Our friend Rob Allison, writer of Cook Books and behind the scenes star of TV Cooking Shows, has taken the challenge to show how the Bloody Bens Bloody Mary Mix is not just for making perfect Bloody Marys but that it’s also great in food. Here’s his recipe for Onion Rings with Bloody Gazpacho…
Here is the culinary version of The Lady and the Tramp: Gazpacho – civilized, cultured refined soup of gastro households, coupled with onion rings – the food of dark basements and neon burger joints, the food of stoners and gluttons. There’s something for everyone here.
1 large onion, peeled
½ small red onion, peeled and diced
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and chopped
½ red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
¼ cucumber, peeled and de-seeded and roughly chopped
2 very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
100ml Bloody Bens Bloody Mary Mix
Oil for deep frying
120g self raising flour, plus a little for dusting
200ml ale – I used Speckled Hen
Cut the onion into thick 1.5cm slices across the latitude of the onion, then separate the onion pieces to create rings. Drop the rings in to a bowl and pour over the milk. This step isn’t strictly necessary, but does give the onions a milder, more mellow flavour. Leave the onion to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Blitz the red onion, clove, red pepper, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, passata, and Bloody Bens Bloody Mary Mix into a jug blender. Add a little salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. Pour into a serving bowl and stick in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours.
Whilst the soup is chilling in the fridge heat the oil in a deep saucepan until it hits 180℃. Drain the onion rings.
Whisk the flour, ale and salt together until you reach a smooth batter
Sprinkle a bit of extra flour on to a plate and dredge the drained onion rings in the flour a few at a time then drop in to the batter.
When the oil has reached temperature gently drop a few batter coated onions in and leave to cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove to a clean piece of kitchen roll to drain excess oil then continue with the remaining onion rings.
Serve up the gazpacho with the crunchy onion rings and a wry smile.