This recipe was inspired by an Epicurious recipe for Flank Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad.
I say inspired by.
The recipe is all about my favourite cocktail- the bloody mary. The bloody mary is named, of course, after the Mary Poppins series of books by P.L. Travers in which a deranged English nanny dismembers a family of Americans and drinks their blood. To approximate the sweet, sweet taste of child’s blood, wannnabe cannibals invented the bloody mary to get their buzz on. Here’s my take:
Pepper and celery salt
First, roll out of bed. This is an important step to take to prevent spillage. Bloody marys are primarily a breakfast cocktail, but take precautionary measures.
Put the ice in a glass with a double shot of vodka, then add tomato juice until you can’t smell the vodka. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce- and take it easy, pal, it’s easy to think you can just go mental with it, but people can get hurt. Too much Worcestershire and the whole mess tastes like catchup.
Next add the Tabasco, and here do the opposite of what you did with the Worcestershire sauce. Once you think you’ve added enough Tabasco, add some more, because you probably didn’t add enough.
Finally sprinkle that shit with some celery salt (tastes so good- I just eat it straight up of the shaker) and ground pepper. Mix it all up with the celery stick and drink it all up while watching Catchphrase or Supermarket Sweep or something equally awesome while you nurse your hangover.
Now, I myself prefer the bloody caesar. Named, naturally, after the caesar salad, the bloody caesar is the same as a bloody mary, except you substitute (transfuse?) the tomato juice for CLAMato juice. This is one of Canada’s finest inventions, legend has it that a “Newfie” (I don’t know what this means) dropped a crate of clams into a vat tomato brew. Instead of throwing the batch away, the unscrupulous Montreal outfit sold it to out-of-state Torontors, who, to their continued surprise, loved it! Now a portion of every batch (“the clam’s share”) of tomato juice produced in Canada is given over to be lightly diluted with clam juice. Anyway, you can by Clamato juice at the big Sainsbury’s in Halifax. I encourage you to try it even though it sounds gross, as I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who buys it, and would like to continue to do so.
So back to the recipe.
Blood Mary Salad for deux personnes
Two handfuls cherry tomatoes
1 can green olives with pimento
1 red onion
3 sticks celery
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp horseradish sauce (Look at the ingredients of the horseradish sauce! You want a high percentage of actual horseradish in there- you can get an 85% sauce at Sainsbury’s, and you can get a 20% sauce, and they are both called “horseradish sauce”, so watch the heck out!) (Also, image Sean Connery saying “horseradish.” That is the correct way to say horseradish.)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 dash pepper
First, chop up the red onion using The Only Correct Way To Chop An Onion™. Put it in a big ol’ bowl with some red wine vinegar and mix it around. Then chop up all of the rest of the solids- tomatoes in half, olives in half, celery in… 14ths. Throw them- and I do mean throw- into the bowl.
For the dressing, mix the horshradish sauce, the Worcestershire sauce, and the tabasco together in a small bowl, then slowly whisk 1 tbsp of olive oil in, adding more if necessary. Season with the celery salt and pepper. Throw (!) the dressing in the bowl with the rest of the salad. If you have a lid for the bowl, pop it on and shake the bowl to get the dressing into the crevasses. Put into fridge until you’re ready to serve with…
Old Bay seasoning
First, a word on Old Bay seasoning. This stuff is produce of my homeland, THE Old Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA, and we use it there to cake Maryland blue crabs in an orange crust before we smash them open with tiny hammers and consume their innards (strange but true). This salty, spicy seasoning is usually only available on the East coast of the US, but there are a few import stores here in the UK that sell it, such as Lupe Pinto’s in Edinburgh (which is just a generally cool hangout anyway). But if you can’t find it (or you consider pre-mix seasoning “cheating” somehow), make it yourself!
Old Bay substitute (from about.com):
1 tablespoon ground dried bay leaves
2 teaspoons celery salt
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Mix that shit up and put it in an old salt shaker– you’ll never look back!
So anyway, coat that salmon from before in Old Bay and olive oil and let it sit and mellow while you make the salad. Let the big flavours seep in. The once the salad is done, throw, Throw, THROW the salmon onto a frying pan on medium high heat, skin DOWN. Let the salmon sit there, down be flipping it and fussing over it, just sit there for 5 mins, until the skin is all crispy and delicious. The cooked pink of the salmon should have risen about halfway up the side of steak. Flip it over, and sear the top, and then the sides as well, for a total of 2-3 mins.
Place everything artfully on the pate (as shown above) and serve.
Hugs and whatnot,
Tom & Rasha