Friday, February 20, 2009
There’s no question the best food we ate all week was on Valentine’s Day, but the Kitchen Genius put the kyboshes to my desire to photograph each course and write down every recipe early in the evening.
“This isn’t about the blog, you know,” he said, watching me take photos of the martinis that served as our first course. Oh, right. Focus on romance…
KG indulges my blog addiction most of the time, but even he has his limits. Apparently it isn’t very romantic to have your wife leaning over your shoulder, notebook in hand, asking questions and sneaking measurements while you are cooking her a meal worthy of a four star restaurant.
Got it. But I sure was happy I also got this photo:
I’m a big fan of Bloody Marys so I love these martinis, especially when they are stacked with plenty of snacks like giant olives, pepperoncini and shrimp. The flavor inspiration for them came from the Lobster Pot restaurant in Provincetown, where they serve the best Bloody Marys in the world.
The first time we drank these martinis was last summer, when I had an abundance of fresh tomatoes. I made a recipe that called for me to strain the juice from fresh tomatoes and use just the solid tomato and discard the juice.
I looked at the leftover nectar and couldn’t bear to thrown it out. And just like that a new martini was born. For the Valentine’s martinis, I used a quart jar of my home canned tomatoes. I strained the juice and KG used the tomatoes for a sausage and white bean ragout and veal parmesan breaded with fresh rosemary bread crumbs, topped with the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
The nectar from strained tomatoes is much lighter in color (more pink than red) and texture (no heavy sediment) than tomato juice. I’m pretty sure you can get a similar result if you strain a can of store bought diced tomatoes, but I haven’t tried that myself. If you do, please let me know how they turn out.
As we were sipping the martinis, KG noted that they would look better with a celery salt rim. (D***, I forgot!) But the fact that he remembered was proof that the blog is part of his life too, because it's not like celery salt is "lick the rim off your glass" good.
It gave me the courage to take one more photo of my favorite dish of the night…and it is none of the yumminess I have already mentioned. Next time!
Bloody Mary Martinis
1 cup tomato nectar
4 ounces high quality vodka
1 tablespoon green olive juice
1 tablespoon pepperoncini juice
1/2 teaspoon grated horseradish
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Sprinkle of salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Two lime wedges
2 large green olives
2 large cooked shrimp
To get tomato nectar, strain 1 quart of fresh canned tomatoes or 2 (14 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes. Fill 2 cup martini shaker with ice. Add tomato nectar, vodka, olive juice, pepperoncini juice, horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Slice lime wedge in half and run cut edge over rim of martini glass. Sprinkle celery salt on plate and dip limed rim of glass in celery salt to coat. Shake martini vigorously and pour into glasses.
Thread one olive, pepperoncini and shrimp onto a cocktail pick and lay over top of glass.
For a printable recipe click here