Smoked Bloody Mary
5 to 6 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup kosher salt plus additional for salting the tomatoes (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1/8 Freshly ground black pepper (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
2 cups good quality tomato juice, such as Sacramento brand, or more as needed (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1/8 Juice of 2 lemons, or more to taste (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce and prepared horseradish, or more to taste (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1 tablespoon olive brine from a jar of olives (optional) (For each cocktail)
2-1/2 teaspoons onion powder, garlic powder, and celery salt (For the rub and Bloody Mary mix)
1 lemon or lime wedge (For each cocktail)
2 ounces vodka—plain or pepper- or lemon-flavored (For each cocktail)
Your choice of garnishes (For each cocktail): homemade beef jerky, leafy celery sticks, dill pickles, peperoncini or other pickled peppers
Combine 1/2 cup of kosher salt with the Old Bay Seasoning on a pie plate and set aside.
Core the tomatoes and slice each into several wedges or chunks.
Lay a cooling rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on the cooling rack. (If you don’t own a cooling rack, simply put the tomatoes on the baking sheet.) Lightly salt and pepper the tomatoes.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Put the baking sheet with the tomatoes on the grill grate and close the lid.
Smoke the tomatoes for 1 hour. Let cool. Working in batches, liquefy the tomatoes in a blender or food processor, adding enough tomato juice to get the tomatoes moving. Transfer to a large bowl or pitcher. Strain if desired. Stir in the lemon juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, onion powder, garlic powder, and celery salt. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, lemon juice, hot sauce, horseradish, or spices as desired. The mix should be highly seasoned, but still taste of fresh tomatoes. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
To make a Bloody Mary cocktail, rim a tall glass with the lemon or lime wedge. Dip the rim upside down in the salt/Old Bay mixture. Add ice cubes to the glass, then the vodka and olive brine, if using. Top with the tomato mixture and stir gently, being careful not to disturb the salted rim. Finish with your favorite garnishes. (If desired, you can put the vegetable garnishes on bamboo skewers for serving.)
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