover to keep warm.

Place the same cast iron over high heat and add two tablespoons of real, unsalted butter.  Salt and pepper both sides of your room-temperature steaks.  When the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, add your ribeyes to the pan.  I can only do two at a time and that is perfect for the two of us; you need a single layer of ribeyes so don’t overcrowd your pan.

Ribeyes are best at medium rare.  That’s the truth.  Cook for four minutes on one side and flip each with a fork.  Cook another three-four minutes and put on your dinner plate.

BOOM!  Stir and top the steak with a spoonful of that creamy shroom sauce.  Have hot sauce, salt, and pepper on the table and serve greens there.  Do the Molly Dooker shake and enjoy your fancy pants dinner!