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Widespred Panic Happy Hour

Last night I put together a happy hour for the Panic crew. It was a blast and totally full of summer goodness. Here’s the skinny. You can do this for 10 people in a couple hours probably. Quick, easy and full of right now flavors and ingredients.

Watermelon and Tequila:
Juice part or all of a watermelon (these juices don’t last very long so don’t make more than you can drink in a few days). To juice the watermelon put the melon sans rind, in a blender or juicer. You don’t need to take out the seeds, just pass it through some cheese cloth or a thin strainer if you use a blender.

For the drink:
2 oz tequilla
2 oz of watermelon juice
variations: muddle mint or basil, squeeze some lime juice in there, add a splash of tomato water

Tomato Water Martini
This was way better than I thought it would be. I mean WAY better. I want one of these from here on out instead of a Bloody Mary. But it’s only as good as the fresh tomato water.

For the Tomato Water:
Put 4lbs (makes 6 cups-ish) of tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Blend, blend, blend, till everything is all pulply. Put the pulp in cheese cloth and pull up the sides. Tie with kitchen string and do something like this:
The recipe says let it sit on its own weight and drain for 8 hours. You can press the juice through the cheese cloth all at once if you want. It’s about the same difference. Once I had all my juice I put in a teaspoon of smoky Spanish Paprika and a couple pinches of salt.

For the drink:
2 oz vodka
2 oz tomato water
1/2 oz of sweet vermouth

Pour all ingredients over ice in a shaker. Gently shake, strain and serve.

This is so good by itself I wouldn’t do anything else to it. But you could incorporate some pickles, olives, or basil or cucumber.

Deviled Eggs
When I was putting these together at the Theatre kitchen someone asked if these were a special Panic recipe because the basil looked like it could have been pot leaves. Funny. So you know the drill, boil the eggs, peel, scoop out the yolk. I mashed the yolk with Duke’s mayo, basil and rooster sauce to taste and salt and pepper. They were damn good.

BLT Toasts
I called these BLTs for brevity. Really I used Allan Benton’s country ham instead of bacon. But the toasts were brushed and baked with Benton’s bacon grease. Sliced with fresh tomatoes, you can’t get much better. Pull all your ingredients together before assembling: brush bread with bacon grease or olive oil if you don’t have enough bacon grease on hand. Toast in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Fry up the country ham. Slice your tomatoes and wash the lettuce. On the toast put some Duke’s mayo, the lettuce, the country ham and then the lovely summer tomato slice!

Cheese Relish
I’ve posted about this before but did it a little differently this time. Get 10 oz of cheese, I used white cheddar. Get a jar of spicy pickles or hot chow chow (I used a mixture of both since I was making so much), and then fold in a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt. If you want a creamier consistency then add more yogurt. Serve with pita chips or crackers.

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