Margarita Shrimp Tacos

I’m in a deconstructive mood again this week.
Margarita Shrimp Tacos
Not as in tearing apart a closet of clothes or knocking over someone’s Jenga set or something (well, that would be just plain rude wouldn’t it?). No, I’m talking about borrowing specific ingredients from one classic recipe to create a whole new kind of lip-smacking goodness. Hey, I’m all about doing good for us. Like I did last week when I deconstructed a Kentucky Derby favorite with my Mint Julelp Panna Cotta & Bourbon Sugar Cookies. I’m still nibbling on those cookies btw-yum! So how does taking the flavors of one super potent Cadillac Margarita and infusing them into a zesty shrimp taco sound? Yeah, I thought you’d like the sound of that. And just in the nick of time for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta grande too! Never fear, these Margarita Shrimp Tacos can be whipped up in no time from ingredients you probably have in your fridge & pantry already. Make these tacos today, or the next day or the day after that. Heck, any “cinco” of a month for that matter. Who’s to say you can’t celebrate in south-of-the-border style all year round.
Margarita Shrimp Tacos
A Cadillac Margarita consists of freshly squeezed lime juice. Check. Top-quality tequila (I used a Reposado– Tequila Avión is my favorite). Check. And a splash of orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Check. Oh, and Kosher salt for the glass rim. Check again. All of the cocktail’s essential ingredients are mixed together, along with freshly chopped cilantro, garlic and spring onion to make the marinade for the shrimp. Simply combine everything in a bowl (or resealable plastic bag) and allow to infuse for 20-30 minutes. The acidity of the lime juice will give the shrimp a nice tang and help kick-start the cooking process. Careful not to over-marinate though, otherwise you’ll wind up with a shrimp ceviche gone wrong.

Margarita Shrimp
Margarita Shimp Tacos

Margarita Shrimp Tacos

Margarita Shrimp Tacos
serves 4 people (2 if they’re really hungry!)  | printable version

1 pound fresh or frozen & thawed white gulf shrimp
3 limes juiced, approx. 1/4 cup juice
1 serrano chili, seeded and chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 ounces good Tequila (I like a Reposado)
1/2 ounce orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Suggested garnish & condiments
corn tortillas (white or yellow)
rice & beans
fresh avocado
finely diced tomato
finely chopped white cabbage
fresh cilantro
mango salsa
queso fresco
lime wedges

Combine shrimp (shell on), lime juice, chili, onions, garlic, tequila, orange liqueur, and salt in a bowl or large resealable bag. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes maximum. Remove shrimp from marinade and sear at high heat on a grill pan (preferred) just until shrimp begin to curl, turn light pink and are cooked through. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. Discard shells and serve shrimp with variety of condiments.

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The Perfect Match: Ginger Beer & Tawny Port

DSC_0560-EditWell, it’s been far too long of a hiatus for this gal. Both September and October were complete blurs from two very busy months at the winery (harvest),  moving houses, and just stumbling through a crazy life in general. But I’m back now and with bells on! And since it’s that time of year, what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a cocktail. Time for a Tawny Ginger Fizz! These two drink ingredients are not what most people would consider staples in a liquor cabinet, however, once you get your hands on them….and then make this drink…’ll be hooked.
DSC_0647-1Ginger Beer is not always a “beer” or alcoholic. In fact, most of the ginger beers sold on the US market are carbonated, sweetened beverages without alcohol. However, there are some smaller artisan brewers making a traditional alcoholic version —but those are not recommended for this drink. I’m using Bundaberg Ginger Beer (my favorite) from Queensland, Australia which is a brewed, non-alcoholic carbonated beverage primarily made with ginger and sweetened with sugar. The wonderfully pungent ginger flavor is the perfect mate to the nutty, raisin, and caramel notes in the Tawny. I used a California Tawny Port, but if you’d like to splurge on a Portuguese brand, all the better. But please do not substitute a Ruby or Vintage port for this drink, take the time to find a Tawny and you’ll be glad you did.

Tawny Ginger Fizz
Ideal during the winter months to warm up with, but this cocktail is also very refreshing in the summer months if you add a few sprigs of mint. Recipe makes 1 drink.

2 ounces Tawny Port (I like the one from Geyser Peak Winery)
1/2 jigger of fresh lime juice
1/2 bottle (6 ounces) Bundaberg Ginger Beer
lime for garnish

Pour Tawny Port and lime juice in a rocks glass with 2-3 ice cubes. Stir gently. Top off with Ginger Beer and serve with a lime garnish.