The thought of filling Aly’s chef hat for three weeks is daunting so I’ve needed to reframe. My goal will be to complement his diverse repertoire with a little down-home Tex-Mex flare. I should introduce myself first: My name is Sarah and I am a Tex-Mex girl at heart, having been born and raised in Austin, Texas. For the past seven years, I’ve been a nomad, living in California, DC, England, Russia, and New Zealand. With the exception of California, Mexican food has been hard to find, even the ingredients have not been readily accessible. And I hate to admit it but California’s take on Mexican food is far too healthy, hippie, and chic for Texas (think sprouts!).
Good ‘ol Wikipedia reports that TexMex is a modern invention, with the word first entering everyday speak in the 1940s. Further Internet digging tells us that TexMex is a blend of Northern Mexican peasant food with Texas farm and cowboy fare. That blending yields such favorites as enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, refried beans, chimichangas, chili con carne, tacos, and tamales. We certainly can’t forget our favorite imported beverage: the Margarita. Margaritas are a Texas staple any time of year, but on July 4th when the weather reaches the high 90s and uncomfortable 100s, they gain particular potency. In addition to the heat, my July 4th memories are clouded by an absurd amount of sweet things: cookies, pies, and of course, ice cream. Vanilla BlueBell ice-cream is a Texas indulgence and with red licorice and blueberry sauce it becomes a very patriotic treat.
So this week in honor of the cross-cultural melding that, I think, gives us a reason to be patriotic, I’ve attempted to blend margaritas and ice-cream into one. Funnily enough, the recipe on which the margarita ice-cream is based comes from a Brit, Nigella Lawson. Ah, what the wonders of globalization bring! Indeed, I’ve paired the margarita ice-cream with a lime-pistachio biscotti draped in white chocolate to fully embrace the globalized, melting pot theme. Both the ice-cream and biscotti are minimalist recipes involving few ingredients and taking less than an hour to make. You don’t even need an ice-cream machine!'
2 ½ tablespoons of tequilla
3 tablespoons of triple sec
½ cup of fresh lime juice
1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons of orange and lime zest
- Mix the alcohols, lime juice, and zests together.
- Add the powdered sugar until it dissolves.
- Add the whipping cream and, with an electric hand mixer, whip until soft peaks form.
- Spoon in to an airtight container and freeze overnight. Enjoy!
Strawberry Margarita Ice-Cream
Strawberry Margarita Ice-Cream
- Add ½ cup of pureed fresh strawberries to the liquid mixture, prior to adding the powdered sugar and whipping cream.
2 ½ cups of flour
¾ cup of sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of shelled pistachios
3 tablespoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
Zest of one lime
Zest of ½ an orange
White chocolate bar, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil.
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and shelled pistachios. Make sure to take off the brown outer layer so the green nut is fully showing.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, zest, juice, and extract.
- Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Add flour until the dough can be rolled into a ball.
- Cut in half and roll each into a log. Place the two logs on a prepared cookie sheet and press down.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely. Turn down the oven to 300 degrees.
- Once cooled, cut the slabs into ¼ inch pieces and place onto the second cookie sheet. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until hardened.
- Once cooled again, dip the top half of the biscotti into the melted white chocolate. Decorate with pistachio pieces. Enjoy!