Huachinango con Salsa de Ciruela, Pasilla y Tequila
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 2 more for cooking the fish
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups slivered white onion
3 pressed or minced garlic cloves
4 ripe plums, halved, pitted, sliced
4 to 6 pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, sliced
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste, plus more to season the fish
2 tablespoons silver tequila
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 red snapper fillets, skin on (about 6 ounces) or another flaky and mild tasting fish of your choice such as tilapia, rock fish, or grouper
Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet set over medium heat. Once the butter melts and begins to sizzle, before it browns, add the onion. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it softens and begins to gently brown around the edges. Add the garlic, mix well and cook for another minute. Toss in the sliced plums and chiles, sprinkle in the sugar and salt, stir, and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes. The plums should be cooked and gently browned and the chiles softened.
Pour in the tequila, gently tilt towards the fire to ignite it, cook until flames disappear. Add the orange juice, stir, and cook for a couple minutes more. Set aside.
Heat a couple tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear the fish, skin side down first, for 2 to 3 minutes, until skin has crisped and browned. Flip the fish to the other side and cook until desired doneness, my choice is 2 to 3 minutes more.
Serve with a generous spoonfull of the chunky plum sauce on top.
© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
SPINNING TOP COCKTAIL
For rimming the glass:
1 lime wedge (about 1/4 of a fresh lime)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground chile powder, such as chile piquín, ancho, chipotle or a Mexican mix, or to taste
2 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt
For the drink:
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) mezcal or tequila
3/4 cup grapefruit soda
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 to 2 fresh mint leaves
Run the lime wedge around the rim of a glass. Place the sugar, chile powder and salt on a small plate and dip the rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
Add the ice cubes to the glass, then pour in the mezcal, grapefruit soda and pineapple juice, stir gently. Tear the mint leaves into several pieces and drop them into the glass, stirring gently so they release their flavor into the drink.
© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
TEQUILA, MEXICAN CREAM AND CHIPOTLE SHRIMP
Camarones al tequila
Serves 3 to 4
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup Tequila Reposado
1/4 cup Mexican cream, Latin style cream, crème fraiche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or to taste
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, optional, seeded and minced
10 chives, sliced
Peel and devein the shrimp. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a large and heavy sauté pan set over medium-high heat, let the butter melt. Once it starts to sizzle, add the garlic; stir and cook for 10 to 15 seconds, until it becomes fragrant.
Incorporate the shrimp, making sure that the pan is not overcrowded, and let them brown on one side and then the other, for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Don’t let them overcook; they should be browned on the outside but barely cooked through.
Add the tequila, and slightly tilt the pan over the flame to ignite it. Let it cook until the flames disappear. Stir in the cream and the chipotle sauce (and the seeded minced chile if using).
Serve immediately, with the chives sprinkled on top.
ANCHO CHILE AND ORANGE JUICE TEQUILA CHASER
Makes 10-12 small servings
1 ounce or 2 ancho chiles
3 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Heat a comal or dry skillet over low-medium heat until hot.
Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the ancho chiles. Toast over the hot comal or dry skillet, over medium heat, for about 15 seconds per side, until chiles have softened and then begin to toast, have changed their color and released their aroma. Be careful not to burn them.
Place the chiles in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until they rehydrate and look plump; let cool.
Place chiles and 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid in a blender along with the orange juice, lime juice, white onion and salt. Purée until smooth.
Serve as a drink alongside tequila in caballitos or straight, poured over ice cubes. Sangrita can be refrigerated for up to a week.
This episode puts a twist on tequila by using it in a number of tasty, savory and sweet recipes sure to impress special guests. Mixologist extraordinaire Derek Brown shows Pati how to make one of his signature cocktails, and she uses tequila to ignite a main dish.
Shrimp tend to be perceived as a treat. That fancy item on a menu.
Think about what happens at a shrimp station on a Sunday buffet. It gets crowded. Even if you didn’t feel like eating shrimp, if there’s a shrimp station, chances are you will eat them. Your mom, your dad, your husband or friends will look at your shrimp-less plate and push some shrimp onto your plate.
Growing up in Mexico City, family Sunday lunches with the dozens and dozens members of our immediate family included giant shrimp from the Mercado de la Viga. There was so much anticipation as to when they would majestically appear on that huge platter carried by my grandmother. Before they got to the table, people started sneaking away some. So my grandmother decided to set a pre-lunch agreement on the number of shrimp per head, to avoid childish grown up wording snaps like “YOU always get the extra shrimp” or sudden door slams.
So when I was asked to develop a Mexican menu for the 2010 RAMMYS Awards I just had to include shrimp. I paired them with some signature Mexican ingredients: smoky and hot Chipotle Chiles in Adobo, tangy and salty Mexican Cream and the iconic Tequila Reposado.
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