"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have". - Frederick Koenig

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Drink of the Moment: Cinco de Mayo Margaritas (& more)!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I couldn't think of a better drink for Cinco de Mayo (& the rest of the Mother's Day weekend for those of us that need to take that extra edge off) than a good strong Margarita.  This may be cheating a bit, since I posted this same Drink of the Moment for my Superbowl Weekend post as well, but it really is just THAT good, and technically it is much more appropriate this time, right?   Also, because it uses real fruit juice there's no reason to be concerned with feeling like you're stomach has been hit with a small army of jumping beans like it tends to do with a lot of the nasty sugary mixes out there.  As an 'added bonus' for  my seeming lack of cocktail creativity this week, I've also included something great to fix with your margarita, just so you don't feel like it's still Superbowl Sunday instead of Cinco de Mayo.  Now let's get on with this fiesta!

Serves: 4

2  Strips of lime zest
2  Strips of orange zest
6  Ounces (3/4 cup) good tequila
1/3  Cup Cointreau (or other orange liquer)       
1/2  Cup fresh lime juice
2  Tablespoons of water
2 Tablespoons of sugar5  Fresh lime wedges
Kosher salt or course sea salt (optional)
4  Cups of ice

Using a mortar and pestle, or drink muddler , pound the sugar, lime zest, and orange zest until fragrant.  Transfer the muddled mixture into a pitcher and stir in the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and water.  At this point, the mixture can be allowed to sit in the refrigerator while the flavors mingle, unless you have a room full of thirsty people.  (Jay usually includes an extra slice or two of orange or lime at this point to float in the liquid to amp up the flavor if we don't have time to wait -- and it makes for great presentation).  At the very minimum, you can allow the mixture to 'rest' while you ready your margarita glasses; using a lime to coat each rim and then dipping in salt if you'd like.

Just before pouring your margaritas, add the ice to the pitcher and stir (or shake) well for about 2 minutes.  Garnish each glass with an orange or lime wedge, and enjoy!

Because there should always be good food where there is good drink, I quite recommend fixing homemade burrito bowls with guacamole (if you don't mind sounding a little 'not-so-bright', don't pronounce the 'e' on the end so it rhymes).  It also works to remind any thirsty amigos around that they are not, in fact, headed out to defeat a French army after excessive tequila consumption.

It all starts with some white rice cooked in chicken broth, then tossed with olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro.

Carnitas start with chunks being braised in the oven at 350 degrees for three and a half hours with some cinnamon, garlic, oregano, chili powder, and cumin.

Once the pork is done, it then comes out and is shredded, while the pan is deglazed.  Then it all gets tossed back together and goes back in the oven on high heat until it gets a little crispy. 

Not only do you get to smell this wonderful aroma for three hours, the final product is divine.  Once it comes out of the oven, it's ready to top your rice!

Functioning as the 'cherry on top' is my homemade guacamole.    I use fresh avocado, lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro, onion, and occasionally some diced tomato mixed with some garlic powder and adobo - all to taste based on the amount of avocado used and my mood.

Then mush it all together in the molcajete, which is also works great for serving alongside chips.

Of course, shredded quesadilla cheese, salsa, and any other accoutrements of your choosing, can and should be included in your Cinco de Mayo mountain of food as well.  Once you've conquered your gooey mound of burrito bowl with guacamole, you should be feeling pretty festive.  Of course, there is always room for a dessert margarita to continue the celebration, that is, if you can overcome the impending threat of a fiercely invading nap on the couch- after all, this holiday is all about commemorating a victory!  Salud!

1 comment:

  1. I am finally a blog follower! I love love love the recipe for the Margs and Guac! The whole thing could be called a Marga-mole! Hurray!