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Cooking with tequila: Mexico's national drink moves into the kitchen - Part Two

Karen Hursh Graber

Last month the history, distillation process, and some culinary uses of tequila were discussed in this column. A trip to the Mexican town of Tequila inspired further investigation of the beverage's role in the kitchen, and a number of recipes with tequila were uncovered.

Soups, salads and main courses using tequila abound, along with a plethora of cocktail recipes. The traditional margarita, and variations thereof, are still the most requested drinks in this category; however, cocktails with such intriguing names as Otoño Mexicano (Mexican Autumn) are becoming increasingly popular.

Desserts, too, are feeling the effects of tequila. Given the natural affinity between tequila and lime, it is not surprising that this versatile liquor is found in a variety of sorbets, ices and other frozen desserts. Even pies and cakes are given a bit of Mexican flair with the addition of tequila, which lends a hint of flavor in much the same way as sherry does in European desserts, puddings and custards.

As I write this, Mother's Day is coming up, here in Mexico as well as in the US and Canada. Unlike countries where it is celebrated on Sundays, El Día de los Madres always honours Mamá on May 10. School children present a show or have a fiesta for their mothers and get the rest of the day off to take them to restaurants or prepare special comidas.

Why not lend a touch of Mexican warmth to your own mother's day-off-from-cooking by preparing a meal featuring a menu of courses made with tequila, as is currently done in several US restaurants? Choose a soup or salad from last month's column, Cooking with Tequila: Mexico's National Drink Moves into the Kitchen, followed by one of the article's main dish recipes for beef, chicken or fish. Several of them are ideal if someone in the family enjoys grilling. Let Mom sit back and watch, sipping her favorite margarita, or perhaps something more exotic, sweeter, or creamier; there are tequila cocktails for every taste.

After dinner, a pie, cake, or refreshing sherbet would complete the tequila theme nicely.

And if you plan on staying up late looking through those old family albums, Mom could probably use a cup of coffee, possibly spiked with...what else? Tequila.

Toreador: A Sweet Tequila Cocktail

Mexicana: A Citrus-Tequila Cocktail

Otoño Mexicano: Mexican Autumn

Pay de Limón con Tequila:Tequila-Lime Pie

Pastel de Queso con Fresas y Tequila: Strawberry-Tequila Cheese Cake

Nieve de Mango con Tequila: Mango-Tequila Ice


Published or Updated on: May 1, 2000 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2000
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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