Saturday, April 24, 2010

Acceptance Speech - First Draft

You love me, you really, really love me (sobs).   I won Staff Favorite!

I owe this recipe to the lessons learned long, long ago at the euchre tables of mid-Michigan - when you have a winning ace, play the damn card don't hold it in your hand.   I have very few aces in my repertoire of food, most you'll find posted on TDCB don't involve cooking as much as they involve "making".   So when it  occurred to me to somehow transform my horseradish-garlic-peppercorn-dill-jalapeno infused Bloody Mary vodka into a salad dressing, I thought "Ace!".

I've learned another thing that helped with the development of my dressing, and it's about vodka - it's not just for drinking anymore.  Now before anyone accuses me of getting the judges at North Haven Gardens drunk thereby unfairly winning, let me say I submitted a virgin version for their perusal.  The spiked version I tried at home, and I liked it even better than the purely untouched batch.   But you never know which judge is going through Recovery, so I thought it best to leave as an optional add-on to the home recipe instead.   Maybe I should have spiked it in hindsight, and hoped for knocking one of them off-the-wagon.

So try my recipe, see if you don't agree, it's even better with a little vodka added in.

Makes 4 cups

½ c. pickle juice
juice of 3 limes
3 cloves garlic
8 whole black peppercorns
3 T. horseradish (pre-processed or peeled whole root)
3 T. tomato paste
1 can (11.5 oz) V-8 (low sodium)
2 T. Lea & Perrins Thick Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. fresh dill, fine chop
1 ½ c. olive oil
Absolut Citron vodka

Place garlic, peppercorns, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, celery salt and lime juice in food processor. Run until all chopped. Add pickle juice, tomato paste, V-8, process. While food processor is running, slowly add olive oil from the top until all is combined. Pour into container and stir in fresh dill, refrigerate overnight.  Right before serving, add Absolut to taste - just remember with vodka, usually less is more.

NOTE:  I purchased horseradish root, peeled it, cut it into 1" segments and soaked it in (Kosher garlic) pickle juice for over 2 weeks and used both the juice and the root in my recipe.  While the horseradish flavor was still strong, the bite didn't overpower the overall flavor of the dressing.

PS.  I could not have done this without the love and support of my husband, even though I stubbornly refused his help to keep everything fair he was still very supportive of my endeavor.  As the real saying goes in euchre - if you have a winning Ace, play the damn card - just don't trump your partner.

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