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Beergarita Popsicles with Smoky Chile Salt

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, we call this story: that time you got drunk on popsicles.

Long Neck Ritas (a la Amy Sedaris) have been a long-time staple in our irresponsible summer drinking roster. They’re sweet and boozy and dirt, dirt cheap. Turning them into a popsicle seems like a natural step of leveling our up summer-evening-porch-hangs-game.

Because it’s basically nothing but sugar and alcohol, we had to tinker with the original recipe to make them freeze. By replacing a can of beer with good old H20, and cutting out the orange liqueur, the normally slushy concoction forms a solid (albeit quick melting) ice. 

It’s worth reiterating that these suckers pack a punch. With roughly one shot of tequila per pop,  don’t eat them while you’re driving and stuff. Okay? O-kay.

Beergarita Popsicles

  • 12 oz Frozen Limeade
  • 12 oz Cheap-o Light-Colored Beer
  • 12 oz Tequila
  • 12 oz H20
  • Popsicle Mold
  • Popsicle Sticks

Serves: depends on the size of your Popsicle mold. Ours are 4oz— so we always get 12 perfect pops.

Mix it all together and and freeze it. It’s decidedly not rocket surgery, and (depending on how cold your Beer and Limeade were) should take about 2 hours to freeze.

Sprinkle with Smoky Chile Salt (or, you know, some Tajín) right before serving.

Smoky Chile Salt

  • 2 tbsp coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper

(originally supposed to be part of the flawless Billy Green of Wit & Vinegar's Popsicle Week but we’re bad at deadlines <3 <3)

Fried Green Tomatoes

Haul out your cast iron skillet: Green Tomato season is upon us.

Growing up in the Midwest, the offspring of vaguely-Southern expatriates, Fried Green Tomatoes were always a part of summer time family dinners. As grown ups who have even further abandoned the dish’s rural roots, frying them makes us feel connected to the family members who did this long before Southern food was trendy.

For the uninitiated, Green Tomatoes aren’t a fancy heirloom breed. They’re the regular old red ones that just haven’t had a chance to get ripe. They’re rock hard, with extra bitter seeds and sour, almost tannic flesh. Once fried, they are a pleasantly tart and, well, fried. The perfect vehicle for your favorite hot sauce or devouring before they even make it to the table.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • ¾ cup Corn Flour
  • ¾ cup All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Tabasco, plus more for serving
  • 4 large, firm unripened Green Tomatoes
  • 8 oz Crisco (our preference) or Peanut Oil

You will also need:

  • a cast iron skillet
  • two shallow dishes
  • a wire rack or paper towels for draining

Serves: 4

Frying always starts with a well-organized kitchen.

Have your wire rack ready to hold the Tomatoes one they’re fried. Make sure that you have a lid, baking sheet, or fire extinguisher safe for oil-based fires ready if shit gets bad. Mix the Corn Flour/Flour/Salt/Pepper into one shallow dish and Buttermilk/Tabasco in the other.

Slice your Tomatoes in ½” thick discs and dredge them in the Flour mixture.

Grab your cast iron. There is no alternative.

Fill it with your Oil of choice and begin to heat over medium heat. Once it starts to shimmer (and a pinch of flour dropped into the oil starts sizzling immediately), begin to batter the Tomato slices.

Since they have already been dredged, dip into the Buttermilk. Gently shake off any excess liquid, and coat the slice completely in the Flour once again. Immediately drop into the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on your wire rack or paper towel; lather, rinse, repeat.

Serve hot with plenty of Tabasco. Maybe think about topping them with a slice of Country Ham, a sunny Egg, and Red-Eye Gravy for a Redneck Benedict next time.

The last time we fried we pointed this out too. If you added a few pinches of Baking Soda to the left over Flour Dredge, and stirred in enough Buttermilk to make a thick batter: you could probably make some pretty dope hushpuppies.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad with Scallions and Bacon

If summer had a patron saint, it would be potato salad. It’s the perfect carby, creamy complement to the season’s grilled meat (or some spicy fried chicken). No self-respecting BBQ is complete with out it.

Unfortunately, most potato salad recipes suck. Half are candy-sweet, and the rest taste like you’re freebasing a jar of French’s. While sugar-and-mustard-covered-potatoes seems to be the status quo: we think there’s gotta be a better way.

Potato salad doesn’t need to be cutting edge. It should be familiar and classic— not weird and old fashioned or gussied up and molecular. Wmade a gentle update, sticking with potatoes long-time BFFs: blue cheese and bacon.

Most tradish recipes call for a dressing of straight mayo thinned with a few tablespoons of vinegar. We lighten things by using equal parts mayonnaise and buttermilk. This is not out of some sense of dietary piety (fuck that) but is, instead, to make the dressing a satiny smooth sauce that clings to each morsel. The buttermilk tang is the perfect foil to the funky, earthy blue cheese and its body-ody-ody keeps things from getting gloppy. 

Blue Cheese Potato Salad with Scallions and Bacon

  • 4 Eggs
  • 5 lbs of Potatoes— well washed, but whole and un-peeled
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • ½ lb Thickly-Sliced  Bacon
  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 bunch Scallions— greens only, chopped
  • 5 oz Blue Cheese— Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue or Point Reyes Bay Blue are our faves
  • Black Pepper to taste

Serves: 6-10

Start by hard boiling your Eggs. You know how to hard boil a fucking do it and if you want to go your own way here, we aren’t going to call the Egg Police. We like to cover them with cold water in a shallow pan, bring it to a simmer, and then kill the heat. Let everything sit exactly where it is for 6 minutes. Shock the Eggs in an ice bath, and let them cool completely.

Place your whole Potatoes in your largest pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add 1 tbsp Salt and bring them to a boil. Continue to boil until the Potatoes are completely tender, about 15 minutes (depending on the size of your spudz). Drain and let them hang out until they’re room temperature.

Cut the Bacon into small pieces and crisp in a skillet until they are deeply brown and delicious.  Drain well and set aside.

In your serving bowl, combine the Mayonnaise and Buttermilk. Add ⅔ the Bacon, Scallions, and Blue Cheese, reserving the rest to garnish. Mix well.

Peel and dice the Eggs into small-but-recognizable cubes— if you’re having trouble peeling, they’re probably still too warm. Stick them in the freezer for up to a minute to help pull the white away from the shell for you. Chop the cool-enough-to-handle Potatoes into bite-sized chunks. The goal is to get a little bit of everything in each bite, but have it be big enough to recognize what you’re eating.

Carefully fold in the Potatoes and Eggs into the Mayonnaisey goodness, and season with fresh Black Pepper. This salad (“salad”) tastes best after about an hour in the fridge- so let it chill out for a bit and top with the reserved garnishes right before serving.