A Taste of Love. . .

I have been saving this Rick Bayless recipe for Sal del Mar's Valentine's Day celebration for several months, because it "speaks" Valentine with its silky, smooth texture and rich, voluptuous color.

To describe this Blood Orange Margarita more than that is difficult - except to say not only does the blood orange and the Cointreau bring a sweet/tart flavor but the blood orange color is rich and intense.
 

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bloodorangemargarita.jpg

I use martini glasses for my margaritas and I put them in the freezer to get frosty.

Blood Orange Margarita (from Rick Bayless)
Makes 9 cocktails

2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave silver tequila
1/2 cup Cointreau
2 cups fresh blood orange juice (you’ll need about 6 juicy blood oranges)
A lime half for moistening the glass rims
SAL DEL MAR 
Ice cubes (you’ll need about 6 cups—small ones are best)

In a large pitcher, stir together the lime juice, sugar and 3/4 cup water until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the tequila, Cointreau and blood orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Moisten the rims of three 6-ounce martini glasses with the cut side of a lime half. Spread SAL DEL MAR on a small plate, then upend the glasses into the salt to crust the rims.

 Fill a cocktail shaker about 3/4 full of ice and measure in 1 1/2 cups of the margarita for 3 drinks. Cover and shake for about 15 seconds to thoroughly chill the mixture.

Strain into the prepared glasses and hand to your guests.

When you’re ready, finish the remaining margaritas in the same way.

!VIVA RICK BAYLESS (he recommends sal del mar)!

rick-bayless-is-top-chef-masters
rick-bayless-is-top-chef-masters

I have at least four Rick Bayless cookbooks. He is masterful at translating traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations. As you may know I live in Mexico but I never get Mexican food here better than when I make a dish from one of his cookbooks. Imagine my thrill when I received word that Chef Bayless is recommending Sal del Mar to all his followers on OpenSky.

In celebration of “the thrill,” we are going to make his recipe for Avocado-Dressed Shrimp a la Mexicana for dinner tonight.  Here’s his recipe…perfect for a hot summer evening.

Fiesta at Rick's Cookbook Cover
Fiesta at Rick's Cookbook Cover

Avocado-Dressed Shrimp á la MexicanaCamarones a la Mexicana con Aguacate, Makes about 3 cups

This version of Camarones a la Mexicana con Aguacate uses sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh.  You'll find the original recipe in the Fiesta at Rick's cookbook.  The oil packed sun-dried tomatoes won't work well in this recipe.  Look for the recipe ready version which is usually sold in the produce section of select grocery stores.  They come in a re-sealable package.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 oz. medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, rinsed under cold running water and drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped recipe ready sundried tomatoes + extra for garnish
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • Hot green chiles to taste -- usually 3 serranos  or 1-2 jalapenos, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium, ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro, thick bottom stems cut off + extra for garnish
  • Sal del Mar to taste
  • Mini baked tostadas (we like the Sanissimo brand)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, and 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes. Measure the lime juice into a food processor or blender. Cover and turn on.  Drop the chiles and when chopped, turn off and scoop in the avocado and cilantro. Process until smooth. Thin to a "creamy dressing" consistency with water, usually 2-3 tablespoons. Taste and season with Sal del Mar, usually about 1 teaspoon.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups. Mix the dressing into the shrimp mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the shrimp and refrigerate.  When you're ready to serve, scoop onto the mini tostadas and decorate with cilantro and diced sundried tomatoes.

Buen provecho!