Toast Dad this Father’s Day With Bacon + Black Pepper Crackers, Tex-Mex Marinated Olives, and a Mexican Martini

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A note from Maggie

Katherine knows how to make Dad smile with an extra-special happy hour. This combination of smoky crackers, spicy olives, and an even spicier cocktail is a great way to raise a glass to Dad (or Mom, or any other favorite people). And packaged all together, well, your Father’s Day is all set.

Happy Dad’s Day!

The day I turned twenty-one, I hightailed it to the nearest liquor store to buy my first bottle of vodka. This bottle wasn’t destined for cocktails or celebratory shots, but for pie crusts and oh-so-tender pastry dough (alcohol evaporation is the secret, you see). My friends were, of course, incredulous, but my Dad was probably the proudest I’ve ever seen him. Not only was I finally old enough to learn the family baking secrets, I was the also the right age to sip martinis on the back porch after a long day of making pies in the kitchen.

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And ever since, cooking and cheers-ing has been part of our formula for father-daughter hangouts. Whether back in Texas or when he visits New England, at some point during our reunion we bake and we shake-or-stir.

Since becoming a father earlier this year, my husband has started taking notes and is eager to share all his fatherly knowledge. Pie crusts and flour ratios are beyond his expertise, but he’s been working on the perfect Mexican martini – a drink from our college days back in Austin – for quite some time. One day he will have plenty of other topics to teach our daughter, but I know he’s definitely looking forward to long conversations and cold drinks on the back porch.

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When bundling up your Father’s Day gifts, be sure to add in that extra martini glass so you can help dad raise a glass on his special day.

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BACON + BLACK PEPPER CRACKERS, TEX-MEX MARINATED OLIVES, & MEXICAN MARTINI

Ingredients:

BACON + BLACK PEPPER CRACKERS
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled into fine pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
TEX-MEX MARINATED OLIVES
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups brine-cured green olives, pitted but not stuffed
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, sliced
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
MEXICAN MARTINI
  • Lime wedges, to rim the glass and garnish
  • Sea salt, to rim the glass (optional)
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce green-olive brine from the jar
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • Tex-Mex Olives, for garnish

Directions:

FOR THE CRACKERS
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pepper, salt, baking powder, and bacon. Add in the olive oil and stir to combine. Add in the water and stir again until a sturdy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few seconds. Divide into two even pieces, shape into rough squares, cover with tea towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Place one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8-inch thick or thinner. Using a sharp knife or sharp pizza wheel, carefully cut the dough in half lengthwise. Then make several vertical cuts to make long thin rectangles about 3 to 4-inches long and 1 1/2-inches wide.
  4. Carefully transfer the crackers to the baking sheet (a metal spatula may help here) and prick each with a fork. It’s okay to crowd the crackers close together as they won’t expand too much. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Transfer cooked crackers to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Be sure to let the crackers cool completely before serving or packaging.
FOR THE OLIVES
  1. To a small skillet, add the crushed red pepper and cumin seeds and toast until the spices just become fragrant, about 45 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Drain the olives, but reserve the brine (to make martinis later).
  3. In a Mason jar, add the garlic clove and toasted spices. Then add a few slices of jalapeno and a few olives. Repeat, alternating with the jalapeno and olives, until all are used. Top with enough olive oil to cover. Close the jar and let marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 days before eating or gifting.
FOR THE MARTINI
  1. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of martini glass. Dip glass into a saucer of flaky sea salt. Set aside.
  2. To a shaker, add the tequila, lime juice, olive brine, and orange juice and shake to combine. Strain into martini glass. Add a couple of spicy olives and a lime wedge for garnish.

Materials

  • Wire or wicker basket
  • A clean flour-sack tea towel
  • Paper filler
  • Bacon + Black Pepper Crackers
  • Cellophane bag
  • Twine
  • Martini glasses
  • Small bottle of tequila
  • Jar of Tex-Mex olives
  • Limes
  • Paper tags

Directions

  1. Line the basket with the tea towel, letting it drape over the edges. Add a layer of shredded paper filler to the bottom of the basket.
  2. Tuck cooled crackers into a cellophane bag and tie closed with a piece of twine. Add to basket.
  3. To the basket, add the martini glasses, bottle of tequila, jar of olives, and a couple of limes.
  4. Finish with a small note reading “Cheers to you!” or “Happy Father’s Day” then go share a martini with Dad.

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