It’s my belief that anyone who’s ever experienced the wonders of tequila has to have a sort of love-hate relationship with it. It’s been the impetus in good times, bad time and a couple of nights we’d rather forget… or can’t remember.
But no matter where your relationship with the tumultuous liquor stands, Cinco de Mayo is the day to let bygones be bygones and indulge in some tequila with the rest of Americans. To help you out, here are a couple of my favorite tequila-based cocktail recipes to try tonight. And because Cinco de Mayo is more than just tequila, why not add some delicious Mexican fare to your menu?
Recipe: Allrecipes.com; Yields 3 cocktails
3 lime wedges
kosher salt for rimming glasses
4 fluid ounces white tequila
1 fluid ounce orange flavored liqueur (such as Cointreau)
2 limes, juiced
8 fluid ounces grapefruit juice
3 splashes club soda
1) Rub a lime wedge around the rims of 3 margarita glasses, and dip each glass rim into salt. Place ice cubes into each glass.
2) Mix together the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and grapefruit juice into a pitcher, and pour into the glasses over the ice. Add 1 splash of club soda to each glass, and serve.
Crispy Tacos Picadillo
Recipe: Marthastewart.com; Yields 10 servings
For the Picadillo: 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 pound ground chuck (80 percent lean)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (1 to 2 cloves)
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (2 3/4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder or pasilla chili powder (earthy.com)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons white vinegar
For the Tacos: Vegetable oil, for frying
20 corn tortillas
Shredded iceberg lettuce, for serving
Chopped white onion, for serving
Shredded mild cheddar cheese, preferably longhorn, for serving
Salsa Picante, for serving
1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until just starting to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beef, and cook, breaking up pieces with the back of a wooden spoon, until beef has browned, about 4 minutes. Spoon out excess fat so that 1 tablespoon remains.
2) Stir in garlic, tomatoes, paprika, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and cumin. Add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thick and very little liquid remains, about 18 minutes. Stir in vinegar.
3) Heat 1 inch oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided skillet until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees. Fry tortillas, one at a time, by folding in half and laying one half flat in oil while holding other half with tongs, and repeating with the other half to form a half moon shell, until golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per half. Meanwhile, let finished taco shells rest on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
4) Spoon picadillo into each taco shell, and garnish with lettuce, onion, shredded cheese, and salsa picante.
Recipe: Epicurious.com; Yields 4 1/2 cups
5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/4 cup minced white onion
1 large jalapeo, seeded, minced, divided
6 medium or 4 large avocados (about 3 pounds total), halved, pitted
1 medium tomato, cored, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoons lime zest
Tortilla chips (for serving)
1) Combine 2 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, onion, and 1 tablespoon jalapeo in a mortar or a large bowl; season with salt and mash with a pestle or the back of a fork until a coarse paste forms.
2) Using a small knife, cut flesh (not skin) of each avocado lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise 4 or 5 times, forming cubes. Using a spoon, scoop cubes out of peel and into mortar with onion mixture. Mash until slightly chunky.
3) Mix in remaining cilantro and jalapeo along with the tomato, lime juice, and zest. Season to taste with salt. Serve with tortilla chips.
*Can be made 4 hours ahead. Press plastic wrap on surface of guacamole and chill.
Jose Cuervo Tequila Sunrise
1 1/2ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Especial
4ounce(s) orange juice
1 splash cranberry juice
1) Mix the orange juice and tequila in a shaker with ice.
2) Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
3) Finish with a splash of cranberry juice.
Lucky 7 Layer Dip
Recipe: Foodnetwork.com; Yields 6 servings
1 (15-ounce) can refried beans
2 tablespoons hot sauce
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (16 to 18 ounce) jar green chili or tomatillo salsa
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, a palm full, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2/3 palm full
1 (16 to 18 ounce) jar chipotle salsa
2 cups sour cream
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 ripe avocados
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, diced
Pimiento stuffed jumbo Spanish olives, chopped
Tortilla chips, buy 2 sacks in 2 different colors/varieties
1) Heat refried beans in small nonstick pan over medium heat and season with hot sauce. Transfer the beans to a small, deep casserole dish. Scrape pan clean with rubber spatula and return to heat.
2) Add a little extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and raise heat to high. When the oil smokes, add the scallions and sear them, 2 to 3 minutes. Add green salsa to scallions and heat through. Add cilantro, remove salsa from heat, and layer on top of the beans.
3) Return the same pan to the stove, lower heat to medium and add black beans, heat through and season with cumin, layer on top of the green salsa.
4) Top the black beans with a layer of chipotle salsa. Mix sour cream the lime zest and juice and spread on top of the chipotle salsa.
5) Combine the meat of 2 ripe avocados with garlic, lemon juice, jalapeno and salt to form a chunky guacamole. Top the salsa with guacamole. Garnish the dip with the final layer of diced tomatoes and sliced olives.