I recently had a surprise phone call from two friends... Laura and Carol,
who I had not heard from in a long time and it was so good to reminisce about our culinary adventures.
Back in the mid-90's we took cooking classes together at Whole Foods Market. And what fun we had!
The classes were a steal... $8.00 for a two hour class with a major Dallas chef, and then we got to eat whatever was prepared.
One of my favorite chefs was Matt Martinez. He was famous for his Tex-Mex cooking and always had stories to tell as he cooked.
He had several restaurants in Texas and I particularly liked his cookbooks.
Look for "Matt Martinez's Culinary Frontier... a Real Texas Cookbook"
and you will learn snippets about his life and will be treated to his wonderful sense of humor.
He always took the time to autograph his books and include a little message.
He appeared on Oprah and also had the honor of cooking for Julia Child.
Unfortunately, it was not all that long ago that Matt died and I feel privileged to have known him.
And from his "Culinary Frontier" I share with you his "Prairie Mary".
As Matt wrote in the book...
"This is the sister to Bloody Mary. Some of you may have seen Bloody Mary in airports, before early morning flights.
Prairie Mary never flies, but she can sure get your feet off the ground!"
(I have tweaked this recipe a bit to include less salt than the original.)
1 quart LOW SALT TOMATO JUICE
1/2 tsp. whole PEPPERCORNS
1/2 tsp. MUSTARD SEED
1 c. coarsely chopped WHITE ONIONS
1 c. coarsely chopped CELERY
1/4 c. fresh LEMON JUICE
1/4 c. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1/2 seeded and stemmed JALAPENO PEPPER
Combine 1 cup of the tomato juice with the other ingredients and blend on low for 1 minute.
In a large pitcher combine the blender mixture with the remaining 3 c. of tomato juice.
Add a cup of Vodka and chill until ready to serve.
For the rim salt:
1/2 c. COARSE SALT
1/2 tsp. ground WHITE PEPPER
1/2 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
1/4 tsp. dried THYME
Moisten the rim of each glass with a wedge of lime and dip in the salt mixture.
Fill glasses with crushed ice and fill with the Prairie Mary mix.
Garnish with a celery stick and a wedge of lime to be squeezed in the drink.
Matt Martinez... may you rest in peace and thank you for all the wonderful memories of your love of food and zest for life!