We are between seasons right now here in the midwest. Technically it’s still summer, but it feels like fall. The air is cooler, cozy layers are coming out and for the first time since the heat of summer, I am actually wearing socks. I love the colors, the fashion and, of course, the recipes. Mike loves the official start of football season and even though I’m not much of a football person, I do look forward to our Sunday GameDay get togethers with friends while enjoying some tasty food and drinks.
As I started thinking about a fun recipe to kick off the season this weekend, I decided to dive into a unique twist on a classic cocktail, a Spicy Green Bloody Mary. As I tested this recipe over and over and over again, I realized that creating a Bloody Mary mix isn’t an easy task. It’s a lot like a science experiment and I decided I’d share three key tips that I learned along the way.
The first tip is to taste as you go.
Even one teaspoon might be too much of a flavor and if that happens, you will probably have to start all over again. You can always add more, but you can’t take away. So, start slow and taste as you go. Thank you to Mike, Sara, Doug and Jen for taste testing!
The second tip is to get the texture of the blend just right.
Luckily, I had my Vitamix to help me with this part. I’ve made a variety of recipes with it, including velvety smooth soups and chopped veggies for pasta salads and salsas. It never lets me down, because it will blend as little or as much as I need it to. I love the customized options, but the adjustable speed variable and digital timer are my favorite, because I can control the outcome of whatever I’m blending.
As I was perfecting my blend, I decided to keep some of the small tomato bits and pieces. Think of it like orange juice with a little “pulp.” This meant the liquid was thicker than I wanted, but to remedy that, I simply strained the liquid through a mesh sieve to separate the pulp from it. This gave me a perfectly smooth liquid in one bowl and the pulp in another.
So, why didn’t I blend it up until it was completely smooth? It was because I only wanted a small amount of the pulp mixed in with the liquid. In order to get the right balance, it was easier to strain it from the liquid separately. I put a couple of tablespoons of the pulp back into the liquid without making it too chunky or too thick. The flavor added a little extra spice and a very subtle texture that I like in a Bloody Mary Mix. You can control how much you add back in, if any.
The best part about the leftover pulp was that the flavor and texture inspired another idea for how to use it; a spicy topping for oysters on the half shell! If you’re not an oyster fan, I recommend just blending everything until your liquid is nice and smooth. But, if you love oysters as much as I do, a little bit of this spicy pulp worked really well as a topping. I used Kusshi oysters because of their small size and clean flavor. They’re also my second favorite type next to Kumomotos. The combination was really, really good.
My third tip is to play with the salted rim and garnishes.
Get creative and have fun with this part, especially since the lead up can be a little tedious to get just right. I ended up going with an Old Bay rim simply because of the seafood-inspired garnishes that I served with it. Not to mention, I’m completely obsessed with Old Bay.
I hope you have a great weekend and give this Spicy Green Bloody Mary a try. It ended up being a lot of fun and would be a delicious addition to your Sunday GameDay… or your Sunday FunDay… whichever you prefer.
Disclosure: Thank you to Vitamix for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you to my readers for supporting the brands that keep Up Close & Tasty cooking and shooting.
Spicy Green Bloody Mary
1 pound of green tomatoes
Note: I used a combination of green tomatoes and tomatillos.
1/2 cup cucumber, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 drop liquid smoke
1-2 tablespoons water
Oysters on the half shell
Jumbo shrimp, tail on, deveined
Old Bay for glass rim
Note: No need to break the bank, the mix will overpower the Vodka anyway.
1. Place all ingredients in a Vitamix, except for the garnishes.
2. Start the blend on the lowest setting and gradually increase to 7-8.
3. Blend for 1.5 to 2 minutes, until smooth with some “pulp.”
4. Taste to be sure flavors are to your liking and balance accordingly.
5. Strain the liquid to separate it from the pulp.
Note: After straining, you’ll get a little over 2 cups of liquid and about one half cup of pulp.
6. Add a couple of tablespoons of the pulp back into the liquid mix for a subtle texture and spice without making it overly chunky or thick. Stir well and taste to be sure there is a good balance of flavor and heat. Adjust as needed.
7. Use the remaining pulp as a spicy garnish for oysters on the half shell, if desired.
Note: I used Kusshi oysters from the west coast.
8. Sprinkle a plate with Old Bay or a flavored salt of your choice.
9. Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of a glass.
10. Place glass rim onto the salted plate.
11. Fill glasses with ice, 1-2 ounces of vodka and pour the Green Bloody Mary Mix over the ice.
12. Use the garnishes of your choice.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.