Part One: Something to drink, the Frontera Margarita
This is the best margarita you will ever have in your life. The best. If you’re having a fourth of July party or even if you’re not you’ll want to make this your official party drink of summer. Every host(ess) should have a specialty, and I encourage you to make this yours! This bit of lime and tequila perfection comes from, Rick Bayless,—public television superstar and the gringo authority on all delicious Mexican things. Now if you’re wondering if you’re alcoholic indulgences are vegan, look no further than this handy little site: Barnivore. Not much to look at, but the information is there and easily searchable.
To begin, we need to think ahead because this especial needs some time to steep. Like 6–8 hours. Get it started the night before. It will just take a few minutes and you’ll be so glad you did. It makes all the difference. You’ll never buy another jug of that disgusting sludge masquerading as a margarita mix, which by the way is guaranteed to give you a hangover. It’s not the tequila, it’s all that crazy corn syrup. Well, maybe it’s the tequila too, but the sugar isn’t doing you any favors. It’s as simple as tequila and limes folks, make it happen. Delicious but cuidado. That’s spanish for caution. These babies creep on you. They’ll leave you hammered.
Eight servings, depending on who your friends are
6–8 to steep, about 10 minutes hands on to prepare
From Rick Bayless
A few tips on citrus zesting and squeeezing: Zest first, then squeeze. Before you give it a squeeze pop your limes in the microwave for 10–15 seconds. Then try using a pair of kitchen tongs to squeeze instead of your wimpy old hands.
- 1 3/4 cups tequila
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. lime zest, finely grated
- 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
- 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
- 8 lime wedges, for serving
- 3 cups ice cubes, for serving
- The day before you want to serve your margaritas, you’ll need to combine the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a pitcher. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.
- Spread the salt out in a shallow dish. Use a cut lime to rub the rim of each glass and then dip in the salt. Shake off the excess salt. Add the ice to the pitcher. Stir to combine and pour into the salt rimmed glasses. Garish with a lime wedge and serve.
Part Two: The Grill, Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Basil Aioli
And to keep it all on the up and up, let’s get some food in your belly too. How about a little grilled portobello burger with the most amazing basil aioli. I’m not sure you can sincerely call anything vegan an aioli, but we’ll let it slide. It sounds so much more intriguing than may-on-ayze. Aioli… just flutters off the tongue and so with this spread. It absolutely makes this recipe. You can also add some fake cheese to this if you’re into that sorts thing, but I really think it takes away from the whole deal. My suggestion is to leave it be. It won’t be missed.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Basil Aioli
About 30 minutes to prepare
From The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen
Portobello Burger Ingredients
- 4 large portobello mushrooms, wiped clean with dampened paper towels
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tomato, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
- 4 hamburger buns
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 3 garlic cloves, put through a garlic press
- 24 fresh basil leaves, thinly slivered
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- fresh ground pepper
- To make the basil aioli: Combine the vegan mayonnaise, garlic, basil, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, you could toss it all into a small food processor and pulse until well combined.
- For the portobello burgers: Cut the stems off the portobello mushrooms flush with the mushroom caps. Using the tip of a paring knife, make tiny holes in the caps.
- Combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Generously brush the portobello caps and tomato slices with some of the oil and vinegar mixture and season them with salt and pepper.
- Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
- Arrange the portobello caps, rounded side down, grill until nicely browned and soft, about 3 to 6 minutes per side.
- Spread the insides of the rolls or buns with basil aioli. Add the grilled mushrooms, tomato slices, and arugula.