Pomegranate and Blood Orange Margarita

Today is National Margarita Day 2019 and it could not fall on a better day, being that it is Friday!

 

National Margarita Day is a day celebrated on February 22nd every year and is a day used to honor the cocktail that is usually made of a combination of tequila, triple sec and various fruit juices (such as lemon or lime). While the drink – and to a lesser extent the holiday dedicated to it – is widely known not only in the United States but around the world, no one really knows the origins of either one.

The fact of the matter is that no one really knows when the margarita was invented – or National Margarita Day for that matter, but the drink is believed to have been invented sometime around World War II. One of the most common origin stories associated with this drink is that it was invented by Rancho La Gloria restaurant owner Carlos Herrera in 1938.

However, a recipe for a tequila-based cocktail first appeared in the 1930 book My New Cocktail Book by G.F. Steele.

Hotel-Garci-Crespo-Mexico-en-Fotos-copy-511x300And then there’s Bartender Danny Negrete, who legend has it, created a signature wedding cocktail  in 1934 at the Garci Crespo Hotel in Puebla which was one of the most luxurious hotels at that time, and christened it “Margarita” in honor of his future sister-in-law. Or maybe Negrete was really inspired by a stunning young dancer named Margaret Cansino who performed at the glamorous Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana where he also worked. That 16-year-old beauty later  became the legendary Rita Hayworth.

                       Rita Hayworth at 16 (left) and at the height of her career in the 1940s.

 

Without noting a specific recipe or inventor, a drink called the Tequila Daisy was mentioned in the Syracuse Herald as early as 1936. Margarita is Spanish for Daisy, which is a nickname for Margaret.

According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the popular Mexican drink was remade with tequila instead of brandy, which became a sensation during Prohibition as people drifted over the border for alcohol. There is an account from 1936 of Iowa newspaper editor James Graham finding such a cocktail in Tijuana, years before any of the other margarita “creation myths”.

 

 

MEXICO-EN-FOTOS-RANCHO-LA-GLORIA-RESTAURANT-AND-BAR-458x300The 1937 Cafe RoyalMargarita 4 Danny Herrera Cocktail Book contains a recipe for a Picador using the same concentrations of tequila, triple sec and lime juice as a margarita. One of the earliest stories is of the margarita being invented in 1938 by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La gloria, halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito, Baja California, created for customer and former Ziegfeld dancer Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits, but not to tequila. This story was related by Herrera and also by bartender Albert Hernandez, acknowledged for popularizing a margarita in San Diego after 1947, at the La Plaza restaurant in La Jolla. By then it was known as the ‘Margarita.’ San Diego newspaper editor Neil Morgan was a friend and made sure Hernandez’ story appeared locally.

Danny Herrera

 

 

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Albert and Helen Hernandez at La Plaza in 1947. Chef Washington at left.

 

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However, there are many people who claim that it was invented by Don Carlos Orozco in October of 1941. As the story goes, Mr. Orozco was working as a bartender at Hussong’s Cantina – a restaurant in Mexico – when the daughter of the German ambassador named Margarita Henkel walked into the restaurant and asked for a special drink. He then whipped her a drink that was equal parts tequila, an orange liqueur and lime. This concoction was then placed in a salt rimmed glass and served to her. Since this lady’s name was Margarita, that is the name that he decided to give the drink.

 

There are also claims that the margarita was first mixed in Juárez, Chihuahua at Tommy’s Place Bar on July 4, 1942 by Francisco “Pancho” Morales. Morales later left bartending in Mexico to become a US citizen, where he worked as a milkman for 25 years. Mexico’s official news agency Notimex and many experts have said Morales has the strongest claim to having invented the margarita.

 

Others say the inventor was Dallas socialite Margarita Sames, when she concocted theMargarita2.jpg drink for her guests at her Acapulco, Guerrero vacation home in 1948. Tommy Hilton reportedly attended, bringing the drink back to the Hilton chain of hotels. However, Jose Cuervo was already running ad campaigns for the margarita three years earlier, in 1945, with the slogan, “Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.” According to Jose Cuervo, the cocktail was invented in 1938 by a bartender in honor of Mexican showgirl Rita de la Rosa.

 

Jose Cuervo Tequila bottle (1930s)

 

Another common origin tale begins the cocktail’s history at the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas where, in 1948, head bartender Santos Cruz created the margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee. He supposedly named it after the Spanish version of her name, Margarita.

While all of these origin stories may or may not account for when this drink was created, it is known that the first published recipe of this drink occurred in the December 1953 issue of Esquire. This recipe called for an ounce of tequila with dashes of triple sec and the juice of half a lime or lemon.

 

Margarita6 Trader VicThe person credited for really popularizing the Margarita was Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron, who owned California’s Señor Pico chain of restaurants. In the 1960s he went to Mexico to do research on a cocktail containing tequila, but discovered that Mexicans drink tequila straight. So he collected recipes for tequila cocktails from other restaurants around the States, and settled on the Margarita. By 1973 his restaurants sold more tequila than any other restaurant in the world.

Victor Bergeron

 

 

 

 

frozenAlthough many consider the  frozen Margarita an abomination,  it should be mentioned that the world’s first frozen margarita machine was invented on May 11, 1971 by a Dallas restaurateur named Mariano Martinez. He modified a soft-serve ice cream machine into the first frozen margarita machine to create a consistent, mass produced beverage. He got his inspiration from a frozen slushee machine he saw at a convenience store. Frozen Margaritas and Piña Coladas were all the rage back then, but they had to be made in a blender, which was time consuming, loud, and didn’t make for a very consistent product. His invention popularized the bar and the frozen Margarita at his Dallas TexMex restaurant, El Charro, and the category of frozen drink machines has gotten ever more popular through the years. His original machine now resides in the Smithsonian Institute.

 

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At this point in time, the margarita began to spread across North America, but it wouldn’t really gain mass popularity until  a musician named Jimmy Buffett released a song called Margaritaville on February 14, 1977, from the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. This song was written about a drink Buffett discovered at Lung’s Cocina del Sur restaurant on Anderson Lane in Austin, Texas, and the first huge surge of tourists who descended on Key West, Florida around that time. He wrote most of the song that night at a friend’s house in Austin, and finished it while spending time in Key West. In the United States “Margaritaville” reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart, also peaking at #13 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Billboard ranked it number 14 on its 1977 Pop Singles year-end chart. It remains Buffett’s highest charting solo single.

Named for the cocktail margarita, with lyrics reflecting a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical climate, “Margaritaville” has come to define Buffett’s music and career. The relative importance of the song to Buffett’s career is referred to obliquely in a parenthetical plural in the title of a Buffett greatest hits compilation album, Songs You Know By Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s). The name has been used in the title of other Buffett compilation albums such as Meet Me In Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection and is also the name of several commercial products licensed by Buffett. The song also lent its name to the 2017  Broadway musical Escape to Margaritaville, in which it is featured alongside other Buffett songs. Continued popular culture references to and covers of it throughout the years attest to the song’s continuing popularity. The song was mentioned in Blake Shelton’s 2004 single “Some Beach”.

“Margaritaville” has been inducted into the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance.

With all that being said, it’s still not clear when National Margarita Day was invented. Like the drink it is named after, it’s origins have been buried in history. Whichever story is true, one thing is certain…Americans have an ongoing love affair with the margarita. According to a 2016 biannual survey of cocktail consumers conducted by Nielsen CGA, tequila was everyone’s go-to base spirit, and the margarita was their favorite cocktail.

The best way to celebrate National Margarita Day is by choosing your favorite recipe and whipping one up, or by going to your favorite bar and ordering one of these icy cold concoctions. See our recipe for a version of this famous cocktail, given that blood oranges are in season.

This is not your ordinary margarita. Combine fresh pomegranate and blood orange juice to create this unique concoction that’s as tasty as it is beautiful — perfect for “wowing” guests at your next party or get-together!

 

Makes Two 12 oz drinks

Ingredients:

8 oz Fresh Pomegranate juice
4 oz Fresh Blood Orange juice
8 oz Tequila of your choice
2 oz Cointreau
1 oz Key Lime juice
1 oz Simple syrup

Directions:
Combine ingredients in shaker and shake well. Serve over ice in salt rimmed glasses and with a twist of orange.

 


Beef and Broccoli

 

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Ever once in awhile, I have a craving for   beef and broccoli, and lately most restaurants are not delivering the high quality food they use too and I have been disappointed that many  restaurants dishes do not live up to my expectations.

The secret to home made beef and broccoli is thinly sliced beef and flavor. In this recipe, the tender, thin slices of beef are so juicy, so flavorful as they soak up every savory essence of the marinade, and then the sauce; which is rich, slightly sweet, mostly savory, and just so right!  Are you ready for the  two secret ingredients that makes such a scrumptious sauce?

Oyster sauce and pomegranate juice. Surprised?

If you have done a lot of Asian style cooking,  then you probably know that it  is a staple in Asian cooking.  It is a thick, brown sauce with a balance between sweet and salty with an earthy undertone, due to the oyster extracts.  You can find oyster sauce in the Asian aisle of any supermarket for only a few dollars. But like with any commercial preparation,  not all bottled  oyster sauce is created equal.  The quality of oyster sauce will affect the flavor, so if you want the extra something something to your dish, purchase a good quality good quality sauce for a few dollars more and keep it on hand in your pantry.

Pomegranate juice adds a little musky citrus taste with a depth of flavor you  usually associate with red wine or concentrated beef drippings.This makes the flavor of pomegranates invaluable anywhere you want to add a little depth or complexity.

 And be warned, guard the leftovers, if there are any,  this recipe for Beef and Broccoli will leave you craving more!

Serves 4
Ingredients:
For the Beef Marinade:
1 pound flank steak, cut across the grain into 1/8 thin slices, then cut into 2” length pieces
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon black bean sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sweet Thai chili sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
For the Sauce:
½ cup 100% pomegranate juice
1/4 cup Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Japanese rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tablespoons chicken broth
5 Tablespoons oyster sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon peanut oil
For the Vegetables:
3 1/2 – 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit size pieces
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup water
3 medium scallions, sliced

Directions:
Pour marinade ingredients directly into freezer bag and mix well. Add beef and massage in marinade until well covered. Refrigerate for 2-8 hours. For best results, allow to set overnight.

When ready to cook the beef, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.In another medium  bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

Drain excess marinade off of beef (if there is any).

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot and sizzling. Add beef to the skillet and break up any clumps; cook without stirring for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned and almost cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Note:  Do not overcook or the beef. for it will not  be as tender.The beef will cook more in the sauce. Transfer beef to a large plate and cover.If your skillet is small, then cook in 2 batches.

Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the now-empty skillet; heat until very hot and sizzling. Add the broccoli  and carrots and saute for 30 seconds. Add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam vegetables  until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Push the broccoli  and carrots to the sides of the skillet and add the sauce mixture to the center of the pan, mashing the garlic mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the broccoli and carrots.

Return the beef to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine then add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and beef is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve.

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Drunken Sticky Pomegranate Chicken

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February 18 has been designated as “National  Drink Wine Day” and there is no better way to celebrate than this red wine marinated chicken braised to tender perfection, and then glazed in a sweet, spicy and tart pomegranate sauce. You can tailor this recipe to use any kind of sweet wine that you like the best, ,which may include Port, Merlot, Chianti or Shiraz. Who needs a fork? This chicken is  so sticky, icky, finger lickin’ good!

 

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the marinade:
2 cups sweet red wine (like a Shiraz)
1/4 cup  brandy
1 carrot, grated
1 red onion, grated
2 bay leaves

For the Chicken:
3 1/2 pounds chicken thigh and legs
¼teaspoon ginger powder
¼teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Glaze:
½ cup 100%  pomegranate juice
1/4 cup  Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

Pomegranate arils, for garnish
Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large heavy-duty plastic bag set over a bowl. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.Add the chicken and seal the bag with as little air as possible, leaving it in the bowl. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for a day, turning it from time to time; the bag ensures that all of the chicken is kept moist with marinade.

Preheat oven to 375°F

Remove the wings from the marinade.Thoroughly pat dry the wings using paper towel. Add the chicken to a large bowl and coat with b, spices, salt and pepper.

In another large bowl, whisk together pomegranate juice, honey,chili sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat a large oven-safe Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil.Place the marinated, seasoned chicken in the Dutch oven and sear on each side until deeply golden and brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and place on a plate. Pour off the oil and lower the heat to medium-low. Deglaze the Dutch oven by pouring the glaze mixture into the pot. Whisk, allowing the sauce to bubble and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Place chicken back in the skillet and turn and toss to coat. Bake covered for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken,  place on a rack and set aside.

Return the Dutch oven to the  stovetop and cook the glaze, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Taste the glaze and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven and toss until well coated.

To serve, remove chicken and  arrange on a large platter. Garnish with chopped cilantro and pomegranate arils.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


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