Cooking with Tequila
Cooking with tequila
Tequila makes a wonderful ingredient in cooking.
It adds a new flavour to many dishes.
Since the fragrance of tequila is easily lost either by overcooking or by being overpowered by spices, herbs, or garlic, you should add it last wherever possible, to retain as much of the fruity tequila essence as possible. Our experiments show that tequila should be added close to the end of the cooking, to remove some or most of the alcohol, but not entirely all of it.
While some cooks may balk at using an expensive premium tequila in cooking, certainly 100% agave brands should always be used. Not only do they offer better agave flavour, but they don’t contain the mixto additives (caramel, almond or wood essence) that might interact unfavourably with your dish.
Blanco tequilas are more robust and their flavours can withstand cooking and still retain their taste.
All of the books listed in the resource chapter have a variety of recipes using tequila that will please you. In my experience, tequila works best in dishes where it contributes to, rather than competes with, other ingredients. Included in this are fish, shrimp and pasta meals where subtle flavours are the nature of the dish.
Fresh ingredients also contribute to the end result.
Here’s Susan's Original Tequila Cream Pasta recipe in all its glory. It makes a wonderful dish that can be enhanced with some fresh, cooked shrimp. She’s tried several brands in this dish, but finds a 100% agave blanco is the best to use. Try it yourself and enjoy! It's truly delicious.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp dried basil
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 1 28 oz tin peeled tomatoes pureed (or use equivalent fresh tomatoes)
- Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
- Spaghetti for four
- Melt the butter in a frying pan.
- Add onion and cook until clear.
- Add pureed tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, garlic.
- Cook at medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until thickened.
- Add cream and simmer while you...
- Cook the spaghetti (pasta).
- Add 1/2 cup tequila to sauce.
- Cook for several minutes more, then serve on spaghetti.
- Top with grated parmesan cheese.
- Add the tequila last to preserve its flavour. Cook it only long enough to warm it, but not entirely eliminate its alcohol - if you want to retain its bite.
Ian adds a healthy dose of habanero sauce to the mix for his serving. If your eyes don't bleed, then it's not hot enough for me!
- Ripe plum tomatoes work best when using fresh, but others are also good - if they are not the usual grocery store cardboard tomatoes.
- Although you can never have too much garlic, it can over-power the
subtle tequila taste.
- Fresh cilantro is another nice additive in this sauce.
- Check out these other sites for more cooking with tequila recipes.
- Remember, use 100% agave tequilas, not the sugary, cheap mixtos when you cook!
Mezcal is also good in many dishes because of its strong,
Some other recipes:
Tequila Lime Shrimp
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- Juice of one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot,
add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, stirring
frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in tequila, lime juice and pepper
flakes. Cook 2 minutes or until about half the liquid evaporates and
shrimp are pink and glazed.
- 4 8-oz. New York steaks, about 1 inch thick
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix tequila, pepper, lemon peel and garlic in a heavy plastic bag.
Add steaks and rotate to distribute mixture evenly over steaks. Let sit
in refrigerator over night. Preheat grill. Cook, brushing with remaining
marinade until done. Turn once during cooking time, about 12 minutes.
Season with additional salt if desired and serve.
Tequila Chicken from The Olympian
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 ounce onion, chopped
- 12 jalapeno slices (nacho style)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1/2 red pepper, cut julienne-style
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
Pan-sear chicken breasts, cooking evenly on both sides. When chicken
is two-thirds cooked, add onion and jalapeno, allowing the flavors to
release without browning. Add garlic.
When garlic releases aroma, add tequila to deglaze pan. Add cream,
salt and pepper and reduce sauce by a quarter. When almost done
reducing, add in bell pepper and heat through.
Arrange on plate with jalapenos and peppers piled on top of chicken in a
pool of sauce.
Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or seasoned rice.
For your sweet tooth
Another tequila-related food item is tequila chocolates. Many
companies offer tequila filled chocolates, although so far I have only
seen them with mixto tequilas inside. some are quite good, others
are rather too sweet for my taste. You can. of course, always make your
own desserts with tequila, including tequila and margarita ice creams,
cheesecake and simply fresh fruit marinated in tequila.
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