Bloody ñora!!!! or when Ñora met Mary
Unless your name is Mary Berry,you’ve all no doubt heard of a cocktail called a Bloody Mary. It’s bloody delicious and just what the doctor ordered if you’re having a bit of a ‘morning after the night before’.
A Bloody Mary is just the thing to drink with a turkey sandwich. At its most basic, a measure of vodka is topped up with tomato juice and seasoned with Worcester sauce, Tabasco and lemon juice, but the fine details can be tweaked to your own taste. There is an endless list of tiny twists to the classic recipe, but each addition requires your Mary to be rechristened.While a Virgin Mary lacks booze,a Bloody Fairy requires absinthe.
Well a few months back I was having one of those mornings, and our dear friends Jane and Patrick were with us.Over a round of pre-lunch drinks Jane told me that she wanted to invent a take on the Bloody Mary and call it a Bloody Nora, and we had a discussion about what would go to make a bloody good Nora.Well ñora peppers would be a start I suggested.Jane had never heard of a ñora pepper,so I explained...
The ñora is an ingredient indigenous of Spanish cooking.Pronounced “NOR-a”, these chilli peppers are from the Capsicum annuum species, which is part of the plant genus Capsicum. They are closely related to bell peppers. These chillis are also known as pimiento choricero , and are sometimes referred to as the paprika pepper because of their intense and sweet-fleshed taste,which is the basis of the paprika produced in Spain.
The Ñora pepper´s appearance is somewhat similar to cascabel chillies, with a heart-shaped body (approximately 1” tall by 1” wide) and a glossy, wrinkled flesh that is dark red in colour.
Native to the Valencia region of Spain, these are the most commonly used chilli peppers in Spanish cuisine. They are rarely used fresh; they impart a deep red colour to dishes whether used whole, sliced or crushed.
Columbus brought back numerous Capsicum annuum chiles from his voyage to the New World, and it is believed that he left the early ancestor of this chilli with the Spanish monks of the Yuste monastery. These monks then shared it with their brothers in the congregation of La Nora in Murcia, which is where it gets its name. Today, Nora Chillies are primarily cultivated in the Valencia region, which is located on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea.
Ñora peppers are used in crab cakes, chorizo sausage, rice dishes like arroz a banda and paella, mashed potatoes, romesco sauce, soups, stews and sautéed vegetables. They also pair well with chicken and seafood, especially cod, octopus and rockfish.And now my friend Jane and I add a whole new meaning and flavour sensation to the Ñora when we introduce her to Bloody Mary.
Our recipe for the perfect Ñora
Makes 2 x 125 ml servings,to make a pitcher multiply
by the number of servings you require
1 Ñora pepper,rehydrated overnight in 100ml vodka,
(discard seeds and flesh of pepper after infusion)
2 dashes Worcester Sauce
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 dashes of Tabasco
1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
150ml fresh or very good quality canned tomato juice
pinch of celery salt
One third fill a glass with ice. Add the pepper infused vodka, Worcester sauce, lemon juice, celery salt Worcester sauce,Tabasco, horseradish and sriracha. Pour on the tomato juice, Stir vigorously then season with black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings.Serve with Victoria Coren-Mitchell´s poker faced muffins.