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    Recipes for a fiesta

    Simple Sangrita, Sangrita Verde, and more ways to toast Cinco de Mayo.

    Three sangritas to sample: Ancho chili, Simple (at back), and Verde.
    Jim Scherer/Styling by Catrine Kelty
    Three sangritas to sample: Ancho chili, Simple (at back), and Verde.

    SIMPLE SANGRITA

    Serves 6

    Serve sangrita in small portions alongside tequila shots, and sip alternately.

    1 cup tomato juice

    ¾ cup fresh orange juice

    3 tablespoons fresh

    lime juice

    ¾ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or more to taste

    Dash Worcestershire sauce

    ½ teaspoon salt

    In a pitcher, stir the tomato, orange, and lime juices, the hot pepper and Worcestershire sauces, and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir to re-blend, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve cold.

     

    ANCHO CHILI SANGRITA

    Serves 6

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    Adapted from the PBS cooking show Pati’s Mexican Table.

    1 ancho chili

    1 cup fresh orange juice

    2/3 cup tomato juice

    3 tablespoons fresh

    lime juice

    Salt

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    In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chili on all sides until slightly puffed, less than 2 minutes. Remove stem and seeds, tear up flesh, and return to skillet. Add 1 cup of water, set over medium-high heat, and bring to a strong simmer. Turn down to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

    In a blender, puree the chili pieces, ¼ cup of the chili liquid, the orange, tomato, and lime juices, and ½ teaspoon salt until smooth. Strain into a pitcher, pressing to release as much liquid as possible. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir to re-blend, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve cold.

     

    SANGRITA VERDE

    Serves 6

    2 cups pineapple juice

    2 tablespoons fresh

    lime juice

    2 teaspoons honey

    2 medium serrano chilies, seeded, if desired, and chopped

    ½ cup, packed, mint leaves

    ¼ cup, packed, cilantro leaves

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    In a blender, puree the pineapple and lime juices, honey, serrano chilies, mint, cilantro, and salt until the chilies are completely broken down and the mixture is smooth, at least 1 minute. Strain into a small container, pressing to release as much liquid as possible. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir to re-blend, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve cold.

     

    TAMARIND WATER (AGUA FRESCA DE TAMARINDO)

    Serves 6

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    Rectangular blocks of tamarind pulp are available at many Asian and Latin markets.

    4 ounces (about ½ cup) tamarind pulp

    1/3 cup sugar, or to taste

    Break up the tamarind pulp into chunks, place it in a medium bowl, and cover it with 2 cups hot water. Stir in the sugar and set aside until tamarind has softened and the water has cooled, about 30 minutes. With a fork, break up the tamarind, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container, pressing to release as much liquid as possible (you should have about 2½ cups); discard solids. Whisk in 6 cups cold water, cover, and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Whisk to re-blend before serving over ice.

     

    BASIC MICHELADA

    Serves 2  

    Kosher salt

    3 small wedges plus

    6 tablespoons juice from 2 limes

    1½ cups ice cubes

    2 12-ounce Mexican beers, very cold 

    On a small plate, spread 1½ tablespoons of salt. Run a lime wedge around the rims of 2 mugs and dip into the salt, coating the rims evenly. To each mug add half the ice and 3 tablespoons of lime juice; gently pour a beer over the ice in each, and stir gently. Garnish the rim of each mug with a lime wedge, and serve at once.

     

    Variations

    MICHELADA WITH TOMATO JUICE

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    Follow the directions for the Basic Michelada, adding, to each drink ½ cup cold tomato juice, 1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce, and ½ teaspoon soy or Maggi sauce. 

    SPICY MICHELADA WITH SHRIMP

    With its shrimp garnish, this is something of a cocktail-appetizer hybrid.

    Follow the directions for the Basic Michelada, making the following changes:

    1) In a small bowl, toss 12 shelled shrimp, a pinch each of sugar and salt, and ¼ teaspoon each pure chili powder (I like pequin) and black pepper. In a skillet over high heat, heat 2 teaspoons neutral oil until just starting to smoke. Add the shrimp and cook, undisturbed, until edges turn pink, about 1½ minutes. Remove from heat, stir the shrimp, then let stand until almost completely opaque, about 40 seconds; transfer shrimp to a plate to cool.

    2) To the kosher salt on the plate add ¼ teaspoon pure chili powder.

    3) Reduce the quantity of lime juice per mug to 2 tablespoons. After adding the ice cubes, to each mug add 1 cup Clamato, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, and teaspoon of grated garlic, and stir. Gently pour a beer over the ice in each.

    4) Garnish the rim of each mug with 6 shrimp and a lime wedge, and serve.

    Send comments to cooking@globe.com.