Sauza Tequila and Chef Marcela

Way back in the day I, like many young people, had a love affair with Tequila. It was a rocky affair, that’s for sure. And most of those evenings it ended badly. After a while, I had to break up with Tequila, and I tried not to look back. But then I spent some time in Mexico with my cousin, who at the time was a Tequila connoisseur. We would order it straight and sip it, trying several different varieties. We would chase it with Sangrita, which is like almost like a tiny Bloody Mary, but better.

After I had kids, I substituted Tequila for red wine and thought that was the end of it. That was until Monday. Sauza Tequila was front and center for a party hosted by Chef Marcela Valladolid of the Food Network and bloggers Ana Flores, Elizabeth Peterson, Debbie Lavdas, and Sugar Jones. Chef Marcela made some fabulous margaritas with Sauza Gold and Silver Tequila. They tasted good, went down easy, and I’m happy to say, it did not end badly the next day.

Chef Marcela making a napolean with Sauza Tequila

My favorite was the Citrus Cooler Margarita made with white wine, limeade, lemon-lime soda, and Sauza Silver Tequila. I love limemade (I use it for Sangria) and the drink wasn’t too sweet or too strong. The Warm Winter Margarita with cinnamon and dried fruit made me really happy and it might replace my Kahlua, coffee, and Abuelita drink that I make on New Year’s Eve.

Not only did we learn how to make drinks, but Chef Marcela did a few cooking demonstrations for us with tequila as an ingredient. Amazing. We had Rack of Lamb with an Ancho Chili Crust, Tequila Lime Shrimp, and wonderful Brussels Sprouts in Morilla Cream.

She was very generous with her knowledge and so nice. I appreciate her trying to talk me down from making pan dulce, a Mexican sweet bread, for my son’s school. They are time consuming to make and, because it’s a yeast bread, temperamental. She suggested making buñuelos, which is a fried bread, out of par cooked tortilla dough and cinnamon sugar. It sounds much simpler for this busy time of year.

Chef Marcela had so many great recipes, but I wanted to share two of my favorites.

Citrus Cooler Margarita
Serves 6
The perfect way to combine tequila and wine. The wine makes the tequila taste so fruity. It is irresistible!

1/2 part white wine
1 part limeade
1 part lemon lime soda
1/2 part Sauza ® Silver Tequila

Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Mix well. Serve cold or iced. 

Brussels Sprouts in Morilla Cream
Serves 4-6
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds brussels sprouts. halved
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
3 scallions (white and pale green parts only)
1 morilla chile, stemmed, seeded, and very thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper To Taste

Method of Preparation:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the brussels sprouts and stir for 1 minute to coat them with butter. Add the broth, cover, and simmer for 7 minutes, or until the brussels sprouts are tender. Uncover and continue to simmer for 4 minutes, or until all of the broth evaporates. Transfer brussels sprouts to medium bowl.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in same pan. Add the sunflower seeds, scallions, and chile and saute for 2 minutes, or until the nuts are toasted and chile is tender. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, return the brussels sprouts to pan, and toss to coat them with the cream. Season the brussels sprouts to taste with salt and pepper.