While none of us here are of Latino/a heritage, we thought it'd be nice to give a nod to those of Mexican culture who would be properly celebrating this holiday of independence and kick-assitude. So, we enjoyed some Spanish/Latino/a inspired snacks and drinks. To independence, though not our own.
My brother out in California recently went down to Mexico for a vacation, and while he was there, he discovered a magical, mystical, drink. He asked for the recipe, a request which was shockingly obliged, and here I present to you, the most fantastic Sangria you have ever had. It's greatness comes from a melange of spices and not an over-dependence on fruit.
Best Sangria of your Life
1 bottle of red wine (pinot noir or shiraz)
4 black peppercorns
4 green peppercorns
6 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
2 cinammon sticks
3 star anise
1/4 cup of tart cherries
4 oz grand marnier, tripel sec or peach liquor
4 oz brandy
4 oz orange juice
2 oz lime juice
4 oz simple syrup
Mix all the ingredients in a pitcher and let rest overnight.
Serve in a glass with ice. Fill 2/3 full with wine and top with unsweetened lemon/lime soda water. Adjust wine/water ratio to taste.
It's an extremely tasty beverage, one that you won't want to stop drinking, but the added spirits will force you to slow down. Enjoy it on a sunny day, amongst friends, and allow yourself to unwind.
We each had a glass today, and after enjoying the refreshing tonic, had a great time heading over to the local grocery store to pick up a missing ingredient for our next fantabulous dish.
Everyone loves it. Everyone wants it. (Okay, maybe not everyone, but a lot of folks do). Here's our take on this beloved dish.
1 medium sized tomato, diced
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, also diced
Juice of 2 Lemons (or to taste)
Lots of cilantro (or to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Scoop out the flesh from all the avocadoes. Do so by cutting them in half, around the pit, and seperating the two demi-avocadoes. Cut into the pit with the blade of the knife so that it sticks in the seed, then with a twisting motion, remove it from it's yellow-green embrace. Scoop the goodness out with a spoon and place in a bowl. Squish up all the flesh with a fork or potato masher. Add in the diced tomato and onion, and stir to combine, not bruising the delicate tomato bits. Add in the juice and cilantro next, stirring again. Finally add the salt and pepper, tasting to see when the flavor is right. You may wish to hold back on the salt if the chips (or other vehicle) you're using are salted.
This guacamole is very simple, letting the flavors of the ingredients really shine. The lemon juice accentuates, not dominates. Let it sit in the fridge if you'd like, the tastes will mix nicely, or eat it right away and enjoy bursts of individual avocado, onion, cilantro, and tomato action.