Top Chef
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God Save The Hot Dish
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Balsamic Mary

2 ounces Hangar One Kaffir Lime Vodka (or vodka of your choice)
1 lb ripe Heirloom tomatoes
1 pinch celery salt
1 pinch Kosher salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
3 dashes Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh horseradish
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 boccaccini mozzarella balls, for garnish
Celery stalk, for garnish

The Shake:

Pierce the bottoms of each tomato with an "X" and bring a large amount of water to a boil. Toss the tomatoes in and leave them for thirty seconds. Pull the tomatoes out and shock them in a large bowl of ice water. Peel off the skins, cut out the stem, and cut the tomatoes into chunks. Puree the tomatoes in a blender and measure out six ounces. It's up to you if you want to strain the six ounces or not. It doesn't change the flavor, just the thickness of the end result. Store the rest of the juice in the fridge in an airtight container.

Combine all ingredients except the garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir. Fill a 16-oz glass halfway with ice and strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with three toothpick-speared boccaccini balls and the celery stalk.

If you can find it, you might want to use the newest in celery cocktail garnishes: the edible straw. The hollow celery -- a horticultural mash-up of ordinary celery and a wild hollow strain -- is called Dandy in the produce section of your nearest grocery store.

Now, the lycopene in tomatoes is supposed to lower cholesterol, but if that's not a problem for you, use a garnish unique to Bloody Marys in Minnesota: a Slim Jim.

To make this virgin, replace the vodka with the same amount of fresh squeezed lime juice.

Makes 1 drink.

The day after Sandee's departure, we see a scribbled note from her telling everyone how much they rock. Lia tells us that with Sandee's departure, they are all realizing how intense this is going to get. Dude, she's only the second one to leave. Camille disappears into a bathroom, closing a bra-draped door behind her. Part of me thinks, "Yeah, okay, I do that," but then the other part of me -- the GE/Kenmore conspiracy theorist -- wonders if the producers walked around placing things just so being all, "No, but see this is how people live. This bra here will make the shot look natural and lived in." Joey From New York and Howie both note that they "had words," but they're moving on. Micah -- whose accent got totally bizarre in this particular scene, and I wasn't even analyzing it for any Mass reason at this point -- tells us how she moved her business from Italy to South Africa with only her suitcase and her daughter and thinks highly of herself for it.

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Top Chef




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