The S&C family enjoy a good dinner party. We also enjoy cocktail parties, holiday parties, a supper club, a book club, happy hours — pretty much any occasion when friends gather for a drink.
Sharing our so-called Nouveau Southwestern-style dinner party is actually long overdo. But, having fixed a batch of agave nectar margaritas over the weekend, Ms. S&C resurrected the blog post.
The Occasion: At last year’s Super Bowl party, friends LC (also known as Sister Mojito) & CA were the recipients of a door prize — Dinner with the S&C’s. Funny enough, this lucky couple also won the prize the year before.
The Menu: Typically, there is one ingredient or item that Ms. S&C likes to build a menu around. For this meal, pork belly was the inspiration. We called it nouveau because we used pork belly, agave, and because it sounds fancy. Southwestern because of accompanying ingredients of roasted corn, black beans and poblanos.
- First course: Bacon wrapped shrimp with crispy basil
Wrap bacon around shrimp, drop in a deep-fryer. Fry whole pieces of basil for a few seconds. Serve all on a plate garnished lightly with Sriracha hot chili sauce.
- Second course: Southwestern-inspired chopped salad
Prepare a salad of mixed greens, roasted corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno. Serve with a simple vinaigrette.
- Main course: Pork belly, stuffed poblanos, refried black beans
Pork belly cooked for hours, poblanos stuffed with all kinds of good southwestern ingredients, served atop refried beans.
- Dessert course: Fried ice cream
Cinnamon ice cream served alongside cinnamon and sugar-dusted deep-fried tortillas.
The Drink: Eager to get a handle on a much-talked about ingredient, agave nectar, Ms. S&C decided margaritas would be the featured cocktail.
Similar to honey, agave nectar is becoming the preferred sweetener of the health conscious and natural food cooks. Extracted from the blue agave plant, the nectar has a lower glycemic index than sugar but still the same sweetness. Glycemic index relates to that “sugar rush” you hear about, and foods with a high glycemic index raises blood sugar quickly. And why do you need to know this? Well, you may not, but Ms. S&C has loved ones with diabetes, so she tries to pay attention to these things. More on the health benefits of agave nectar.
Agave Nectar Margaritas
Margaritas are one of Ms. S&C’s favorite drinks. Both tart and sweet, they are super easy to make, require only a few ingredients, and the proportions are easy to remember. Because Ms. S&C has tried a few variations using agave nectar, she strongly recommends the following: 1. use tequila blanco (the white, silver, unaged tequila), 2. do not use salt in this version, 3. as always, use only fresh juice.
Ingredients (serves one):
- 1 and 1/2 oz tequila blanco
- 1 oz lime juice (approximately the juice of one lime)
- 1/2 oz agave nectar
- 1/2 oz water
- crushed ice
- lime wedge
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass filled with ice (crushed ice works best). Garnish with lime wedge.
posted by Ms. S&C
So how do I go about rigging this year’s contest? I don’t want to share this annual dinner with anyone else!