Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday
Some time ago, on our way home to Montana from Mexico Winter Birthday Fun, we stopped over in Denver just in time for the ice blizzard, and they put us on the bad plane. Then they put us on the other bad plane. Then I made the executive decision we were taking a cab to the nicest hotel in Denver, whatever it might be. And it was.
The Oxford Hotel's attached restaurant, Urban Farmer, was extraordinary. More importantly, when we went back the next morning for the partly-comped breakfast, it had a Bloody Mary bar that stretched over probably eight feet of counter. I had never encountered such a thing! Candied ... bacon, you say? WHAT EVEN IS THAT? I am about to tell you. Having a Bloody Mary Bar brunch like the Urban Farmer did was my new #goals.
You are having friends over. What shall you put in your Bloody Mary bar? How about everything!
Bloody Mary Bar
There's no prescription, it's what you have and what you like (except vodka and Bloody Mary mix). In ours we put:
Bloody Mary mix including V8 with black pepper, V8 Bloody Mary mix, Clamato juice if you are Canadian, Tabasco, Master of Mixes 5 Flavors (if you are in New England, get whatever that New England one is, it is absolutely delicious, I don't remember, you know the one)
Pickles! Pickled green beans, pickled beets, pickled carrots, candied jalapenos, stuffed olives, gibson onions, and roasted peppers
Flavors! Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, horseradish (I thought we had some but we didn't), cut lemons and cut limes, hot sauce (ours was Shy-made, and eventually we're gonna grow enough peppers to sell you that shit)
Salad! Celery stalks, cucumber spears, fresh bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, jicama sticks, cheese cubes (we got a sharp cheddar already cubed from the Spokane Trader Joe's and some mozzarella I didn't bother putting out)
Proteins! Shrimp and candied bacon (you can see it standing up in the glass with the blue logo, at right). You could do beef jerky too!
Look how pretty that is!
I thought we had long wooden shish kabob spears, but we did not, and they would have made everything much better. Get some!
So what is this fucking candied bacon already?
It is fucking stupid is what it is.
- 12 pepper bacon slices (or regular bacon plus your own black pepper
- however much brown sugar you need to coat them, 1/3 or 1/2 cup, whatever
Don't have a gingerbread man baking sheet? Then I guess you too should have won the raffle of a yoooge thing of baking stuff you entered when you donated some holiday foodstuffs to the firefighters!
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Check them. Let them bake some more probably.
But you have probably noticed that all 12 bacon strips would not fit in your baking pan. That's okay! Whatever's left we're going to fry up and put in our ...
Potato Goat Cheese Veggie Herb Frittata
Frittatas are peasant food. All you need is eggs, herbs, cheese and milk and whatever you like. I made mine by:
Frying the leftover bacon in a skillet; remove the bacon to a plate
add 3 chopped up potatoes to the bacon grease and cook them on medium high for 10 or 15 minutes until soft(er).
Then I added:
- 8 eggs and 1/2 cup milk whisked together with a little kosher salt (not much, a few shakes)
- about 4 oz (little less than half a log) of goat cheese crumbled with a fork
- fresh sage and thyme
- the candied bacon, crumbled
- orange bell pepper and halved cherry tomatoes (the cherry tomatoes are added toward the end but I didn't really cook them long enough; they should BURST with sunshiney flavor)
Bake about 15 or 20 minutes at 425. Mine was a little overdone (the eggs dried out a bit) but the flavor was HOORAY. Got any sour cream or plain yogurt? Serve it alongside! Particularly if it's a little dried out!
I was dicking around in the chatcave and didn't even start prep until 9:40, and my Whitefish Wonker friends Curt and Renee plus good neighbors Cliff and Tika were coming at 11. Oh shit, LAZY BITCH! So the table wasn't QUITE ready when guests arrived. I put Tika on transferring to plates the Jello molds (Cliff was on a pre-procedure clear diet), and also had out canteloupe and pineapple, some more shrimp and salami and prosciutto (which didn't get eaten, we have plenty for later), bagels and lox plus some spreads including the LEGENDARY pear butter Tika and I made together out of her old pear tree's bounty and to which we added vanilla bean, cardamom, and star anise, and which I will tell you about next year, when we take some pictures and do it again. But all together, including cutting, chopping, prep, arranging the bar and the table and actually cooking the candied bacon and the frittata, it took about 90 minutes.
And that is how you make a Bloody Mary bar. We love you! You're welcome! Put on some coffee, you're all going to need it.
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