I recently invited over a couple Bacon-xecutives from Maple Leaf and the Republic of Bacon for the opportunity to sit in on a cooking session with me. They gladly jumped at the opportunity and brought a special gift with them: Bakon Vodka. This wonderful beverage is made by the folks over at Black Rock Spirits. Upon opening the bottle’s cork, the smokey aroma was immediately apparent – reminiscent of excellently prepared bacon. Now, I’m not a vodka expert by any means, but I found the flavours to be extremely complex and interesting. The first thing we did with it was make a Bloody Mary with it, and the smokiness complimented the fullness of the drink beautifully. I can try to convince my roommate to divulge his secret recipe…

Since the tomato and Bakon Vodka worked so well together, I decided to continue along those lines. I had a few ripe plum tomatoes lying around, so I decided to make a classic Italian appetizer – bruschetta (bru-sket-ta, not bru-shet-ta). If you recall back to the Tortellini alla Vodka recipe, I explained that adding vodka to the tomato sauce allowed for the extraction of unique flavours. The same is true with raw tomatoes.

This recipe is uber-simple, and best prepared well in advance to allow for all the flavours to meld together; a great appetizer for parties with lots of people!

Ingredients

4 Ripe Plum Tomatoes

3 Cloves Garlic

1 Red onion

¼ cup Fresh Oregano Leaves

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more to brush on bread

1/3 cup Bakon Vodka

1 Vienna Loaf or French Baguette

Salt to taste

Makes approx. 12-15 pieces

Directions

1. Dice your tomato into small pieces. The best way to do this is to first slice your tomato into wheels, put aside the top and bottom slices, stack and dice the middle slices at once, then move onto the end pieces.

2. Dice your onion. You want this to be a fairly fine dice as well. Nobody really enjoys biting into a huge chunk of raw onion

3. Finely mince your garlic.

4. Throw everything in a bowl and add your olive oil, oregano and vodka. Stir it up and let it sit for at least an hour. Like marinating, the longer the better.

5. While the tomatoes are doing their thing, slice your baguette on the diagonal. Doing this gives you more surface area to put your topping. Drizzle or brush olive oil on one side of the bread and toast them under the broiler.

6. Once golden brown, take the bread out of the oven and carefully place a spoonful of bruschetta mix on top. Don’t do this step ahead of time or else the bread goes soggy, but I’m sure they’ll disappear so fast that you won’t have to worry!

Stay tuned for more cooking with Bakon Vodka….