Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tequila Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

A better name is in order, don't you think?

I've made these a few times.  Always good as an appetizer.

These go well with spears of jicama,  mango or papaya (tart or ripe), cubes of cheese, and even scallops or shrimp.  All of which can also be dipped into the spice mix, if you like.

Tequila Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup tequila
Spice Dip (recipe below)

Wash and drain the tomatoes, removing any stems or crowns.

Pierce each of the tomatoes with a toothpick.

Put the tomatoes in a covered glass bowl or jar and add the tequila.  Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, stirring the tomatoes every once in a while to make sure all get a turn in the tequila.  Optionally, if you want to use the tequila for Bloody Marias, feel free to add enough to actually cover the tomatoes.

Using a runcible spoon or similarly slotted spoon, get the tomatoes out of the tequila and into a bowl.  For the best flavor, allow the tomatoes to return to room temperature before serving.  Leave enough tequila in the bowl so that you can stir them periodically and re-wet them so the spice mixture will cling.

Set out a bowl of toothpicks, and serve with the spice mix, below.  Spear a wet tomato and dip it into the spices before eating.

Spice Mix

1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
1 tbsp Mexican oregano (preferred)
1 tbsp paprika
spicier ground chili (such as cayenne, ground chipotle, New Mexico, Ancho, etc.) to taste
salt to taste

Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat.  Add the cumin seeds and shake and stir until fragrant.  If they start to jump, pull the pan off the heat and keep stirring and shaking until the calm down.  Remove the toasted seeds to a bowl.  Repeat with the coriander seeds.  Don't try to toast them at the same time or you'll regret it.

Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder, clean coffee grinder, or mortal and pestle.  Grind and return to the bowl.

Over the bowl, rub the Mexican oregano between your (clean) palms to crumble.

Stir in the rest of the spices, adding salt and the spicy powder to taste.

Pour onto a lipped plate or shallow bowl for your tomato (etc.) dipping pleasure.

Nutrition stats?  I'm not attempting it.  It's basically tomatoes and tequila.  Depends on how much of it you decide to drink.


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