I was in the car yesterday listening to an interview with Gustavo Arellano on NPR. He wrote “How Mexican Food Conquered America” and he talked about how his opinion of mass-produced Mexican food has changed dramatically over the course of his professional career. He used to feel that Americans were wasting their time on food that was bastardized from its roots, but he’s mellowed and now sees its as a “gateway food”. His theory: if we explore better, more authentic Mexican food as a result of eating the stuff we can find in strip malls, then the cheap, ubiquitous Mexican food (TexMex or otherwise) has served its delicious, melty purpose.
What he doesn’t know is that I’ve been ruined by globalization. I’m pretty sure Gustavo didn’t mean that we should start a meal with the best margarita recipe ever and then have an Asian beef salad.
We started dinner with this cocktail, Bon Appetit’s Agave Margarita. I will never make margaritas any other way. It was so delicious and not too sweet, which recipes using Triple Sec tend to be.
For dinner, we grilled beef tenderloin, made a salad with THE BEST ginger vinaigrette ever (which I got from Andra) and a pot of sticky rice in the rice cooker and let everyone assemble their own plates.
Almost Andra’s Ginger Vinaigrette (she doesn’t use measurements)
1 part, about 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 parts, about 1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (using a small Microplane grater)
Splash of Mirin
Splash of soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
Pepper to taste (there’s already enough salt in the soy sauce)
Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified.
Enjoy with any cocktail or dessert you want. Themes that span from cocktails to dessert are so 2011.