Tag Archives: Margarita

Margarita Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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I grew up in Texas (duh), and this past Memorial Day weekend served as a learning experience about growing up in Texas, which was the realization that I have *never* had pork ribs that weren’t smoked. Where I’m from, pork ribs equals barbecue, which equals smoked. Ribs on the grill use wood chips, and even oven baked barbecue ribs have liquid smoke in the ingredient list.

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These ribs are not smoked in any way. Grilled, yes. Smoked, no. So upon taking my first bite, I was so accustomed to that smoky flavor I automatically associate with pork ribs, that my knee jerk reaction was along the lines of “Oh god, what’s wrong with them?! Oh no, I screwed them up!” And then I took a second bite and realized that, no, they are actually quite tasty, and smoking ribs with a more delicate flavor profile such as this might be a bit weird.

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And then when I realized that these non-smoked ribs were quite the new phenomenon for me, I actually felt a tad silly, but then shrugged and kept eating them, due to the supreme deliciousness and all. It was a lovely switch-up from the regular barbecue types of pork ribs I’m more used to. And of course, you simply must serve these with margaritas. Is that even a choice? Enjoy!

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Some margarita drink ideas: Beer Margaritas; Mesa Grill Margaritas; Apple Cider Margaritas; Blood Orange Margaritas; Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas; and for dessert – Chocolate Margaritas!
You might also enjoy: Margarita Fish Tacos; Margarita Meringue Pie; Maple Glazed Baby Back Ribs; Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs

{One Year Ago: Cherry Almond Galette}

Source: Slightly adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, August/September 2011

Ingredients:

MARINADE:
Juice from 1 medium orange
2 tsp lime zest
Juice from 2 medium limes
¼ cup silver tequila
3 tbs dark agave syrup or honey
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs orange liqueur
2 tbs soy sauce
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs ancho chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 or 2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 1 ½ lbs. each) silver skin membrane removed *

GLAZE/SAUCE:
½ cup silver tequila
½ cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
2 tbs dark agave syrup or honey
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

*This makes enough marinade and glaze for 2 racks of ribs. I used only 1 rack (small apartment sized grill) and then tossed 1 lb. of shrimp with the remainder. I also used half the glaze on the shrimp. You could also cut the marinade and glaze in half for 1 rack of ribs.

Directions:
First, marinate the ribs. In a medium bowl, whisk the orange juice, lime zest, lime juice, tequila, agave, oil, orange liqueur, soy sauce, garlic, chile powder, cumin, 1 tbs salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Cut each rack of ribs in half and place in a large resealable plastic baggie. Pour the marinade over the ribs (or only half the marinade if using only 1 rack) and seal tightly. Shake the bag to make sure all the ribs are coated. Lay the bag in a baking pan in case of leaks. Refrigerate overnight, turning a few times to redistribute the marinade.
Next, grill the ribs. Preheat your charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking over low to medium-low heat. Remove the ribs from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and set aside.*
Arrange the ribs bone side down over indirect heat. Cover the grill and let them go for around 1 ½ to 2 hours. They are ready when the meat is tender and the meat is starting to pull away from the bones, about ¼-inch.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the tequila, orange juice, lime juice, and agave to the reserved marinade. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until it is starting to turn syrupy, about 20 to 25 minutes. If you are not using the reserved marinade, simply add the glaze ingredients, except the cilantro, to a small saucepan and simmer until it looks a little bit syrupy and appropriate texture for glazing meat. This will not take as long, so be watchful.
When the glaze is the correct consistency, shut off the heat and add salt and black pepper to taste, if necessary.
Once the glaze is made, finish the ribs. Increase the grill heat to medium high and generously brush the meat side of each rack with the glaze. Use tongs to turn the ribs over so that the glazed side is down over the direct heat part, 3-5 minutes. Brush the bone side with some glaze, flip, and grill 3-5 minutes more. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest about 10 minutes.
Add the cilantro to the remaining glaze and pour into a small bowl or ramekin for passing at the table. Slice the ribs (I recommend a serrated knife – ironically it gets the cleanest, easiest cuts), and let everyone dive in, using the remaining glaze as a sauce.

*If you are hesitant to do this, I understand, and I wouldn’t advise this for pregnant women. You can make the glaze without the leftover marinade and it should still taste fine.

Mesa Grill Margarita

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Fact: Chef Bobby Flay’s first restaurant, Mesa Grill, closed its doors in NYC a few months ago.

Fact: Matt and I are spending this weekend in the Bahamas.

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Now, those probably sound like two completely unrelated statements, but I promise, they’re not. Mesa Grill was one of my favorite restaurants in New York, and I am extremely sad to see it go. However, it lives on in its other locations: Las Vegas, and …… Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Matt and I heavily debated dining at Mesa Grill this weekend, but in the end, decided it would be too much of a pain to get ourselves over there, seeing as our resort is not on the same island. Thankfully, Mesa Grill cuisine can live on in my kitchen, because I have (a signed copy of!!!) the Mesa Grill Cookbook!

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Last weekend I made the Mesa Grill Margarita, which is one of the best and most serious margaritas I’ve ever tasted. It’s not dumbed down in the least, it is STRONG, and you should not plan on driving after one of these. You should also not use bad tequila, because in this instance, you won’t get away with it. The tequila is front and center, so while it doesn’t have to be the most expensive bottle out there, it does need to be a respectable brand. I went with Cuervo 1800 for a less pricey option, but if you want to splurge for something like Patron, well, let’s just say it’s worth it.

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It felt right to share it today. This is a really serious, beautiful drink that will accompany any Mexican food meal so nicely. Or have it at cocktail hour, just because. That works too. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Doughnut Peaches in Bourbon with Sweetened Whipped Cream, Cumin-Cilantro Chicken Sliders, Banana Split Cheesecake Bars}

Source: The Mesa Grill Cookbook by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
Ice cubes
1 lime slice
Kosher salt

Directions:
Pour the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Rub the rim of a glass, either a margarita, martini or rocks glass, with the lime slice, then gently dip in the plate of salt. Strain the mixture into your glass and garnish with the lime slice. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 drink.

Chocolate Margaritas

Chocolate Margaritas

Y’all know what day it is today? Besides Saturday, February 22, 2014? Yeah, it’s National Margarita Day!!! That is a thing, as well it very much should be. I do think margaritas may be my favorite cocktail.

Some bloggers and I got together and decided to properly celebrate this wonderful day in grand fashion – we’re all bringing you either a margarita drink or a margarita-themed recipe. It’s gonna be amazing, y’all!

Chocolate margaritas

I’m bringing a drink and a dessert to the party with these chocolate libations. These are some of the most amazing and special margaritas I’ve ever tasted, and if you are not a teetotaler or pregnant, then you NEED these in your life. They were impressively delicious; almost like really good, albeit spiked, chocolate milk. I absolutely loved this drink and can’t wait to find some excuse to make it again! Enjoy!!

chocolate margaritas

And be sure you check out the rest of the virtual Margarita Day party from my fabulous cohorts in crime! Also, I’m no stranger to margaritas on my blog, so here are some you may want to check out:

Apple Cider Margaritas
Beer Margaritas
Blood Orange Margaritas
Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Chocolate Margaritas

{One year ago: Buttermilk Cake with Walnut Praline Topping}

Source: Mexican Made Easy by Marcela Valladolid

Ingredients:
2 tbs grated Mexican chocolate, preferably bittersweet
½ cup chocolate syrup, plus more for the glasses
8 oz. (1 cup) anejo tequila
4 oz. (1/2 cup) chocolate liqueur
2.6 oz. (1/3 cup) orange liqueur
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
Ice cubes

Directions:
Put the grated chocolate on a small plate. Place a circle of chocolate syrup on another small plate. Dip the rim of the glasses in the chocolate syrup, then in the grated chocolate.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the ½ cup chocolate syrup, tequila, chocolate liqueur, orange liqueur, heavy cream, almond extract, and cinnamon.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and pour the tequila mixture into the shaker. Shake a few times, then strain into the prepared glasses. Work in batches if need be. Serve immediately.
This makes 3-4 servings, depending on the size of your glasses.

Margaritas:

Margarita Bites:

Margarita Meringue Pie

margarita meringue pie

We continue MARGARITA WEEK with a sweet treat – pie! This pie is genius, it’s basically a play on lemon meringue pie, only the filling has no lemons; instead it has lime, orange, and tequila!! It’s messy, delicious, not at all cloying (you know I love that), and there’s a distinct bite from the tequila (though it won’t get you sloshed). It’s incredibly good and summery, which we all probably need right now.

Margarita Meringue Pie

And in very exciting news, my blog is the Featured Friday blog over on Momma’s Meals!!! Tammi, the lovely lady behind this great blog, is a #SundaySupper cohort, and every Friday she does a feature of one of the blogs she reads, and this week is yours truly! Tammi is so incredibly sweet, and I’m so honored to be featured on her blog.

Margarita Meringue Pie

Tammi is a stay-at-home mom to two adorable small kiddos, and her blog is not only a food blog but a mom blog as well. She posts mouth-watering recipes, of course, but also talks very honestly about what being a mom really is all about. All of you with kids, especially young ones, will want to check it out. Tammi made this dish, and she and her family loved it (whew! Lol!)

margarita meringue pie

Thank you so, so much, Tammi, for the feature and for the many kind words! I’m very honored. Oh, and enjoy this pie! Also, stay tuned, I’m posting tomorrow for National Margarita Day (yes, there is such a thing!), and it’s gonna be a great one!

Margarita meringue pie

{One year ago: Peanut Butter Fritters and Sloppy Joe Pot Pie}

Source: lightly adapted from The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker

Ingredients:
CRUST:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, very cold
1 tbs silver tequila
2-5 tbs ice water

PIE:
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups water
5 tbs cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
2 tbs silver tequila
¼ tsp kosher salt
Zest of 1 lime
Freshly squeezed lime juice from 3 juicy limes
Zest of 1 small orange
2 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbs unsalted butter, cubed

MERINGUE:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
5 large egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar

Directions:
First make the CRUST. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into pats and add it to the flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, work the butter into the flour until it’s the size of small peas. Add the tequila, then the water, 1 tbs at a time, and use a rubber spatula to stir in the liquid. When all the flour is moistened, use your hands to knead the dough together into a cohesive unit. Pat it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
On a large floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a greased 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Chill in the refrigerator about 1 hour, or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Prick the dough all over with a fork and lay a piece of parchment paper inside the pie plate. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the FILLING. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, water, cornstarch, egg yolks, tequila, and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook and whisk another 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Shut off the heat and stir in the lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, and butter. Stir until the butter melts completely.
Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight.
Make the MERINGUE. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. In a medium-sized bowl, add the egg whites and beat until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Now add the sugar and cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating continuously, until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the meringue on top of the pie and spread it to the edges. Cover the filling completely. Bake the pie until the meringue is lightly toasted, about 10-12 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack, then chill in the fridge 1 hour before serving.

Margarita Fish Tacos

Margarita Fish Tacos

We continue our delicious, tequila-filled MARGARITA WEEK – woohoo!! – with something that is actually light and healthy and won’t get you sloshed. Surprised? It’s true. The fish for these tacos is seared in a cast-iron skillet, no breading or deep-frying; the tortillas are corn, which are much lighter than flour, and there’s no cheese, because cheese on a fish taco is just weird (in my humble opinion).

The fish is quickly marinated in tequila and lime juice to give it a margarita flavor. The end result is subtle but definitely there. A mild green salsa is the perfect match for not overpowering the margarita flavors, and I used shredded red cabbage as a topping, but you could just as easily opt for lettuce. Matt and I both loved this one. Made us feel like we were in Mexico. Or on a beach. Or on a beach in Mexico… It’s awesome. Enjoy!

margarita fish tacos

{One year ago: Giant Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze}

Source: adapted from Look + Cook by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
2 oz. silver tequila
Zest and juice of half a lime
¼ tsp orange zest
2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp chili powder
¾ lb. cod, pin bones removed and cut into 2 pieces to make it more manageable, if necessary
6 corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded cabbage or lettuce
Green salsa, your favorite store-bought brand is fine, or homemade

Directions:
Combine the tequila, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, olive oil, Old Bay, and chili powder in a shallow bowl or small baking dish, like a pie plate. Add the fish and turn several times to make sure it is thoroughly coated. Let sit for about 5 minutes, but not much longer.
Preheat your cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Add the fish pieces and cook, turning once, about 3-4 minutes per side. It is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
When the fish has cooked through, remove it to a plate. Let it rest 1 minute, then flake it apart into big chunks with a fork.
Assemble the tacos: place some fish chunks in a tortilla, then top with salsa and cabbage. Serve immediately.

Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Happy President’s Day! And welcome to …… MARGARITA WEEK!!! Next Saturday is National Margarita Day, so having a week of margarita themed recipes seemed like the only right thing to do. 🙂

cactus pears

What say you, readers? On the rocks, or frozen? I believe there to be a time and place for both, (though I’ve noticed that at restaurants I mostly order on the rocks) and today we are making a time and a place for this beautiful and delicious frozen concoction. Cactus pears, sometimes called prickly pears, are a relatively new fruit to me. I heard about them a few years ago watching Food Network, and after seeing that particular show (whatever it was), I ran out to my grocery store and bought some. I then tried to just eat them straight out. Which, if you’re at all familiar with these babies, you know that’s pretty difficult to pull off thanks to the many tiny seeds lurking in their flesh. But, they make perfect purees, so ideal for a beverage. I’m guessing they would make a fantastic sorbet or granita too. Hmm… idea filed away for the future…

frozen cactus pear margarita

Did I mention that these libations are just completely gorgeous? Oh, and addictively delicious? Yeah. They are. Big-time. And for just a split second, they almost transported me to a tropical, relaxing happy place and almost made me forget about the ten-foot-high snow piles on my block, and the fact that it took three people about half an hour to excavate our car yesterday morning. In short, they made me think of the Caribbean. And I kind of needed that. So good!! Enjoy!

Frozen Cactus Pear Margarita

{One year ago: Mexican Green Rice}

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Muy Bueno by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza

Ingredients:
4 cactus pears (also called prickly pears), peeled and rough chopped
¼ cup water
About 3 ½ cups ice cubes
3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (2 ½ juicy limes)
3 oz. frozen limeade
6 oz. silver tequila
4 ½ oz. triple sec, or other orange liqueur
3 tbs superfine sugar (can sub in regular granulated sugar)
Lime wedges, for garnish
Kosher salt, for the rims of the glasses

Directions:
In a blender, puree the pear chunks with the water until very smooth. Strain into a bowl or measuring cup and discard the seeds.
Rinse out the blender to remove any seeds that hung around. Return the blender to its base, and put the ice cubes, lime juice, limeade, tequila, triple sec, sugar, and cactus pear puree in it. Close the lid tightly and puree again.
Run a lime wedge over the edge of your glass, then dip the edge of it in the kosher salt. Pour the margarita into your glasses and serve immediately. Store the remaining margarita in the fridge.

Blood Orange Margaritas

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I can hardly believe it, but this is my 100th blog post!!! I think it deserves a celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail? And as an added bonus, how about a seasonal cocktail? Blood oranges are beautiful and delicious, and unfortunately only available up here in the winter. So I take as much advantage as possible while I can.

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Anyways, back to my 100th post party. I have absolutely loved writing this blog. Cooking and baking are such passions of mine and I’m so honored to be able to share them. I’m beyond thankful for my faithful readers; I love reading your comments (and your blogs). There’s a certain salvation to be found in blogging; it’s a terrific creative outlet for me, and one that actually encourages and validates my obsession with all things cooking, baking and eating. That means more than you’ll ever know.

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I’m not going anywhere; I have more ideas bouncing around in my head and on notepads and on my computer files than I can probably ever hope to share, but I relish in the attempt. I’m very proud and humbled to be part of the food blogosphere. It’s vast and diverse, and extremely high quality. And though my place in it is very small thus far, it’s an honor to be here, to be constantly challenged to improve my craft, to be more and more creative, and to hone my photography skills more and more.

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Thank you all for reading. Cheers to 100 posts and to many, many more! And go make this delicious drink before blood orange season runs out!

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Source: adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, November 2007

Ingredients:
3 blood oranges
2 limes
Kosher salt
1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or triple sec
1/2 cup plus 1 generous tbs silver tequila
Ice

Directions:
Juice 2 of the blood oranges. Slice the third into wedges. Juice the limes.
Run an orange segment over the rim of each of 2 martini or margarita glasses. Dip the rims in kosher salt.
Combine the citrus juice with the orange liqueur and tequila in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Working in 2 batches, pour the mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into each glass. Garnish with a blood orange wedge and serve immediately.
Makes 2 cocktails.