When I was young, one of our favorite sleep-over games was to try to scare ourselves silly. The best way to do this was to tell stories about Bloody Mary, then at midnight, stand in front of a mirror, spin around, and look for the bloody face of a young girl to look back at us. Thankfully, we never did see a bloody face but as I grew older, I couldn't help but think of this game every time someone referenced the tomato-based cocktail, the Bloody Mary. As you can imagine, this visual picture would not make you want to drink something so I've never been a fan of Bloody Marys.
There were two recipes in Gourmet this month that made Bloody Marys and with a small amount of dread, I saved them until the very end of the month. One of the recipes was a drink recipe to go with the brunch menu, "Wake-Up Call". Since I'd done this menu in parts anyway, I decided to make the drink and compare it to the other recipe, a Bloody Mary-style ice pop. The drink was made by blending tomatoes, celery, and parsley with flavoring ingredients. As you can see from my picture, the green ingredients overpowered the tomatoes, giving this drink a green hue instead of the namesake red. I found that the flavor was a bit muddled in identity too. There was no strong tomato flavor and the vodka was a bit overpowering. I won't be making homemade Bloody Marys again.
As for the Bloody Mary Ice Pop, this was an issue of texture and visual effect confusing flavor. When I have red Popsicles, I am not prepared for a savory flavor and sadly, this block was impossible to get over. I just couldn't eat more than a few bites before I got completely weirded out by the taste over texture thing. I've had this problem before (see the post for 2/20) and sometimes your brain just wants something to taste like it looks.
I finished up this month's recipes with the recipe for Grilled Steak and Potatoes with Charmoula Sauce. The steak and potatoes were just that, grilled steak with boiled potatoes. The Charmoula Sauce was the variation of the dish and I'm must say I found it much too lemony. I've made a sauce similar, I don't know if it was called Charmoula, but I did not enjoy this variation. The amount of lemon and cilantro was overpowering and did not highlight the cumin and paprika.
I made the final boozy ice pop to go with this meal and I was pleasantly surprised. I've mentioned in other posts that several of these ice pops were so mildly flavored that the alcohol either over or underwhelmed. This ice pop had the best mix of flavor to alcohol ratio. It was a bit like having a frozen mojito. I have never had a caipirinha, frozen or otherwise, so I didn't have a good frame of reference for what that drink would taste like. The only strange thing was the small pieces of mint that had floated to the top and frozen. I didn't eat the last 1/2 inch or so of the ice pop to avoid major issues with mint on my teeth.
Fresh Tomato Bloody Marys-D
Bloody Mary Ice Pops-D
Grilled Steak and Potatoes with Charmoula Sauce-D
Mint Caipirinha Ice Pops-B+