Today is National Margarita Day ~ February 22, 2018. Please keep reading to get my favorite margarita recipe ~ Pink Champagne Lemonade Margaritas!
But first…let’s talk about another one of my favorites…pink peppercorns and other funky color seasonings…
Love Salt and Pepper!
Fun facts about Pink Peppercorns:
- Always good to have pink peppercorns on hand because they add a pop of spicy peppery flavor to any savory dish. They are available on -line if you can’t find them locally. Frontier Co-Op grinder bottle is one of my favorites.
- They may seem expensive ($8 to $12 for a .80 ounce bottle) but they last forever, a little grind goes a long way.
- Pink peppercorns are not peppercorns at all. They are a dried berry of the shrub Schinus molle, commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree. They do look like peppercorns and they have a peppery flavor.
- A word of warning...pink peppercorns are members of the cashew family, they may cause allergic reactions including anaphylaxis for persons with a tree nut allergy. I had no idea until I read about this yesterday. Over the years I’ve developed a tree nut allergy (not severe thankfully) so there goes my love of pink peppercorns. For those of you who do not suffer this allergy please enjoy pink peppercorns for me!
Fun facts about Himalayan Pink Salt:
Himalayan pink salt is used to flavor food. It is also used to make salt lamps which are illuminated with an electric light or candle inside. Both the salt used on food and the salt lamps are said to have health benefits, but I’ll let y’all decide on your own about that.
Blocks of Himalayan salt are also used as serving dishes. These blocks of salt can be heated (heat on the grill to serve grilled meats) or chilled to serve sushi, fruits and cheese. The salt blocks give the food a delicate salt flavor.
Fun facts about Green Peppercorns:
- These peppercorns are packed in a vinegar brine.
- They are meant to be eaten whole.
- My Mom popped a few green peppercorns (whole) in her Bolognese Sauce. Gave her sauce a little peppery punch which was delicious!
- Green Peppercorns are perfect in Steak au Poivre. Here’s a link to a Food Network recipe for Steak au Poivre with a mushroom, green peppercorn and Dijon sauce:
Green Peppercorn Boursin Green Bean Salad
One of my favorite salads ~ so much flavor with so little effort!
Yield: 3 servings
1 pound fresh green beans, stems removed, cut in half
1 teaspoon green peppercorns (packed in brine) mashed with a mortar and pestle
5. 2 ounces Shallot and Chive Boursin Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1 heaping teaspoon grated frozen lemon ( Place a washed lemon in the freezer section of your refrigerator. Once the lemon is frozen, get your grater, and shred the whole lemon (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your foods. The lemon seeds catch on the grater so there is no need to worry about seeds getting into your grated lemon.
1/8 teaspoon salt
Fill medium size stockpot half way full of water. Bring water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp tender (do not undercook or overcook the green beans) 8 – 10 minutes. Immediately drain the water off the green beans and “shock” them by dropping them in ice water so that they will stop cooking. Quickly remove them from the ice water and pat dry. Place the beans in a salad bowl and mix in the Boursin cheese. Add the mashed green peppercorns, tarragon, grated frozen lemon and salt. Stir with large spoon to combine all of the ingredients. The Boursin will become creamy and will coat the green beans. Cover the green bean salad and place in refrigerator until service.
The book What to Drink with What You Eat recommends rosé champagne to pair with black pepper. Here’s my suggestion for a rosé sparkling wine that will be good to splash on top of the Pink Champagne Lemonade Margaritas (recipe below):
Chandon Rosé ~ California Sparkling Wine ~ strawberry and ripe cherry flavors. $22 range.
Now on to the Margaritas!
I often take food/drink photographs on my kitchen floor because the sun beams onto the floor perfectly for photos. I have 4 very curious kitties and they often wander into the photo. Today “Ziggy Elman” (named after the Jazz trumpeter) wandered into the photo of my Pink Lemonade Champagne Margaritas. It looks like he took a lick of my margarita. He did not. He was just licking his lips anticipating getting a lick of it (which I would never allow).
Pink Champagne Lemonade Margarita
One of the fun things about this cocktail is that when you finish the cocktail you get to eat the blackberries that have been soaking in the margarita…yum!
Rim margarita glasses by dipping them in lime juice and then rolling the edges in fine sugar (“Extra Fine” otherwise known as “Fine” sugar is best for rimming cocktail glasses because it has the smallest crystal of all white sugars. It has a delicate appearance and dissolves easily into cold drinks). Locally I purchase fine sugar at Fresh Market or it is available on-line. Place margarita glasses in the freezer to chill while preparing your cocktails.
12 ounces frozen pink lemonade, thawed
(use empty lemonade can to measure water, tequila and orange liqueur)
1 can water
1 can tequila
1/4 can orange liqueur
Rosé Champagne or Sparkling Wine ~ a splish splash for each drink (optional)
Blackberries and limes for garnish
Lime slices and fine sugar to rim the margarita glasses
Place the pink lemonade, water, tequila and orange liqueur in a large pitcher. Stir with a big spoon until all ingredients are combined. In batches, place margarita mixture and ice in a blender container. Blend until ice is finely crushed. Serve in chilled margarita glasses. Top each cocktail with a splash of Rosé Champagne or Sparkling Wine. Drop a few blackberries into the margaritas and then cut slits in some blackberries to set on the sides of the glasses. Place one thin lime slice in each glass. Place any unused portion of this cocktail in a freezer container and place in freezer to keep cold for refills.