Smoky Potato-Pickled Tomato Bites and Savory Cocktails

Smoky Potato-Pickled Tomato BitesGreg Henry of SippitySup was one of the first people who welcomed me into the food blogging community a couple of years ago, just before I started Cooking On The Weekends.

I loved SippitySup immediately, and it’s no wonder that since I met Greg, he’s had his first two cookbooks published: Savory Pies and Savory Cocktails.  I love them both — like his blog, the books are full with stunning photography, incredibly creative recipes and magnificent writing.

Savory CocktailsI will quickly admit that I’m no mixologist, and I’m not a big drinker.  That said, Savory Cocktails really caught my attention, for the recipes inside this book are all brilliant blends of flavors, ranging from sour, to spicy, to smoky, to rich, and the list goes on.

My favorite recipe in Savory Cocktails?  Page 77 — the Bullshot!

A Bullshot was my mom’s drink of choice back in the day.  And it was the only cocktail I ever really knew about growing up, because it was the only one ever made in our house — I even thought my parents made up the name. Whenever we had guests, and on special occasions, my dad would make my mom a Bullshot.  I never thought for a moment it was unusual that he’d pour beef broth and hot sauce into the glass.  And on those rare occasions when I was allowed a sip, I quite liked this savory concoction, one that Greg puts in umami category of his book.

Naturally, I had to make an hors d’oeuvre to go with a Bullshot.  After all, we can’t have cocktail hour without delicious bites!
While a Bullshot is in the umami category, I’d put this hors d’oeuvre recipe in the smoky, spicy, sour, and sweet categories.

Smoky Potato-Pickled Tomato BitesFor the Bullshot recipe and 99 other superb Savory Cocktail recipes, you can get a copy of Greg’s book here.

Smoky Potato-Pickled Tomato Bites and Savory Cocktails
Serves: Makes 2 dozen
  • 1 large scallion, sliced in half lenghtwise, and then into 2 dozen bite-sized pieces
For the tomatoes:
  • 1 dozen cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
For the potatoes:
  • 1 (approximately ¾-pound) Idaho Russet Potato, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • You will also need 2 dozen sturdy toothpicks
For the tomatoes:
  1. Add the sliced tomatoes to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small sauté pan, combine the vinegar, oil, sugar and salt, and place it over low-medium heat. Cook just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove this from the stove and pour it over the tomatoes. They should marinate for at least 45 minutes and up to 24 hours. (I know, it's a huge range -- they're very good at 45 mintues, but they get better and better with time. I'd make the a day ahead if possible.) Stir them every now and then to be sure they're all well coated.
For the potatoes:
  1. Add the peeled and cut potato to a small pot with cold water, place it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer just until the potato is tender. It should still be slightly firm, but a if you stick a fork into the thickest part, it should come out with ease. (It's important not to cut the potato into more than 4 large chunks.)
  2. Once the potato is done and it's cool enough to touch, cut it into 2 dozen small squares (some will be oddly shaped).
  3. Coat the bottom of a medium-sized sauté pan with the olive oil, and place it over high heat.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the paprika, cumin and salt and set aside.
  5. Once the pan is very hot, add the potato squares. You should hear a strong sizzling sound when they hit the pan -- if you don't, wait until the pan is hotter. Brown each side of each potato square, using a fork to turn them every minute or so.
  6. As soon as they're done, pour them into the bowl with the spices. (I say "pour," because your want any oil that remains in the pan as well.) Gently toss the browned potatoes with the spices until they are well coated, and if necessary, season with a bit more salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Place the spiced potato squares on a serving plate or platter, and top each one with a scallion piece. Now stick a toothpick through the round side of the pickled tomato halves and then insert them, with the toothpick through the scallion, and into the potato.
  2. Voilà!
These are best when the potatoes are still warm!
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  1. says

    It’s funny your folks drank the Bullshot. It was one of those cocktails that really made me raise my eyebrows when I first started this project. But it’s true. It’s an umami winner. GREG

  2. says

    This is a very interesting and very pretty appetizer idea, V.
    On the menu for this w/end!

    PS- I sketched a new header for my blog. If you have a minute, take a look and let me know what you think. I also added a page about the elephants. Thanks! oxo

  3. says

    I’m not sure what I like better the cocktail or the savory appetizer! I guess I’ll have both! A marvelous post to begin a glorious weekend!

  4. says

    What a beautiful appetizer! And thanks for the introduction to Greg and SippitySup! I have always been curious about his moniker but now it makes perfect sense. ~ David

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