Ana's Kitchen Ep2...... Viva Mexico + Tequila!
I'm thrilled, guys, because this time I'm going to talk about Mexico, and of course…. TEQUILA!!! Ohhhh Mexico, my beautiful sunny, colourful and fantastic country which I miss too much :)))
Well, let's talk a bit about Mexico and its delicious food and Tequila. First, let me tell you that Mexican cuisine is considered one of the best in the world for its fusion of tradition and modernity, which is why since 2010, it was named an 'Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Mexican cuisine integrates and preserves various pre-Hispanic ingredients resulting from the fusion between biodiversity and cultural diversity of Mexico. Sounds good, ah? This time I have chosen for you three basic, simple, but delicious recipes that you can enjoy with Tequila!
Tequila is commonly enjoyed as follows: a shot accompanied with a cheeky slice of lemon and a side of salt; with mixers such as coke or tonic; or in a cocktail.
Well, maybe now you are thinking about that drunken night, bachelor party or spring break in Cancun, but, as a Mexican and proud Tequila drinker, I want to tell you that Tequila is a ritual. A ritual from the harvest through to the way you drink it - ask my dad; a strong character, very wise and serious man, just turned 85. He doesn't drink generally but sure knows how to enjoy an excellent smooth Tequila, straight or on the rocks.
Now, I don't want to bother you with all the technicalities, but I think that to understand this ancestral drink, we have to know a little more about it, so, Vamos!!!:)
Tequila came from Náhuatl (naa-wat-el), a language spoken by the ethnic group that inhabits the place where Tequila is produced, up in the north of Mexico. The actual word tequila refers to the stone typical of that region, and Obsidian, which was explicitly carved to be used as a tool. These stones were known at that time as Tecatlis. Whoever handled them was called Tequila. Thus, out of habit, the place began to be called Tequila and later, Tequila!
Tequila has been produced in Mexico since the 16th century (Approx. 1538) and is made by distilling the fermented juices of the Weber Blue Agave plant (Agave tequilana). A member of the lily family that looks like a giant Aloe Vera with spiked barbs on the tips. After seven to 10 years of growth, the Agave is ready to be harvested.
Underground, the plant produces a large bulb called a piña, which looks similar to a white pineapple. The Agave's leaves are removed, and the piñas are quartered and slowly steamed until the starches are converted to sugars. The baked Agave is then crushed to extract the sweet juice, fermented with yeast to convert the sugar into alcohol.
Tequila is very, very versatile, and you can drink it in many ways. Tequila cocktails are diverse, ranging from shaken martini-like drinks to refreshing soda or juice highballs. Fruity margaritas (blended or shaken) are also very popular, and Tequila is the perfect match for spicy cocktails. You can even find sweet or creamy tequila drinks. Aged tequilas are often sipped straight, whether that's chilled or on the rocks.
Tequila is a great pairing obviously for Mexican food, with tequila cocktails making an excellent addition to barbecues and summer parties.
Please tell me that you are starting to be more interested in Tequila; because here are the recipes for you to enjoy.
Easy Shrimp CEVICHE! No cooking required, ideal for lunch or dinner. It's cool, light and refreshing, and it's also perfect for parties or barbecue in the summer :)
Made with just a very few simple ingredients, it creates a flavour explosion for your taste buds. I like to make a big batch when I have friends over and serve with a bowl full of tortilla chips so guests can dig in :)
-1 lb cooked shrimp peeled and deveined.
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about two big lemons).
-1/4 cup fresh lime juice ( about three limes).
-1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice.
-4 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and diced.
-1 whole jalapeno peppers, seeds and vein removed, minced (optional)
-1 cup diced cucumber
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
-1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
-1 avocado pitted and diced
-salt and pepper
Sometimes, to add an extra twist, I use a 1/4 cup of mango, pitted and diced.:)
First, I chop the shrimp into 2 or 3 pieces and transfer them to a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, put together the lemon, lime and orange juice and then put 1/2 cup of the mix over the shrimp and allow the shrimp to marinate in the liquid for 15-20 minutes.
Add the tomato, cucumber, red onion, cilantro (coriander), jalapeno and mango (if you want), and marinate for an additional 10 minutes or more. Stir in the avocado and remaining juices, and then Enjoy!
Easy, don't you think!
2 oz Prospero Tequila Blanco
1 oz Grapefruit juice
¾ oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Club Soda
Run a grapefruit wedge along the rim of a highball glass, and then lightly coat with salt. Fill the glass with ice. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup; shake well. Strain into the glass, stir in the club soda and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
This is a classic, but let me tell you that ripe avocados are essential for the best guacamole.
- 4 Avocados (RIPE)
-1 1/2 Onions, yellow ones, but I prefer the red ones; I think is tastier in the guacamole 🙂
-Fresh lime juice (personally, sometimes when I'm off lime, I use orange or both combined, you should try !:) )
-You can also add if you want a fresh Jalapeño Pepper for a bit of spice.
Now, we will try not to over mash or puree the avocados; what we are looking for is a chunky dip, not an entirely smooth one. I gently mash the avocados with a fork, which helps to leave some texture.
Cut the tomatoes and onion into small cubes, and add them to the avocados and the chopped coriander.
Add the juice of a lime and orange mixed (or just lime or just orange as you wish) and finally salt until that seems best for you.
Little Note: To prevent your guacamole from turning black (if you are not eating it right immediately, you can add a spoonful of fresh cream.
Disfruta!!! (enjoy ;-))
1 ½ oz Prospero Tequila Blanco
1 oz Triple Sec
¾ oz Fresh Lime Juice
Run a lime wedge along the rim of a rocks glass, and then lightly coat with salt. Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker until the exterior frosts. Strain into glass over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.
DIP DE FRIJOLITOS REFRITOS (FRIED BEAN DIP)
We will need:
-1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 can (15 oz) black or white beans drained and rinsed
-1/2 cup non-fat yoghurt
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
-1/4 teaspoon of salt
Put the onion, garlic and beans in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend at medium to high speed, occasionally stop and clean the sides. Blend until it is smooth and incorporated.
Pour the dip into a pot. Add the yoghurt, cumin and salt. Heat over moderately high heat, frequently stirring, until hot. Pour it into a container. Serve it cold or hot, with chips (crispy tortillas), and you can also put some feta cheese on the top of Pico de Gallo! ( tomatoes, onions chopped in small cubes with coriander, lemon and salt 😉 )
RITA ORA COCKTAIL
2 oz. Próspero Blanco Tequila
1.25 oz fresh strawberries, pureed
1 bar spoon balsamic vinegar
.5 oz. orange liqueur
.75 oz lime juice
1 oz. wildflower honey
3 -4 leaves fresh basil
Put the Próspero Blanco Tequila, strawberry puree, balsamic vinegar, orange liqueur, lime juice and honey into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a margarita glass and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
All the above cocktails are brought to you by PROSPERO TEQUILA, Designed by Stella Anguiano, one of Mexico's premier female Master Distillers and promoted by Rita Ora. It's a hand-crafted spirit that offers an unparalleled flavour with a smooth, elegant and perfectly balanced finish. It works wonders in cocktails!
Prospero is an excellent example of a Tequila that either you can mix (Prospero Blanco) or enjoy as a beautiful smooth sipping drink (Prospero Anejo).
Well, guys, I hope you enjoyed this little trip to my beautiful country and that you can see now Tequila from a different point of view, and you are open to give all this a try!
Please don't hesitate to share your comments and photos on our website or Instagram, or Facebook!
Hasta luego and see you next time!
Need Tequila? Check below!
- Ana Altamirano