TIME Food & Drink

Celebrate National Tequila Day With These 7 Cocktail Recipes

pepinos-revenge
Antonis Achilleos Pepino's Revenge

From juleps to margaritas

Tequila lovers, rejoice! Today is National Tequila Day and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a deliciously bright, boozy and refreshing beverage. Here are seven super summery tequila cocktails perfect for National Tequila Day:

1. Mint and Lime Tequila Refresher
Here’s a great way to use mint when it’s at its peak. It’s a simple mix of mint, lime juice, sugar, tequila and club soda.

2. Paloma Italiana
This variation on the Paloma is made with tequila and grapefruit soda.

3. Hibiscus-Tequila Cocktails
When Jacques Pépin was new to Playa del Carmen, local friends taught him how to turn the dried hibiscus flowers from the market into a tart and aromatic tea that’s popular in the Yucatán. To make a refreshing cocktail, he mixes the bright red tea with tequila, lime juice, jarabe (bottled sugar syrup) and a splash of hot sauce.

4. Cortez Julep
Use a bold tequila (such as 7 Leguas Blanco) for this nutty sherry-accented drink.

5. Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails
When watermelon is in abundance, this is a great way to use it. Bobby Flay purees seedless watermelon chunks, then strains the juice through a sieve and mixes it with silver tequila, sugar syrup, blueberries, mint and fresh lime juice.

6. Pepino’s Revenge
This refreshing drink boasts two super summery ingredients: cucumber and basil.

7. Mango Margarita
At the Casa Noble estate, bartender David Yan created this margarita to showcase the property’s own tequila. He coats the rim of the glass with citrusy Tajin-brand chile powder, but any powdered chile will give the drink a fun kick.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine

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The 5 Best Sauces for a Backyard Barbecue

HD-201206-r-molasses-barbecue-sauce
John Kernick Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Wow your guests

No barbecue is complete without a killer sauce. Skip the store-bought stuff and wow your guests with something homemade. Here, five DIY flavorful and smokey barbecue sauces to try.

1. Sorghum Barbecue Sauce
Bobby Flay’s rich, sweet and tangy barbecue sauce is made with sorghum syrup, which comes from sweet sorghum grass.

2. Espresso Barbecue Sauce
Grilling experts Cheryl and Bill Jamison add espresso to this sauce to give it a deeply rich, complex flavor. It’s delicious with smoked or grilled pork, beef, lamb or duck.

3. Molasses Barbecue Sauce
BBQ expert Adam Perry Lang’s barbecue sauce—sweet, spicy and sticky—pairs perfectly with his super-flavorful chicken wings.

4. Sweet Mustard Barbecue Sauce
This sweet and pungent mustard sauce is perfect on pork chops.

5. Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
Like ketchup in a classic barbecue sauce, the Chinese condiment, hoisin, provides a satisfying contrast of sweet, salty and aromatic flavors.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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These Are the Best Wine Pairings for Your Next Barbecue

franklinbbq0615-brisket
John Kernick

Also applicable for pork ribs

Jordan Mackay is the co-author, with the Austin-based BBQ star pitmaster Aaron Franklin, of Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto. The book is a crazy success—a rare cookbook that bounded onto both the New York Times and Amazon best-seller lists—but one thing it leaves out is an answer to that vital question: What wine goes best with BBQ?

All the more strange, since Mackay has primarily made his career by writing about wine. But as he said when I spoke to him, “Aaron’s not really a wine drinker. He loves beer.” Fair enough. (He also mentioned that Franklin really loves sushi, too; that one threw me—the guy who makes the most obsessed-over brisket in all of Texas eats sushi when he’s not at work? It’s a weird world over there in Austin.)

Regardless. Since Mackay is by self-definition a wine drinker, here’s what he’s got to say about wine and barbecue (specifically Texas BBQ, i.e. beef, which is what the book is about):

Rule #1 – Skip the Zin
“Everyone talks about Zinfandel and barbecue, but I’ve never had much success with it, especially brisket. Brisket is so rich, so heavy, and it has this dense meatiness. What I like best with it is northern Rhône-style Syrah, whether an Hermitage or Côte-Rôtie, or something like Wind Gap from Northern California.

Rule #2 – Try contrast, too
“Then there’s Pinot. With brisket, you’d think you’d need something big and heavy. But the right Pinot Noir—particularly ones from Oregon—can be great with both brisket and ribs. It’s like a boxing match. The brisket is the big heavyweight, but the wiry, quick guy can really stand up to the heavyweight.”

Rule #3 – Avoid oak
“A lot of people will say an oaky wine goes well with barbecue, that the smoke and the oak barrel toastiness match up. I don’t agree. With smoke, the best pairing is a wine with rich fruit.”

Rule #4 – Don’t worry about tannins…
“When it comes to pairing wine and barbecue, the tannins don’t make as much of a difference as you’d think. Really good barbecue is fall-off-the-bone tender; you don’t need the tannic grip in the wine that you would with a steak, for instance.”

Rule #5 – …And don’t forget the dang pig
“Everything I’ve just said also applies to pork ribs.”

Though he lives in San Francisco, Mackay has his Texas bonafides down; his family moved to Texas when he was 8, and he spent the majority of his life in Austin. But even that—and even co-authoring the book with Aaron Franklin—doesn’t allow him to skip the famous 4-hour line at Franklin’s.

“Aaron’s literally one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met,” Mackay says, “but he has so much respect for his customers and the lengths they go to eat his food that I’d never ask that of him. The thing is, though, you turn waiting in line into a really fun activity. You set up some lawn chairs, bring a cooler full of beer and just have a good time.”

Or wine, Mr. Mackay. A cooler full of wine.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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Pop-Tarts Inspired Cereal Is the Ultimate Breakfast Mash-Up

fwx-mini-pop-tart-cereal
Public Lives, Secret Recipes

The process is a bit involved, but worth it

We weren’t allowed to eat Cookie Crisp growing up. Our parents said unreasonable things like, “It’s just a box full of cookies, not a breakfast cereal.” Logically we understand this is true, but at the time it seemed decidedly unfair. Well now is our chance to get back at them with something even better than tiny cookies: tiny Pop-Tarts. Caitlin Lee from the blog Public Lives, Secret Recipes has unveiled a recipe for homemade, mini-Pop-Tarts cereal.

Homemade Pop-Tarts are a thing of beauty, and if Lee’s results really taste anywhere near as good as they look, the recipe is worth a try. Though if you want it ready for your 8 a.m. breakfast, you may want to set your alarm for about 4:30 in the morning—the process is a bit involved.

Check out the recipe here. Or if you’re more of a lurker than a baker, you can check out awesome photos of some of Lee’s other creations, like her pizza grilled cheese, on her Instagram page.

This article originally appeared on FWx.

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How to Make Lobster Grilled Cheese

lobster grilled cheese
Paul Wagtouicz—Ambrose Beer and Lobster

Take a break from the traditional lobster roll

The origins of National Lobster Day remain a bit of a mystery. But it doesn’t matter who decided to dedicate a day to eating lobster; the important thing is that it happened. We decided to take a break from the traditional (though excellent) lobster roll and hunt down a more unorthodox sandwich: the lobster grilled cheese. Simply put, it mashes two of history’s great sandwiches into one. At Ambrose Beer and Lobster, New York City’s laid-back seafood spot at South Street Seaport, chef Jason Mayer has mastered the combination and ensures a perfect, crisp crust on his sourdough bread by brushing the outside with mayo instead of butter. Here are the rest of the details:

The bread: A rustic sourdough, hearty enough to stand up to the hefty filling but sliced thinly enough that it is easy to crunch through.

The filling: The star here, undoubtedly, is the quarter pound of fresh lobster, but a heavy helping of gooey Havarti cheese mixes beautifully.

Mayer was also nice enough to give us his recipe, for anyone looking for a little lobster grilled cheese action at home today.

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Makes 1 sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 slices Havarti cheese
  • 4 ounces fresh lobster meat (claw, knuckle, tail)
  • Salt

Instructions

Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan to medium. Brush the outside of the bread with mayonnaise. Layer two slices of cheese, lobster meat and the remaining 2 slices of cheese for the sandwich. Season with salt. Slowly grill until the cheese is dripping out of the sandwich and the bread is golden brown.

This article originally appeared on FWx.

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The Low-Tech Way to Vacuum-Seal Your Food

Transform a bowl of water into a DIY vacuum-sealer

 

Vacuum-sealing food before freezing really does make it last longer. But unless you have a serious Costco habit, it’s hard to justify buying an expensive, bulky countertop sealer. Luckily, F&W Test Kitchen superman Justin Chapple has an easy hack. Watch this episode of Mad Genius Tips to see how he transforms a bowl of water into a DIY vacuum sealer.

This article originally appeared on FWx.

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The Hands-Off Way to Create Ideal Burger Patties

All you need is ground beef and two takeout container lids

One of F&W’s top burger commandments is thou shalt not overwork the ground beef. If you take too much time to form the patty, the heat from your hands emulsifies the fat and results in tough, chewy burgers. In this week’s episode of Mad Genius Tips, F&W Test Kitchen hamburger helper Justin Chapple demonstrates his easy hands-off approach to forming a perfect patty. All you need is ground beef and two takeout container lids.

For more smart cooking hacks, watch all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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Why You Should Spiralize Your Hot Dogs This Summer

And add some DIY condiments

Cutting hot dogs into a spiral isn’t just fun—it makes the hot dog better, because it gets crispier on the grill and condiments like relish and mustard fall into the meaty grooves. In this week’s episode of Mad Genius Tips, F&W Test Kitchen grilling guru Justin Chapple reveals an easy way to spiralize your hot dogs using a sharp knife and a wooden skewer.

Here, three great DIY toppings for spiral hot dogs:

Chicago-Style Salsa
In a bowl, toss 1 finely chopped Persian cucumber with 1/2 cup celery leaves, 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup thinly sliced peperoncini, 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; serve on hot dogs.

Apricot Mostarda
In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water with 1 cup chopped dried apricots, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 minced shallot and 1 minced garlic clove. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are soft and coated in a light syrup, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard and 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Season with salt and let cool; serve on hot dogs.

Pickled Pepper Slaw
In a bowl, toss 1 cup sliced sweet and/or hot pickled peppers with 1/2 cup shredded romaine, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and dill. Season with salt and pepper; serve on hot dogs.

For more smart cooking hacks, watch all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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Grilling Tips for Your Summer Barbecue

Become the grill master

  • Fennel-Garlic Chicken Legs

    Food And Wine
    Con Poulos June Grilling

    Tip: Cut slits for better flavor.

    To get the most from a marinade—like the fennel-garlic one used for the chicken here—slash the skin and meat so the flavors can seep in.

    Go to recipe.

  • Juicy Grilled Tomatoes

    Con Poulos

    Tip: Grill tomatoes in a foil packet.

    The only way to grill tomatoes without losing their delicious juices is in a foil packet. Flavor the tomatoes with any fresh herbs or aromatics, then use them in a briny summer clam chowder or crostini.

    Go to recipe.

  • Harissa Chicken

    Con Poulos

    Tip: Add smoky ingredients.

    Grilling gives foods a great smoky flavor, but for even more of that flavor, turn to wood-fired ingredients like smoked paprika and chipotle chiles.

    Go to recipe.

  • Grilled Glazed Salmon

    Con Poulos

    Tip: Add sweet glazes at the end.

    As with any sweet glaze, brush the honey-horseradish-mustard sauce on the salmon in the last minutes of grilling, or else the sugars in it might burn.

    Go to recipe.

  • Smoky Glazed Asparagus

    Quentin Bacon

    Tip: Use mayo in marinades.

    Chef Nate Appleman swears by coating vegetables with a mayonnaise-based marinade; it creates a beautifully blistered crust when grilled. Here, he offers a marinade for asparagus that is also fabulous on broccoli and fennel.

    Go to recipe.

  • Middle Eastern Lamb Skewers

    Quentin Bacon

    Tip: Tenderize in onion juice.

    Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia adds onion juice or pureed onions to his Middle Eastern-style marinades to tenderize and caramelize the meat. The marinade is great on chicken breast as well as lamb.

    Go to recipe.

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6 Best Cheeses for Burgers

Getty Images

Go beyond cheddar

As chefs Michael Chiarello and Sang Yoon discuss in their Chefs in Conversation video, there are a lot of ways to screw up a burger. One way to make sure you’re treating a burger right is to top it with really great cheese. Here, the six best cheeses for burgers.

Cheddar
Perhaps the most popular option behind American cheese, salty cheddar holds up to strong flavors like the barbecue sauce on these incredible chicken burgers or the bacon and Russian dressing on these BLT burgers.

Brie
Ultra-gooey, creamy Brie takes any burger to the next, luxe level. Try it melted on top of these bacon burgers or stuffed into these scallion-flecked burgers.

Goat Cheese
Tangy goat cheese is a lighter choice for cheese. It’s great on these salty, sweet, piquant green-chile bacon burgers or these simple but super-filling double-decker burgers.

Smoked Gouda
Smoked Gouda and smoky barbecue sauce are a perfect match. Try the pairing on these messy burgers from Slows Bar-B-Q. It’s also a perfect complement to spicy horseradish on these flavorful turkey burgers.

Monterey Jack
This is one of the best cheeses for melting, which makes it perfect for a super-gooey cheese sauce like the one on Bobby Flay’s nacho burgers. Thanks to its mild flavor, Monterey Jack can also handle bold Italian flavors like those in Michael Symon’s 50/50 burgers made with hot Italian sausage and ground chuck.

Stilton
Pungent, salty and stinky, Stilton is for real cheese lovers and big, bold burgers like these topped with an insanely good port reduction. Or try it in small doses, like on these mini cheeseburgers topped with onion jam.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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