Thursday, August 5

Forget the daisies! 10 Ways to Cook with Tequila: From Spiked Shrimp to Watermelon Slices | Food

Tequila is not really a relaxing drink. It’s not something you pour yourself a glass of once the kids are in bed, unless your kids had a nightmare that day. As such, it is quite possible that there is a bottle of tequila in one of your cabinets somewhere, a drunken, dusty room, resigned to spending the rest of your life darkened by the ouzo that you brought from a vacation package in Rhodes. in 2006.

But wait! What if you used that tequila to cook? Yes, it is a very good idea. Here are 10 of the best recipes.

Chicken with tequila and lime

Chicken thighs with tequila and lime.
Chicken thighs with tequila and lime. Photograph: Emily Clifton / Getty Images / Foodcollection

Before we start, a piece of advice. If you plan on cooking with tequila, go out and get as many limes as you can. The two ingredients will be married forever, fused by a tradition of unnecessarily theatrical bar stunts, and many of these recipes will call for the addition of lime as well. Nigella Lawson’s Lime Tequila Chicken is a perfect example. Arguably, lime does a lot more work than tequila here, which, as Lawson puts it, “doesn’t exactly convey flavor.” However, the latter seems necessary.

Roast beef with tequila

Simply Beef and Lamb Recipe for roast beef with tequila follows roughly the same formula as Nigella’s chicken. It calls for a marinade made with tequila and lime, along with orange juice, tarragon, garlic, and chilli, which help give the dish a lively, fruity flavor. This is also one to try if you have a lot of leftover tequila, because it uses a large amount.

Lime scallops flambéed in tequila

Seared and whitewashed scallops ...
Seared and whitewashed scallops … Photograph: Yulia Gusterina / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Moving away from thicker cuts of meat, let’s take a quick look at how brilliant the combination of seafood and tequila is. Hairy Bikers’ recipe for scallops flambé in tequila It could be another lime requirement, but it’s also a near-perfect dish. The toughness of the tequila is burned off during the flambé process, and what remains does justice to the delicacy of the scallops.

Shrimp ceviche with tequila

Mexican shrimp ceviche.
Mexican shrimp ceviche. Photograph: carlosrojas20 / Getty Images / iStockphoto

So it’s two marinades and one flambé so far. How about a main meal that only has tequila? That is where Cooking Canuck’s Tequila Shrimp Ceviche enters. It is not a true ceviche because instead of letting the lemon juice fully cook, the shrimp are boiled in water very quickly. But then they dropped the tequila, so who cares?

Habanero jam

Tequila is also a very nice addition to sandwiches. You’ll find a variety of tequila tostadas online, for example, but more intriguing than that is the Epic habanero jam recipe. Basically a ton of minced chili peppers soaked in tequila and then boiled in orange juice, this is a great side to all kinds of dishes. Plus, Epicurious says it “looks like a perfectly innocent bowl of apricot jam,” but “burns like a bright, fruity pepper jelly,” adding a lighthearted air of Beadle’s About.

Flamed cheese dip with tequila and lime

Then the Cookie Rookie Recipe for Tequila Lime Cheese Dip. The good news is, compared to some of the dishes here, only a small amount of tequila is needed. The bad news is that the rest are basically chili peppers and melted cheese, so it’s not exactly a health food. Still, if you’re going to take a dip, you better do your best.

Chocolate bottles with tequila

The Aztec chocolate pots by Thomasina Miers.
The Aztec chocolate pots by Thomasina Miers. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura / The Guardian. Food style: Aya Nishimura. Prop Style: Louie Waller.

This article will now be temporarily stopped to become part of Thomasina Miers fan mail. The Guardian doesn’t have many archived recipes that call for tequila as an ingredient. The ones that do are primarily written by her, and thankfully they are excellent. My favorite is last year’s recipe for Tequila Chocolate Boats, which offer small, intense hits of rich, lightly spiced chocolate. Better yet, they don’t require files.

Tequila peaches

Toasted peaches with Thomasina Miers tequila and toasted cornbread.
Toasted peaches with Thomasina Miers tequila and toasted cornbread. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura / The Guardian. Food Style: Valerie Berry

Just as good, if not as indulgent, are Miers’ Tequila Peaches, which are roasted in butter and cream and served with homemade cornbread and vanilla ice cream. Miers recommends roasting peaches over the embers of a dying barbecue, but it’s cold and everyone has gotten used to staying inside, so an oven is fine too.

Tequila and lime creams

There’s also Curtis Stone Tequila Lime Creams to deal with. I don’t want to oversimplify this, but we’re basically talking about a fruit-laden Angel Delight here. It only takes a few minutes to put together, though it then takes several hours to cool and set, and it would be pretty easy to swap the tropical toppings for something a little more seasonal and prosaic.

Slices of watermelon soaked in tequila

This last suggestion is not so much a recipe as a way of eating drunk, with The Bitten Word’s Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Slices. They are slices of watermelon that have been poured tequila. You’re welcome.

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