Happy Thanksgiving! Your house is in shambles, the turkey is still frozen, your husband is sporting his gym gear, and your kid is wearing his shoes on his hands. Oh, and you forgot the ice. Take a deep breath. We have honest, authentic Azuñia Tequila to the rescue!
First, remember, we’re all human. Your loved ones are coming to visit you, not the piles of laundry or to examine your air filters. Every year we crave this season of togetherness, and yet we stress out over the smallest of details – matching napkin rings and finding the perfect way to cook a 20-pound turkey in 30 minutes. Stop the insanity!
We hope this little guide will help you to better enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. So, whether you decide to roast a giant turkey or stuff a pork loin, raise a glass of Azuñia tequila, and cheers to you because there is still Christmas to get through.
In our tequila pairing, we considered some of the traditional fare, such as roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, etc., but we also introduced some new, Latin-infused dishes to bring your drab holiday dinner to life.
Let’s start with the appetizers.
Chips & Salsa paired with Azuñia Blanco
Do not ask your guests to bring starters of any kind, because you might be waiting until dessert to get a bag of broken chips and a tub of watery salsa. Chips and salsa are a great place to start and easy to assemble. Forget the store-bought chips. Here’s an opportunity to add a small gourmet touch by making your chips ahead of time. All you need to do is quickly fry wedges or strips of corn tortillas. As you bring them out of the hot oil to drain on paper towels, hit them with your favorite spices, like salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin or paprika. I know what you’re thinking, “I’ll make the corn masa from scratch, too!” Please, throw that idea out the window! We do, however, encourage you to make the salsa from scratch. We especially love tomatillo salsa paired with Azuñia Blanco organic tequila; the fresh bouquet of cilantro and tart tomatillos harmonize with the citrusy tang of limes.
Aguachiles with Azuñia Blanco
Now, you may be thinking aguachiles, a shrimp cocktail marinated with lots of chile and lime, are not a “traditional” Thanksgiving dish, but it has many things going for it. Aguachiles are delicious, you don’t have to cook them, and you can prepare the components of the dish (make your serrano salsa and clean your shrimp) ahead of time. As your tio is struggling to unload your tia from the car, simply toss the raw shrimp in a spicy lime and serrano salsa. The lime will cook the shrimp, without making it feel rubbery, and that heat from the serrano salsa is meant to be matched with Azuñia Blanco. This non-traditional dish can quite possibly steal the show from your dried turkey.
Green Salad with Fall Fruit paired with Azuñia Blanco
And if you’re the “green salad” type, then you’re in luck because Azuñia Blanco is fantastic when paired with a salad loaded with fall fruit. Obviously, any citrus (blood red orange and red grapefruits), but think about fall fruits like apples, pomegranate arils or tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. If those fruits aren’t available to you, stick with your green salad but make your dressing in advance using fruit juices or pomegranate molasses. And yes, you can buy it, too. Serve your guests some Azuñia Blanco organic tequila and congratulate yourself for barely lifting a finger.
If you want a cocktail, mix up Azuñia’s Tequila’s Margarita Auténtica. It’s just four ingredients, and you can make a big batch hours in advance. It’s every person for themselves when your guests finally arrive.
Now on to the main course:
Roasted Turkey paired with Azuñia Reposado
No matter what, there will be a turkey. My suggestion is to brine the bird in a large cooler and cook it in a turkey roaster, because you are going to need your oven and stove top for something. Brining will infuse your bird with flavor inside and out.
When it comes to your turkey, aside from brining, think how else you can infuse flavor, like stuffing the cavity with apples and fennel or lemons and onions. Perhaps you’d like to go the extra step and rub a flavored butter under the skin? Next time try rubbing your favorite salsa under the skin. How? Cook out some of the liquid, making it more of a paste like a pesto. Or make a spicy glaze by pureeing chipotle chiles with Azuñia Reposado organic tequila and honey. Some great memories can be made around a chipotle glazed turkey.
Pork Stuffed Loin with Azuñia Reposado
If you’re a non-traditionalist, forgo the turkey and make a stuffed pork loin. Sure, it’s a little pricier, but you can prep the pork ahead of time and pop it in the oven 40-60 minutes before dinner. As far as the stuffing goes, try apples or mushrooms and onions, or our favorite, guaranteed to blow their socks off, Calabaza en tacha (Candied Pumpkin), a traditional Mexican recipe of Calabaza (you can use pumpkin, butternut, acorn, etc.) cooked in brown sugar cane (piloncillo) syrup, stuffed in a pork loin and rolled in spices and herbs. The sweet piloncillo is a classic combination in disguise…think honey glazed ham, just better.
I mentioned Azuñia Reposado, and you perked up. The Reposado is aged for eight months in American Oak, so you’ll taste butterscotch and wood, which will complement the sweet brown sugar syrup. Reposado is versatile and will lend itself well to turkey, but also to glazed spiral cut ham, buttery mashed potatoes, rich gravy, sweet yams, that mysterious green bean casserole your aunt brought and yes, the stuffed pork loin.
Dark Chocolate Truffle paired with Azuñia Añejo
Since we’re pacing ourselves (remember, it’s not a race), you’ll have space in your tummy for dessert. Let’s complete the dinner with some Azuñia Añejo. This ultra-premium tequila is aged more than 12 months, is smooth, buttery and has whispers of vanilla and caramel. The usual pairing suspect is chocolate. Yes, folks, chocolate, and tequila. Make (or buy) some decadent dark chocolate truffles, or bake a flourless chocolate cake (in advance) topped simply with whipped cream or dusted with powdered sugar. No time to bake? Pick up some fudgy brownies from your favorite bakery. Azuñia Añejo is perfect to sip alongside decadent desserts like these.
And let’s face it, after the day you’ve had preparing this loving homemade Thanksgiving meal, you deserve an extra pour of tequila.
Here is LatinoFoodie’s recipe for decadent Hibiscus and Dark Chocolate Tequila Truffles. The Azuñia Añejo Tequila is optional, but fun! Remember, this is dessert. The truffles are small, but they pack a chocolatey punch and aren’t overly sweet. For a sweeter truffle, try using a bittersweet or milk chocolate.
Hibiscus and Dark Chocolate Tequila Truffles
Makes 12-18 truffles
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup dried hibiscus, finely chopped
10 ounces dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao), finely chopped
2 tablespoons Azuñia Añejo tequila
1 tablespoon salted butter
Optional toppings for truffles: cacao powder, powdered sugar, finely shredded coconut, pulverized nuts, hemp seeds or a sprinkling of hibiscus sugar
Heat heavy cream and hibiscus in a small saucepot over a medium-low flame until it begins to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to steep 10 minutes.
Briefly reheat over a medium-low flame for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate, tequila and butter. Stir gently until fully combined and glossy. Place in a shallow bowl, cover and chill for 20-30 minutes.
Once firm, but not completely hard, scoop truffles using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop. (The size of your truffles will determine the yield.)
If needed, quickly roll the truffle in your hands to shape. Roll formed truffles in your choice of topping: cacao powder, powdered sugar, finely shredded coconut, pulverized nuts, hemp seeds or a sprinkling of hibiscus sugar.
Note: working with chocolate can be messy, but forgiving. If your chocolate is too soft, chill it for a few minutes until you can work with it again. If your toppings aren’t sticking to the truffles, simply roll the truffles in your hands for a few seconds. The heat from your hands is enough to melt the chocolate. You can also blitz your toppings in a coffee/spice grinder to get a fine grind.
Thank you to our friends at LatinoFoodie for this tasty post. For more from our guest contributors, please visit their website.