Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Topolo Margarita

Tom doesn't cook, other than grilling every so often. When I say "grilling" I mean the actual cooking of the food. Not choosing what will be grilled or the marinade or anything else to do with it. Let's face it, he is disinterested in cooking.

I'm totally fine with that. I'm equally disinterested in the ins and outs of computer stuff. Which Tom is a whiz at. He maintains, upgrades, and knows everything (and I do mean everything) about computers.

To each his own.

There is one exception to Tom's disinterest in all things culinary though. At one point, he was in quest of the perfect margarita. This meant buying different orange liqueurs, different tequilas, reading articles, buying heavy duty juicers and ice crushers. Heck, one of the main reasons for choosing our refrigerator was that we could get crushed ice from the door ... although I admit I love crushed ice and use it in everything so the margaritas weren't the sole reason for that choice, though perfect ice for margaritas actually was a consideration.

We drank margaritas every weekend for several months. It was tough duty but we did it in the name of science.

It paid off. He has achieved margarita nerdvana nirvana. We both can tell with a single sip if the liqueur is inferior, the tequila not made from blue agave ... or whether (crime of crimes) someone used frozen limeade as the base mix.

To better the world and give everyone a chance to laissez les bon temps rouler just a bit before Lent, here is the recipe (from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen)with Tom's recommendations to achieve perfection.

Topolo Margarita
Makes about 2 cups, serving 4
(or if you are at our house, serving 2 twice!)

Freshly grated zest of 1-1/2 limes, about 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 2 large limes
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
10 tablespoons water
Lime wedges
Coarse salt
3/4 cup Sauza Commemorativo tequila (Tom does not care about the brand particularly but the tequila must be from blue agave cactus)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (this is the best orange liqueur we have found, do not use Triple Sec)
About 1 cup coarsely broken ice cubes

Making 1-1/4 cups of tangy limeade. Combine the lime zest, lime juice, sugar and water in a glass or plastic pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (but no longer than 24 hours). Strain into another pitcher.

Finishing and serving the margaritas. Rub the rims of 4 martini glasses (pfft ... that's a Chicagoan for you ... use margarita glasses if possible, naturally!) with a lime wedge, then dip them in a dish of coarse salt. Refrigerate the glasses if desired.

In a shaker, combine the limeade, tequila and orange liqueur. Add ice and shake 10 to 15 seconds, then strain into the prepared glasses.

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