4th of July Special

 

Happy early Independence Day!

 The secret ingredient:  Middlebar's Bloody Mary mix

The secret ingredient: Middlebar's Bloody Mary mix

The thing I’m most excited about this Fourth of July (besides having some great friends over) is that I plan to serve the BEST bloody mary in town. I found a small-batch, locally-made bloody mary mix a few years ago, and haven’t looked back since. This recipe is seriously "OMG" good, and the secret ingredient is MiddleBar Mary bloody mary mix. MiddleBar is a Los Angeles-based cocktail bar, restaurant and catering service with an amazing and eclectic line of food products, many of which can be found at Farmers’ Markets and at their brick-and-mortar location in Inglewood. Brunch and bloody's, anyone?

 

MiDDLEBAR BLOODY MARY

Ingredients:

  • MiddleBar Mary bloody mary mix
  • Vodka

Directions:

  1. Pour 1-2 shots of vodka into a glass, add MiddleBar Mary, mix and stir! Add more or less vodka and mix to get it to your liking!
  2. Don’t forget all of the fixings (celery, pickles, olives, etc.)

As if finding the perfect Mary mix wasn’t enough, you can also snag a jar of their delicious pickled veggies to garnish your the drinks with! Seriously, you’re welcome.

 Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

In addition to my bloody mary cocktail, I will be serving my favorite shrimp ceviche, which I discovered from my dear friend Debra (or, as her family calls her, Webby!). From the first time I made this for my family, it became an instant favorite. Once you make it, I promise it will be on your summer repeat list for sure!

Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 Quart salted water
  • ½ Cup + 2 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 generous pound shrimp (Webby’s recipe calls for unpeeled, but I use pre-peeled and deveined shrimp)
  • ½ Medium white onion
  • ⅓ Cup chopped fresh cilantro and several sprigs for garnish
  • ½ Cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoon vinegar-y Mexican bottled hot sauce (I like Tapatìo )
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash orange juice
  • 1 Cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Bring 1 qt. salted water to a boil.
  2. Add 2 T. lime juice.
  3. Add shrimp, cover and return to boil.
  4. Once boiling, immediately remove from heat, set pot lid askew and pour off all liquid (carefully).
  5. Replace lid and let shrimp steam for 10 minutes.
  6. Spread shrimp out to cool completely.
  7. Toss shrimp with remaining ½ cup lime juice, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (at this point I cut shrimp into smaller pieces, but you can also leave whole).
  8. In a small strainer, rinse chopped onion under cold water, shaking off excess liquid.
  9. Add shrimp to bowl with chopped cilantro, onion, ketchup, hot sauce, olive oil, orange juice, and avocado. Mix gently, folding ingredients together, and season with salt to taste.
  10. Cover and refrigerate up to a few hours.
  11. Serve in martini glass or small bowl with tortilla chips and/or veggies on the side to scoop with (or, be like me and just use a spoon!).
  12. Garnish with cilantro sprig and a wedge of lime.

 

Cheers to you and the red, white and blue!