Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Friday! Happy Hour Appetizers

I have found a couple of recipes that incorporate liquor and food that look worth trying.

Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes with Pepper Salt

Makes about 60

3 pints firm small cherry and grape tomatoes
1/2 cup vodka of your choice
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons coursely ground black pepper

Cut a small x in the bottom of each tomato.  Blanch tomatoes, a few at a time, in a saucepan of boiling water for about three seconds.  Immediately transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking.  Drain and peel, transfer to shallow dish.  Stir together vodka, vinegar, sugar, and zest until sugar dissolves, then pour over tomatoes.  Gently toss to coat.  Marinate, chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.  You can prepare the tomatoes and marinade 1 day ahead of time, keeping them separately, chilled.

Rick Bayless's Queso Fundido al Tequila

1 tablespoon extra-virgin oilive oil
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 small onion, diced
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons tequila of your choice
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (three cups)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Warm corn tortillas or chips

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil.  Add tomatoes, jalepenos, onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stiring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Pour in tequila and cook until skillet looks nearly dry, about two minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until melted, about 30 seconds.  Quickly transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with chips or tortillas.

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