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The Perfect Wine for Taco Night

The Perfect Wine for Taco Night


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When it's taco night, think Rhone

We love tacos. And there’s nothing easier for a weeknight dinner than "taco night."

Lucky for you and us, we have two very good reasons to have a taco-themed party — a) it’s a good excuse to have your friends over and b) it’s easy to execute! You may be tempted to enjoy some margaritas, but save the calories have a glass of wine, as we discussed recently in The Daily Sip.

Although choosing the right wine for a taco party can be challenging, you can’t go wrong with a Cotes du Rhône. Cotes du Rhônes are often comprised of syrah, grenache, and mourvèdre ("GSM") grapes; these wines often offer spiciness that is a perfect complement for flavorful dish tacos. Best of all, since Michael Mina recommends a taco bar that includes teak, chicken, or fish as outlined below, you want to choose a wine that medium-bodied as to work with spicy fish and chicken and weighty enough to stand up to your tacos con carne. Louis Bernard’s 2011 Cotes du Rhône is rust red in color and weighty enough to stand up the chorizo, crema, and black beans Mina recommends.

Bottom line: when thinking taco night, think Rhône wines.

Taco Bar: Steak, Chicken, or Fish with Chili-Agave Marinade, Mango Salsa Two Ways, & Midnight Black Beans with Crema
DISH 1: Chili-Agave Marinade & Grilling Tilapia, Steak & Chicken Skewers
DISH 2: Mango Salsas 2 ways
DISH 3: Midnight Black Beans
DISH 4: Garnishes: Red Cabbage, Radishes & Cilantro-Lime Crema

Louis Bernard "Cotes Du Rhone" 2011
o Cherry red color. Expressive nose with stewed cherry and red fruits aromas.
o On the palate, it is harmonious and rich, with round tannins and a lively, fruit-forward character.
o Perfect with poultry, grilled or stewed red meat and soft cheese.


These Shrimp Tacos Will Elevate Your Taco Night

We love recipes that are delicious, fast to make, and can be served at a fancy dinner party or to your family mid-week. This recipe for shrimp tacos with Parmesan-crusted tortillas and quick-pickled red onions hits all of those marks. The recipe's creator is Ashley Schuering, and her blog — Confessions of a Grocery Addict — was recently launched in June, and already, Schuering has thousands of followers. She's been in the restaurant business since she was 15, starting as a restaurant hostess, and over the years, she's also been a server and restaurant manager. "I think about food all the time," Schuering told us. "I've worked in professional kitchens so I know that when something gets 86'd (restaurant jargon for when an item is no longer available), you need to work on the fly and substitute ingredients. One of the things that I like about cooking," she said, "is you can riff. It's like jazz."

Most of Schuering's recipes on her blog are very easy, and most don't take more than 30 minutes of active cooking time. This recipe is no exception: ten minutes to prep and ten minutes to cook. Although the recipe calls for jalapeño peppers, you can modulate the heat. "It's not super spicy, it's not super tangy, and it's not a challenging-palate recipe," she said. "Kids love it." So let's get started with Schuering's easy recipe by gathering up the ingredients.


These Unique Slaws Will Take Your Fish Tacos from Good to Amazing

Stop, for a moment, and consider the best fish tacos you’ve ever had. There’s always that something extra that brings together a harmony of flavors—maybe something sweet, or creamy, or crunchy (or all three)! More often than not, that clutch addition to those favorite fish tacos is a refreshing slaw to counterbalance the taste and texture of your grilled or fried fish ingredients. And the worst fish tacos tend to flagrantly omit the integral slaw topping. Make your fish tacos memorable (for the right reasons) with these excellent and unique slaw topping recipes.

Most slaws are coleslaws, meaning they have a cabbage base (kool meaning cabbage). This first recipe follows that trend, but sidesteps boring with the addition of tangy lime juice and spicy jalapeños. Thinly-sliced red pepper rounds out the last of the “big three” in terms of factors varied in a well-rounded meal: taste, texture, and color (thanks, home economics class!). This coleslaw complements even simply-seasoned grilled fish in a taco. Get our Spicy Lime and Jalapeño Coleslaw recipe.

A true cole-less slaw, our our Carrot Slaw recipe uses grated carrots instead of cabbage. With Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and orange zest, its flavor profile is tangy, and it delivers the crunchy texture we expect from a good slaw. The vinegary, mustardy taste would pair well with tacos of beer-battered fish (think fish and chips-style), providing a healthier kick than the usual tartar sauce.

Light and refreshing, this slaw of endive, fennel, and apple adds a bright crispness your fish tacos would otherwise lack. The dressing consists of oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and shallots, highlighting the sometimes subtle flavors of the fennel. Try with deep-fried fish or even poke-style tuna! Get our Fennel-Apple Slaw recipe.

When you’re looking to make your fish tacos extra-colorful and veggie-ful, look no farther than this recipe for Rainbow Slaw. Bringing back the cabbage base, this coleslaw uses both green and red varieties, as well as yellow pepper, orange pepper, red tomatoes, orange carrots, and deep purple Kalamata olives to create a vibrant, vitamin-packed salad or taco topping. Apple cider vinegar and maple syrup combine for a touch of unexpected sweetness.

This next recipe takes that first spicy slaw to the next level by introducing a delectable creaminess with Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. It’s got the cabbage (though purple this time), the jalapeño, and the citrus, but now with those additional ingredients to provide cooling respite. Get this recipe for Creamy Cilantro Lime Slaw, touted for its halibut-taco toppability.

If you like the idea of a “cooling” slaw, but you’re not in love with mayo (mayo and I are already in a committed relationship anyway, so back off!), this recipe for Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw delivers “refreshing” with only a fraction of the mayo! Lemon juice, poppy seeds, and julienned apple make this coleslaw pop with tanginess, creating the perfect foil to your taco’s fried-fish protagonist.

With ginger, sesame seeds, and pineapple, this next slaw just begs to be paired with tuna poke or blackened salmon. While this recipe for Skinny Hawaiian Slaw calls for two cups of slaw mix, you can just as easily (and more cheaply) chop and shred the cabbage variety of your choice. This super fresh and bright slaw will be a welcome addition to fish tacos as well as an excellent take-along side for picnics!

This last slaw marries sweet and spicy with the help of a lime-mango vinaigrette. The citrus of limes and half an orange, the sweetness of honey, and the heat from chili pepper combine to perfectly accent the crunchy mixture of cabbage and jicama. Diced mango and cilantro bring it all together for a complex slaw that will take shrimp and fish tacos to a whole other level. Get this recipe for Mango Jicama Slaw and Lime-Mango Vinaigrette.

Any way you slice it (“it” being cabbage or another crunchy vegetable), you’re bound to enhance a boring old slaw-less fish taco with added layers of texture and flavor. Choose sweet, creamy, bright, spicy—or a combination of all!—and “relish” (yes, we went there) the perfect harmony fostered from your fish taco topping of choice!


Recipe Summary

  • ⅓ cup masa corn flour, optional
  • 12 (6-in.) thin flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ cup taco sauce (such as Ortega taco sauce)
  • ¼ cup red enchilada sauce
  • ¾ cup pre-shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¾ cup pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ¼ cups refried beans, heated through
  • ¾ cup cooked ground beef seasoned with Taco Bell taco seasoning mix
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup finely diced tomato

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium. If using corn flour, lightly dredge 1 tortilla at a time in corn flour, and dust off any excess.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of the oil to skillet, and add a tortilla cook, turning often, until lightly golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Set aside on metal rack or paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Stir together taco sauce and enchilada sauce in a small bowl set aside. Combine cheeses in another bowl set aside.

Preheat oven to broil. Spread about 3 tablespoons beans on 1 tortilla add about 2 tablespoons taco meat. Top with a second tortilla spread 2 tablespoons sauce mixture evenly over top tortilla, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Top with 1 tablespoon each of tomatoes and olives. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat building process with remaining ingredients to make 6 pizzas. Place baking sheet in center of oven, and broil 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted. Let stand 3 minutes before cutting into quarters.


Thin, naturally grain-free chickpea flour pancakes take the place of tortillas in these warmly spiced lamb and eggplant “tacos.”

Think you have enough taco recipes? But what about dessert? The original Choco Taco may have a cult following, but we think this homemade version has it beat.

Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.

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Wine and food matching

This doesn’t have to be a sommelier-level event – nor, really, can it be. Can you imagine wine and food matching on a picnic? Are you going to find a wine that goes perfectly with sausages, brie, and hummus? By the way, never mix brie with hummus, they do not get on.

I’d recommend bringing a lightly oaked or unoaked chardonnay, such as Lindeman’s Bin 65. It’ll be particularly good with a quiche or cold chicken but will go with pretty much anything. If your picnic is leaning towards the meaty or you’re barbecuing then a not-too-hefty Australian shiraz, such as Lindeman’s Bin 50, is ideal, especially as they tend to be much fresher than they once were.

Oh, and who doesn’t like sparkling wine on a picnic? A good bottle of fizz turns a meal alfresco into a celebration.

A refreshing bicicletta – no measuring required. Photograph: Marco Bagnoli/Getty Images/EyeEm


Ossobuco

Those who have had the chance to go to Italy — or just visit an especially nice Italian restaurant — will know all about the popular dish called ossobuco. This is one of the most delicious meat dishes you will ever try, though it may seem a bit out of the ordinary. You'll cook veal shanks so the bone marrow inside will get nice and tender, making it the ideal consistency to mix with the polenta you'll eat it with. This rich dish does take some time to make, so it may be a good idea to try this ossobuco recipe on the weekend.


Homemade Taco Seasoning

We love tacos at our house! This homemade taco seasoning is a great way to always have the most important ingredient on hand at all times.

Our oldest LOVES tacos! She requests them at least once a week, if not more and I’ve learned not to ask her what sounds good for supper because she will, undoubtedly, say, “tacos,” even if we just had them the night before.

I’ve found myself on several occasions digging through the pantry hoping there is a taco seasoning packet hiding in there somewhere. Rather than disappointing the oldest, I decided to try making my own. I knew that I already had all the spices I needed in the cabinet, so I gave it a whirl!

All you have to do is combine the 6 TBSP of chili powder, 4 tsp ground cumin, 3 tsp paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. You can add more cayenne pepper based on how spicy you like it. Not everyone in our house likes spicy, so we stick to the 1/8 teaspoon.

I like to keep it in a Ball jar in my pantry, so it’s always ready to go. If you start to make tacos and realize you don’t have enough taco seasoning, it only takes a few minutes to mix up another batch! I like to make a double batch at a time because we go through a lot of it!

I use 2 Tablespoons of the mixture with one pound of meat. Stir into the hamburger just like you would normal taco seasoning…with a little bit of water and enjoy!


Costco Is Selling the Perfect Canned Wine For a Hot Summer Day

Picture it. Sitting by the pool under the beating sun with your girlfriends, sunbathing the day away. There’s one thing missing from this picture &mdash a nice, refreshing beverage in hand. With so much canned alcohol on the market, from seltzers to beer to even canned wine, finding the perfect one is quite a process. Costco is our go-to spot for picking up an adult drink, as they’ve got incredible deals on booze (remember when they were even selling Kylie Jenner’s favorite tequila at a discounted price?). But our favorite latest find? A 12-pack of sparkling wine that’s got less than 100 calories and only 1 gram of sugar. Now that’s what we’re talking about.

The popular Instagram account @costco.mademedoit shared the deal writing, “This was the first time I have seen this sparkling clean wine at Costco!! @socialsparkling There was no second guessing this purchase either! I love wine and I also watch my added sugar intake, so I was super excited to get these. 🙌🏼❤️🙌🏼 I had one last night, and it was really good!! Can&rsquot wait to try another flavor today 🥰”

Okay, these look incredible. The flavors seem super refreshing too: hibiscus cucumber, elderflower apple, strawberry rose, and pink grapefruit ginger. If you have a gluten allergy, no need to worry. These are gluten-free, sulfate-free, BPA-free, and organic. If you aren’t a big seltzer fan but are still wanting a light, summery drink, this could easily become your go-to summer party refreshment.

Head to your local Costco to get your hands on these, we sure know we want to. Who knows? Maybe sparkling wine is the seltzer of 2021. One thing we know for sure is after the year we’ve all had, we deserve a drink.

Before you go, check out our roundup of summer cocktails below:


From Cocktails to Dinner: Five Recipes Perfect for Camping

If you’re heading out for an overnight or weekend camping trip, it’s important to plan your meals ahead of time. And while you might be anticipating eating nuts or fruit slices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is possible to pack meals with more flavor and substance. All you need is a bit of planning.

From breakfast to dinner, we’ve got you covered with camping recipes ranging from hearty granola to a whiskey cocktail that’s a perfect nightcap.

Start your morning off with this hearty mixture of sunflower seeds, almonds and more.

All you need are three ingredients plus water to make a filling bread right over your campfire. Alternatively, you can bake it the oven ahead of time as well.

Nothing pairs with the outdoors quite like whiskey. You can make this cocktail two weeks ahead of time or the day of your camping excursion.

Make this dish ahead of time and then freeze it. On the day of your camping trip pack it in a thermos and then defrost it over your campfire for a hearty meal.

To ensure your salad is as fresh as possible, be sure to make it and eat it the same day.



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