Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Southeast Meets Western Frontier: Mango Margaritas + Dinner

Ree's Mango Margarita was a nice treat on an August evening after work with the girls.  It's tasty with and without the Patron so if you'd prefer a regular smoothie, it's definitely an option.  Eventually, a dinner for five evolved... this included pork chops, fried apples, biscuits and fig preserves.  ...because if company is worth inviting, they should be worth cooking for :)   

Step One:  Assemble Ingredients and Containers
Tropical Smoothie/Margarita assembly area.
I used the following ingredients:
  • 2 limes
    • 1 tablespoon zest for rim
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar in the Raw, brown - for rim
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, white - for rim
  • 1.5 cups Silver Patron
  • 1.5 cups Triple Sec
  • 2 20 oz jars of Tropical Fruit (my grocery store didn't have the mango so I improvised)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Step Two:  Use a sturdy blender... Smoothies are a beast
In the blender... if only they weren't so noisy...
I've gone through quite a few blenders primarily because I don't like anything that leaks or takes too long to get the job done.  I used to buy the plastic pitcher blenders- big mistake, only mess with glass ones folks.  The fruit, Patron, Triple Sec, Tropical fruit (drained, save the juice), juice from the limes and granulated sugar were added to the blender and topped off with ice cubes.  The smoothie setting blended this concoction quite nicely. 

 Step Three:  Set the scene
Aesthetics improve appetites. Period.
To prep the glasses, dip the tops in the collected Tropical Fruit juice and then swirl in a mixture of the rim ingredients (Sugar in the Raw, Granulated Sugar and Lime zest).  This will give a nice frosted appearance and an extra little sweet sensation to take the edge off the lime in the smoothie.

 Step Four:  Try your hand at biscuits
Attempting homemade biscuits (from scratch... that's where it got me).
I am going to go ahead and say:  I have made fluffy biscuits before.  That said, I may have gotten a little too cocky.  I thought I'd just whip some up from scratch using the recipe on the back of a flour bag... wrong.  So now, I am on a search for the perfect biscuits from scratch!  If you have a favorite biscuit recipe and wouldn't mind sharing, please do!  (Yes, I know biscuits are available in the frozen aisle and via mixes, but I want to start with flour and come up with something delisch). 

So I'm not going to share this recipe because I don't think it warrants repetition.  The biscuits were too crunchy for the generally accepted biscuit.

 Step Five:  Let the stove do all the work 
Fried apples and biscuits are a savory combo.
To accompany the biscuits and pork chops, I cut up 3 granny smith apples and let them simmer over low heat for ~20 minutes in about 2 tablespoons of butter.  I prefer the apples to still have a slight crunch.  I sprinkled them with ligh brown sugar to cut any bitterness and a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon for the taste buds.

 Step Six:  Easy pork chops in your Dutch oven
Dutch oven pork chops
When I got off work, I placed 9 pork chops in my Dutch oven with 2 cups of water and cooked in the oven at 350 deg F for 1 hour.  The pork chops were very moist and the resultant broth is excellent for making soups later in the week.  I seasoned the pork chops with Kroger brand general meat tenderizer (0.5 tablespoon), 1 teaspoon chef's black pepper, 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon oregano.  I put the seasonings in a gallon size ziploc bag and worked the seasonings into the chops before adding them to the Dutch oven. 

 Step Seven:  Just add butter and preserves
Southern yum factor = 10/10

All in all, I was quite pleased with this meal despite my pebble biscuits ;).  I think the girls enjoyed it, too. 

98 cal/16 g carbs/ 0 g fat/ 1 g carbs in 1.5 cups of margarita

408 cal/ 29 g carbs/ 22 g fat/ 23 g carbs for 1 pork chop, 0.5 cup apples, and 1 buttered biscuit with fig preserves

  1. If you've got company coming and you aren't sure of a biscuit recipe, just buy them.  Better safe than sorry. 
  2. The smoothie mix will store nicely in a gallon zip lock bag in the freezer if you have leftovers or want to keep a mix on hand for a long period of time.
  3. Dutch ovens are fantastic!  If you don't have one, put it on your bucket kitchen list.  

1 comment:

  1. Okay, 3 things about biscuits. 1) My mother tried to mimic my grandmother's biscuits for years, no DECADES, only to discover about 7 years ago that Mamaw has been simply adding a teaspoon of soda to Pioneer biscuit mix all these years. 2) If I'm going to buy biscuits, Pillsbury frozen are my faves. Please don't guilt me into looking at the ingredient list, though. 3) Let me know when you find that perfect recipe. I'm stealing it.