Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pico de Gallo and Watermelon Cucumber Margaritas

Ahhhh, summer.  The late evening sunsets, sitting out on the deck for morning coffee, forgetting weekly chores to waste a day at the beach.  I love it all.  I also love having fresh produce at my beck and call during this season, which makes for some great healthy recipes.  

One of my staples for summer cookouts is pico de gallo.  I adapted this from a recipe in The Eat-Clean Diet: Fast Fat-Loss that lasts Forever!by Tosca Reno.  Originally, it was meant to top a pork dish but I found it's more popular when served as a dip with some whole grain tortilla chips.

Pico de Gallo
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp jalapeno, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you don't like it hot)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

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It's very simple.  Just mix all the ingredients and give it a good stir.  Refrigerate for an hour or so before serving so all the flavors combine.  Serve with whole grain tortilla chips and watch it disappear!

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Now for a special treat.  My husband are bonded by a love for all things Mexican, including tequila.  On our honeymoon in Ixtapa we took a private margarita-making class with the head bartender at our resort.

Best money spent EVER!

The secret to a great margarita is a good tequila and fresh ingredients.  This means fresh squeezed lime juice.  Not the margarita mix from the grocery store or the "thin" version what's-her-reality-star's-name is selling.  They're full of artificial flavors and sweeteners.  I mean, really.  You're just asking for a hangover.

But I digress.  Part of the class encouraged us to create our own margarita flavors, something we've been experimenting with ever since.  Here's my latest concoction of awesomeness:

Watermelon Cucumber Margaritas
  • 1/4 cup watermelon
  • 3 tbsp cucumber, peeled
  • 1.5 oz white tequila (Centenario is my fav)
  • 1 oz orange liquor (I used Cointreau)
  • 1.5 oz fresh squeeze lime juice
  • agave nectar
  • ice
Notice how you can pronounce everything and there's nothing sketchy listed?  Weird how that's a trend in all the recipes I share.

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You may also want to consider using what I lovingly call "the toolkit":
  • shaker
  • strainer
  • muddler
  • jigger with 1 and 1.5 oz measurements
  • handheld juicer (not pictured)
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Pour tequila in the shaker.  Add the watermelon and cucumber.  Using the muddler, mash the watermelon and cucumber in the tequila.  This will help flavor it.  It's called "infusing".  Say it with me, kids.  "Infusing!"  Excellent.  The shaker should look something like this:

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Next, add the orange liquor and lime juice.  Give the shaker two squeezes of agave nectar.  Fill it up with ice, put the top on, and shake like hell.  Carlos told us to keep shaking until your hands hurt, meaning the ice makes the metal shaker super cold.  Remove the top, cover with the strainer, pour into a glass over ice, and enjoy!

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