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Bloody Marys and Chilled Seafood Salad Recipe for Mom

Mother’s Day is a week and a half away, but it isn’t too early to start thinking about what to make. In this weekend’s paper, we’ll have a feature on chef’s tips for cooking with your kids. One of the chefs, MG Farris, invited me into his kitchen to see what he and his 9 year-old son Julian will be cooking for mom.

Chef MG Farris and his son Julian share their Mother's Day breakfast in bed

Chef MG Farris and his son Julian share their Mother's Day breakfast in bed

On the menu:

  • Bloody Mary
  • Chilled Shellfish and Fennel Salad with Rosemary Lemon Dressing
  • Julian’s Sweetened Fruit Salad
  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

You know when a kid has a chef for a parent when they have already mastered “the claw,” a knife skills term for curling your fingers into a claw to grasp whatever you are cutting. Farris hummed around his kitchen, frequently peering over Julian’s shoulder to monitor his work- slicing strawberries for the fruit salad. It was easy for Farris to do the hard prep work, like measuring out exact quantities for the shellfish and fennel salad, and leaving Julian to dump and mix. Their plan is to serve mom breakfast in bed- giving her a kaleidoscope of dishes that touch on both the salty and sweet palate.



You could buy mom any pre-mixed base, but Farris says that nothing beats the true flavor of a homemade mix. Simply add to your own recipe for Bloody Mary.

  • 1 ½ cups tomato juice, or V8 Juice
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon green hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces brine elixer (5oz. olive brine, 6oz. dill pickle brine, 3oz. caper brine.  Mix together.  Makes 14oz.)


Place all of the ingredients in a non-reactive 1-quart container and whisk until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Mix will hold for 3 days in a container with a tight fitting lid.


(This recipe is in 3 parts- dressing, brine and salad. The dressing and the brine can be made a few days ahead of time.) 4_30_fennelsalad

ROSEMARY LEMON DRESSING (yields about 1 1/2 cups dressing)

  • 3 lemons zested (yellow part of lemon only, zest using a micro plane), and juice of 3 lemons strained to remove the pith and seeds
  • 1/4 cup Roses Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced rosemary
  • 1/2 minced shallot
  • 1/2 minced garlic clove
  • 3/4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste for sweeter balance


Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a mixing bowl, or high speed blender.  Slowly drizzle in the oil while either hand mixing or while blender is on to create an emulsion.  Season with salt and white pepper.

For a more acidic flavor or “lemon bite”, add more lemon fresh squeezed lemon juice.  For a sweeter lemon dressing add a little more sugar to taste.

PICKLED ONIONS, AND CUCUMBERS: (makes about 1/2 quart of pickling brine)

  • 1 cups water
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1  cloves garlic
  • 2 tablesspoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2  jalapeno
  • 4 mini English cucumbers (sliced very thin)
  • 4 shaved red onions (sliced very thin)


Bring the first 9 ingredients to a boil, and turn off heat.  Let ingredients sit for 4 hours (can be made the day before).  Strain ingredients with a fine mesh strainer, and reserve the liquid and discard the solids..  When the liquid is chilled pour 1 cup of brine into two different containers.  Place the cucumbers in one container and the shaved red onions in the other container for 30 minutes just before serving.

TO SERVE: (makes 4 portions)

  • 4 ounces pasteurized jumbo lump crab meat
  • 4 ounces smoked mussels
  • 4 ounces smoked bay scallops
  • 4 ounces cooked shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, chives, parsley, tarragon
  • Lemon dressing to taste
  • 2 heads frisee lettuce picked, or some fresh spring mix lettuce
  • 1/4 bulb fennel sliced paper thin
  • Pickled onions and cucumber garnish


Toss the first 5 ingredients together, and set aside.  Place some of the picked frisee lettuce and fennel on a small salad plate.  Place a 4 oz scoop of the seafood salad on top.  Garnish with the pickled cucumber, and red onions on top of the salad.

-By Alexa Lampasona for the Food & More blog

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