After I gave a tour of one of our local Farmers’ markets to two of my most charming guests ever (Charlie and Camille from London), I went back to my fishmonger to get some of his beautiful calamari. I also got some tomatoes and a pound of strawberries and drove home. I initially wanted to make a nice spicy marinara to dip the calamari in once fried, but it was really hot outside and I put off deciding on which sauce to make and made myself an ice cold bloody Mary. As I was nursing my delicious drink in the garden, a lightbulb went off in my little head: what if I made a Bloody Mary sauce for my calamari?! And so I did:
For 1 bowl of sauce, mix together:
- 3 medium tomatoes
- A small fist full of fresh parsley
- 1/2 a small red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
- 1 teaspoon of celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste really)
- 2 teaspoons of tabasco
- 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander
- 1 big shot (or two, or three) of vodka. I wanted to go French, so I used my favorite brand: Grey Goose. It’s made just an hour or so from where I live!
- A tiny bit of Vegemite or concentrated beef stock (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Leave the mix in the fridge for about an hour. Take it out and put it through a strainer.
Serve ice cold with really hot fried calamari. An absolute summer delight!
Note: When making fried calamari (I follow the traditional tempura recipe), it is essential (IMHO) to make it at the last minute and serve each batch as you get them out of the oil. There is nothing worse than soggy fried foods…
Note: serve this with ice cold vodka, a chilled rosé or Chardonnay (or Graves or Pessac Léognan)
Note: I had also made a Béarnaise with fresh tarragon from the garden. It looked OK for the pictures, but once I had tried the Bloody Mary salsa, I completely forgot about the boring Béarnaise :0)