Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix Recipes
Introduction by: Jerry Cirino
Thoughts on Use: When asked, I usually answer with the short answer, "anything that goes into a sauté pan, anything that goes into a pot or on the grill. If you're cooking from scratch, the minute those onions hit the pan give them something to make them feel good about themselves and they will carry that great flavor throughout the dish. No one will be able to discern what you have done but everyone will recognize your new signature added flavorful difference and of course, add CBMM to any food item that you will put on a grill" it is a marinating match made in heaven. The match may be made in heaven but the mix is made right here right here in the Heart of Nevada County by the Cirino Family for your enjoyment.
Thoughts on Cooking: Cooking is not a rigid, stick-to-the-recipe, incrementally-correct, I-have-to-get- this-just-right-or-it's-ruined activity. There are a few rules, however, cooking should be a relaxed, personal, sometimes shared sport performed in the arena of your own kitchen for yourself and those that you love. With that in mind, I will share some simple family recipes or ideas using our mix so that you can change, adapt or transform these recipes/ideas to your own personal liking any way you care to. That is what is important here for you to have more fun and satisfaction while performing the art of cooking.
Thoughts on Cooking with Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix: Remember a couple of simple concepts. You should think of our mix as a flavor base any time you wish to add flavor to a dish think of Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix. When your recipe or dish needs that extra something that it doesn't yet have, reach for our mix because I have balanced the flavors for you, therefore, you don't have to stand in front of your spice shelf or refrigerator searching and asking yourself, "what does this need?" Frustration and self-doubt should not be associated with cooking. Solve this frustration by keeping your own "go to" flavor base simply add the mix to taste and then add a little more. I am not kidding about the "add a little more". Believe me it is just a fact regarding cooks using acid based flavors. It seems our palates are not so accustom to acids as they are flavors of sweet or salts, therefore, we tend to be on the conservative side when we first trial-taste acid based ingredients during preparation. I have witnessed this time and time again during my 33 years of teaching cooks/chefs how to prepare our foods in our restaurants. I can prove this to you by suggesting just add some more mix and take another taste now that your palate is accustom to that flavor. In 9 out of 10 times you will agree, "Ahh it did need a little more and it does taste much better now". Good cooks possess good instincts learn to trust your instincts. It is good for you personally and it is good for your cooking. Confidence is the real master of cooking not great chefs. After you become comfortable cooking with Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix that will lead to further culinary confidence. I know this to be true. Relax and above all, have fun.
So have fun creating and cooking with Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix. Remember, like it says on each bottle, "it'll change your life."
Salute - Jerry Cirino
Why this was written:
I love to teach people how to cook, especially children and adults that have not yet had the opportunity to learn to cook for some reason or the other. I enjoy doing my part to instill self-confidence rather than stifle it by showing off. I am going to talk to you as though you were here with me at the stove. Therefore, if these recipes appear to be wordy it is because one of the primary reasons most people don't learn to cook in the first place is that most recipes they pick up are authored with assumption that all of us already knows how to cook and inherently understands all of the terms, definitions, and techniques floated so freely in todays edited recipes. Further, the culinary world currently has its share of arrogance; I would insult my ancestry and my immediate family by adding to it. I choose not to. I also choose to share and have a little fun.
An Invitation to You: When you find your own recipe/creation using our Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix, if you care to, please send it to us and we will eventually publish your creation and share with all our fans around the country and we will give you recognition for your recipe, if you'd like.
- Jerry's Refried Bean
- Cincinnati Hard Boiled Eggs
- Tucker's Potato, Shrimp or Crab Cocktail Sauce
- Summertime Corn-on the-Cob Butter
- Compound Butter (multiple use)
- Donna's Dazzling Marinated Onion Mix for Rice, String Beans, Squash, Etc.
- Marinated Hamburger Patties
- Garden Cherry Tomato Surprise???
- Donna's Shrimp Boat Dish
- Alaskan Halibut
- BBQ Seafood Baste
- Mop for Ribs and Smoked Meats
- Bloody Mary Wing Sauce
Jerry's Refried Beans:
- ½: yellow onion, diced
- ½ of a small clove of garlic, minced (optional)
- 1: 16 oz. can refried beans
- Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix to taste
Saute onions in extra virgin olive oil on low heat until translucent. Note: The lower the heat the longer saute time, the sweeter the onions are going to be. Add garlic but do not burn! Just change the color of the garlic from white to yellowish but not dark brown. Remember low heat. To save the garlic at this time, add some CBMM. This will cool the pan, slow the cooking and will save the garlic from burning. Let this mixture reduce slightly. Then add the beans. Stir until blended and adjust heat. Now, I do not like my beans texture to be thick and chalky. I like it to be silky and smooth. This is where your individual taste comes into play. I usually add a bit more CBMM as I want to taste it but not dominate. So add to taste and then just before serving, leaving a little cook down time, add a little water for desired texture. If it tightens up before you serve add a little more water. Either way, they are the best simple refried bean dish you can make. Simple? They are simple and mucho bueno.
Cincinnati Hard Boiled Eggs:
When I was a young boy in Cincinnati my father played on the Cincinnati Reds baseball farm team. It seemed wherever we went in town people new my Dad. This was a time before the law disallowed youngsters from accompanying their fathers into taverns. I remember hardboiled eggs, a sauce and some condiments all laid out at the end of the bar for the taking. I think back on that special time when serving the following Cirino household tradition:
Use any method of the hundreds that are available to hard boil your eggs, but whatever you do, make sure you boil enough and keep some extra-chilled and on hand because they are sure to become a household favorite. They are very handy for an additional quick condiment or a low calorie, high-protein fun and flavorful treat for the lunch or dinner menu.
- Slice hardboiled egg in half.
- With a thin blade knife make diagonal sliced pattern in the yoke, leaving all the yoke in its original location, now serrated. (Don't cut through the white.)
- Pour some CBMM into a small bowl and have a spoon at the ready.
- With the spoon, scoop up some CBMM and gently drizzle it onto the serrated yoke of the egg just enough so as not spill out before it gets immediately to your mouth and wha laaa! Now, that is a "Hard Boiled Egg-Cincinnati Style". Follow with a swill of cold beer. Now, don't tell me that that is not good. Granted, only certain guests on your entertainment list are going to appreciate this technique. Dining is always enhanced by choosing your guests wisely!
Recommendation: serve with ice cold beer, good conversation between friends and plenty of both.
Tucker's Quick Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce:
Tucker is my son and partner in the restaurant business. We have, as you may guess, similar taste in most foods. To make a good cocktail sauce for seafood you will need a long list of ingredients, so it is a bit of a pain to make a really good one. Not any longer. Remember, we have the entire list of ingredients in our mix so you don't have to keep them on hand any longer or have them taking up space in your refrigerator.
- ½ cup Del Monte or Heinz Catsup
- ½ cup CBMM
- ½ to 1 Lemon or to taste (optional please read below)
This is where Tucker and I differ. I like lemon added for certain seafood items such as bay shrimp, prawns, crab, etc. but I hold the lemon when we have golden, roasted and smashed Yukon Gold potatoes or of course, French Fries.
Note: For a great bay shrimp cocktail I like the additional flavor and texture of finely diced yellow onion, celery and Italian parsley mixed with the ice cold bay shrimp and then submerging the whole medley into Tucker's cocktail sauce mix and serve with crisp oyster crackers and an ice cold API.
Note: I always serve a plate of thinly sliced extra cheddar cheese with my seafood cocktail, absolutely mandatory with serving fresh Dungeness crab from the Northwest. If you raised your eyebrows at this combination, it is solid proof you have never tried it with the above ingredients. Many times I have seen new comers dragging the last of the cheddar through the last of the cocktail sauce, when the seafood has disappeared, and say, "My gosh, it's just as good all by itself".
Donna's Summertime Corn-On-The-Cob:
This is a simplified version of a compound butter but it works and it works well!
Summertime sweet corn either steamed or grilled can enjoy the company of Donna's Bloody Mary Butter.
Soften butter in a mixing bowl (use your own estimation of how much it will take to cover all the corn liberally)
Using a wire whisk, mix in (infuse) as much CBMM as you would like (do not salt or pepper until your butter is on the corn and you have tasted it). Your concoction will be colored somewhere in between a soft tan and a light brown. Very good!
Note: Now for the fun part. Take the above directions and add any number of finely sliced ingredients such as chives, red and/or yellow peppers, hot pepper flakes or any hot pepper, lemon or lime zest, savory herbs, minced anchovies, etc., etc. Please consider what you choose to serve the compound butter on or with. Again, just add your personal selection of ingredients to the softened butter and mix well. Make several combinations in separate bowls as you can now store them in your freezer for individual use as well as when frozen, you will have the option of slicing off just what you desire and restoring the rest for quick and easy flavoring. Be sure to label the contents.
For this compound butter technique you will lay out a sheet of waxed paper onto a flat surface and spoon a line of butter in about 1" from the bottom edge starting approximately 2" in from the left and stopping approximately 2" in from the right. Not too much! You only want these to be about 1-1 ½" in diameter when finished. Now, roll the butter in the wax paper away from you, as though it were a long cigar but even in diameter, crimping the outside edges when necessary. Now don't fret if the butter is too loose or runny to accommodate your cigar roll. The trick is to have the butter the right consistency to handle. That's it. Don't fight it if it does not work. Stop, scrape it off the paper put it back in the bowl and put the bowl in the refrigerator for a while until it is easier to work with, if it is still too tight stir it to loosen. Common sense will prevail and you will be able to roll them up while smoothing out evenly and crimping the ends. Twisting both ends at the same time in opposite direction tightens the whole package. I suggest placing your finished product on a small flat tray to place in the freezer so that you handle the butter rolls as little as possible. I like to add a layer of aluminum foil to protect from freezer burn. Now you have delicious flavor available at any time. Simply pull one out and cut off sections of the roll as needed to finish and add additional flavor to steaks, grilled or baked fish, to float into soups just prior to serving and placing on eggs to melt perfectly. It is endless what you can do with compound butter made with your choice of flavors and our Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix. It is a lot of words for such a simple item but well worth it. Have any questions give me a call at 530-272-mary. I will walk you through it but you'll have to invite me to dinner as well!
Donna's Dazzling Sautéed Onions:
This is a starter for a multitude of dishes. A starter for most anything, such as sautéed vegetables, soups, rice dishes, braises just about everything. So much of food preparation starts with the onions. Just like building a house it must have a strong, solid foundation. Have some imagination and fun with this.
Yellow, white or purple onions work with whatever dish you are contemplating. One thought, don't cut your onions into exceptionally small pieces. They need enough size for each piece to carry adequate cellular structure to hold a larger amount of interior juices then they started with.
Use a pan large enough to hold your cut onions in approximately 1 to 1 ½ layers.
Heat the pan using low to medium heat. When the pan is warm add olive oil and a little butter.
Carefully, add CBMM to the warm pan: Be cautious here, never add CBMM to a hot pan or hot oil. Steam and hot oil burn! Reduce the mix a little and then add your onions. LONG and SLOW makes the sweetest onions you have ever had so keep your heat down and stir occasionally to ensure even sauté. These onions are going to release their juices and then consume the CBMM in combination with their own flavors and turn into a powerhouse of delicate flavor. They will puff slightly, even though they are smaller than their original size. These translucent little guys are wonderful as long as you don't cook them so long that the cellular structure of the onion pieces collapse and release all their flavor. You want the flavor in the onion not back into the pan. That is the only way you can mess this up. So just keep in mind avoid cooking with too high of heat and cooking too long. Long and slow cooking can only be achieved through lower heat. It's not difficult it's just magic now you are the magician.
It is endless where you can go with these simple techniques.
It is also endless the variety of dishes one can create with these onions. One of my favorites is folding them into steamed brown rice just before serving. They just explode with flavor and your mouth is alive with the texture. Just before serving, Donna likes to add ingredients such as fresh avocado, finely sliced green onion, peaches and or nectarines and or seedless red grapes and fold them in with the sautéed onions and steamed brown rice. The uncooked ingredients complement the cooked rice and onions. Delicious! But the secret is in the long slow sautéed onions in the CBMM that puts this dish on another level.
Marinated Hamburger Patties:
This is a great way to add flavor to your B-B-Qing
When you press your patties do so in a sheet pan or a large plate. Doing it this way allows all the juices to stay where it belongs, with your patties. Note: I know you know how to press a burger. But when pressing hamburger patties remember, don't press them with a heavy hand, just press enough beyond the meat falling apart, just enough to keep it together. Trust me, that is 33 years of teaching cooks how to make patties. It does make a big difference. The proof is in the pudding.
Simply pour a little CBMM on the patties and coax it around with your fingers, turning the patties for even distribution. Don't put so much that they are overly soggy or overly saturated. All that is needed is a little flavoring. They do not need to sit. Apply just before or twenty minutes before putting on the grill.
A few words on marination: Both fish, chicken and beef love Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix. Two things to remember not too much and not too long don't waste it by over using the mix and don't let it marinate too long before cooking. Follow this simple code and it will open self-creative doors for you.
How to not over use: Take a bowl and line it with plastic wrap leaving enough extra plastic wrap so that you can pull it tight around your intended marinade. Pour just enough CBMM to coat not swim. Place your chicken, beef or fish in next. Mix it up enough to ensure all contents are coated. Then simply pull the plastic wrap tightly around the marinade package and place it in the refrigerator and let the magic happen.
A word on timing: Think of this not as a science but as an art. Like most art, it is really up to you. However, I will give you a few guide lines and some facts. Once you absorb this information you will never have to stress about the marinating conundrum again. First, there are hundreds of methods and different ways to prepare and flavor meat and fish for grilling. So I am speaking generally and generally is all we are interested in here. No worries here, the flavor of the CBMM used as a marinade is subtle, not overly strong, so you can't ruin anything. But you can deteriorate the quality of your meat or fish by marinating too long. Possibly you have heard this, but no one has ever told you why. You are not trying to tenderize you are only trying to flavor. With that said acids which most marinades qualify, will breakdown the proteins in any food product if left in contact long enough. Stay with me here. I said this is art not science but you need to visualize a hand shake. That's right, a hand shake. When meat of fish is raw think of proteins like lots of little fingers and they are tightly gripping one another similar to lots of little tightly gripping handshakes. That is one reason we cook meats and fish, to make them tender enough to eat. When you marinate with acids you start a process that relaxes those little fingers of proteins and they lighten and release their grip, just like at the end of a hand shake. Too much marinade is synonymous to someone that has held your hand during a handshake much longer than is comfortable. You know what I mean. You will not shake their hand again. Likewise, contact with acids in a marinade for too long does the same thing. The proteins never get back to gather again, the parties over and everyone is going home there is no chance of you ever shaking hands with that guy again. The proteins never get back together again; you have forever broken their ability to bond. Therefore, you end up with meat or fish that is grayish, the texture is mealy, limp and lifeless. The lesson here is simple do not think of marinating as a tenderizer. In this case, it is only a flavor enhancer. Plain-and- simple.
Think also of this: Fish, generally, for our conversation, has less proteins than chicken, so it will breakdown sooner and chicken has less protein than beef. So in terms of the amount of time spent in a marinade it's fish, chicken and beef. In that order. The good thing about what you have just read is that you never have to read it again because you have got it! Sure, I could have just given you the chart but you have seen those all your life I wish to teach you how to think about cooking. That is where cooking instinct comes from, which is much more important than what to think.
Relative Marinating Time Scale:
- Fish: 1 hr.
- Chicken: 2 hrs.
- Beef: 3 hrs.
Grilling Tip: Always take your food item out of the refrigerator and allow it enough time to come up to room temperature before grilling, usually about a half hour. Remove it from the plastic wrap and expose it to the air. You will have much greater grilling success. Like I said, we can talk about the art of grilling some other time.
Now was that so hard? Now you are ready to have fun and never worry about the mysteries of the marination process. Again believe me, if you understand and apply it, you already know a great deal more about cooking than you think. I am proud of you. Let's go on.
Cherry Tomato Magic Delight:
For all of you that garden, this treat was passed on to me by a lovely lady in her nineties during the Nevada County Fair. This nice lady turned and walked away so fast I never retained her name but I truly thank her.
Take a hand full of your ripe cherry tomatoes but don't pluck them off the vine, cut them instead, leaving about ¾" to 1" of stem attached to each tomato. Cut the stem on an angle or on the biased. This leaves more area of the stem exposed. You want really sharp shears so that the cells of the cambium layer on the stem don't collapse.
Simply place them immediately in a sealable plastic bag containing enough CBMM to cover at least all the stem ends and let sit at least several hours before serving. Let the magic happen.
The tomatoes think they are still on the vine and alive and therefore, draw the CBMM through osmosis up into the tomato and whaa-la you have wonderful fresh cherry-bloody-Mary tomatoes to serve as a hors d'oeuvre to your astonished guess.
They just explode in your mouth! Thank you to the nice lady at the fair.
Donna's Shrimp Boat:
This is even better than it sounds, very quick and easy and affordable.
Prawns are sold by the number of individual prawns which make up one pound, which is referred to as the "count." So, if the count is 16/20, that means there are 16 to 20 prawns in a pound of that particular batch. 16/20s are a common size. Prawns are not inexpensive. With that said, here is an attractive and economical trick to make your prawns go further so that they may fit into your budget once in a while and provide a nice treat for your family.
We will cut each prawn into 3 pieces, after shelling and devaining.
Heat a pan large enough to hold your cut shrimp in one layer and still enough room to roll them around to cook on all sides.
To prepare the pan use low to medium heat, enough olive oil to just lightly coat the bottom of the warmed pan and a couple teaspoons of butter and add four times as much CBMM as oil. Be cautious here, when adding CBMM to a hot pan or hot oil it can splatter and burn!
Shrimp are hard and mealy if overcooked. How not to overcook? While cooking, or when they have turned white and have lost their translucent color, simply take the largest piece out and slice it in half it should be just slightly less white on the inside than the outer edge. The other shrimp should be just about ready. Check by cutting another if you wish. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl because we are going to return them to the pan. If your pan mixture is as runny and liquidly as when you first started, just cook it down (or reduce) it to your liking. You're making a sauce, just don't reduce it too much it may have a tendency to became too salty. When it is to your liking and taste, turn off the heat and quickly add a ½ lemon (no seeds) and about a tablespoon of butter and stir into the sauce to finish it and make it shine. It should now be in a consistency to adhere to the shrimp pieces. Return the shrimp to the pan and roll the contents to pick up the wonderful sauce, pour the remaining sauce over the shrimp and serve immediately.
Because they are cut into pieces they are going to go much further. Either stick them with toothpicks and serve as hors d'oeuvre or serve them in rice, in or on salads, soups, potato dishes, as fish tacos, pastas and on and on. Great flavor, very simple, versatile and lots of fun.
Seafood Alaskan Style:
- Equal parts Best Foods Mayonnaise
- Equal parts Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix
Mix the three ingredients together to make a paste. Make enough to fully coat the whole surface of the fish. (We usually like to use Alaskan Halibut or Cod but most all fish works.)
We send the good folks in Alaska a lot of Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix and they were kind enough send us this recipe. Thanks to all of you up North.
Note: Now, before you go any further I want you to take a toothpick and stick it into a piece of the raw fish. That's right. Feel the resistance, especially when you pull it out. You can almost pick up the fish with the toothpick. Remember this this is your test to indicate when your fish is done. During the cooking process, when you test your fish for doneness, the toothpick will show little or no resistance it's done. Easy Peasey, nothing-to-it! Now remember, have some confidence here as every time you open that oven door you let the heat out and it slows the cooking time accordingly and that fish can only stand so many pokes with that toothpick. But now that you know the toothpick trick you can check it fairly fast. You are also armed with the magic in the Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix so now you're ready to soar to new heights.
OK, here we go with a paper towel pat dry your fish and coat it liberally with the above mixture. If your fish is too wet the mixture may not stick. Place the fish in a shallow baking dish. Place the fish in a preheated oven about 375 degrees. Cook to a golden color.
Finer details to the toothpick trick When is it done? Learn to think inside the fish not outside. Stick your toothpick in the center or the thickest part of the fish. If the toothpick pulls out and has absolutely no resistance it is definitely done. However, that probably means the thinner pieces are a little more done than you may desire. No problem, test the thinner against the thicker pieces. It is the comparison of these two extremes that is going to give you the information and more importantly, the confidence to know exactly when it is done no more guessing for you. Never again will you sheepishly glance at your guest's plates while they dive into your baked fish. Not you you are too engaged in brilliant conversation to concern yourself with such trivial things as is-the-fish-done? "Of course, it's done and done perfectly I did the toothpick thing."
Bye for now: I have to make this short. I am running out of time. So here are a few recipes that really don't need much narrative.
BBQ Seafood Baste:
- 1 lb. Butter softened
- 1: cup Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix
- Whip softened butter and CBMM
If you wish, add some lemon or lime.
Great for all fish Salmon and any white fish. Wonderful for chicken and all foul.
Ribs or Smoked Meat Mop Sauce:
- 1 cup CBMM
- ½ cup your choice BBQ sauce
- 1/8 cup Dejon mustard
- ½ cup white or apple distilled vinegar
Baste, Pour, Mop on any grilled or smoked item.
Bloody Mary Wing Sauce:
Steam chicken wings on top of the stove for 10 min. or until cooked ¾ of the way through. Roast in a roasting pan in a 400 degree preheated oven until golden brown and a little crispy then toss in a bowl with the following wing sauce; maybe add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds to your finished product.
- Melt 1lb. of salted butter into a bowl large enough to toss roasted chicken.
- ¾ cup CBMM
- Mix, toss, sprinkle, serve.
Yes, of course you can add some hot sauce. It is your dish, although, Tabasco sauce would be best, closer to the original but again it's all up to you.
If you have any questions regarding anything I have written just give me a call. Sorry I had to hurry at the end but it is not the end just the beginning. We will eventually have the full list of dishes and recipes on the web site along with cooking videos so you can see how easy cooking really is especially when we have blended and balanced the flavors for you in our Cirino's Bloody Mary Mix made by the Cirino family in the heart of California. After all, it is The New Generation of Smart Mary's. tm