Wednesday, January 20, 2010

#27 - Tilapia Tacos & Purple Corn Sangria

On a random Tuesday afternoon last year with nothing else on the tele, we gave an episode of Boy Meets Grill with Bobby Flay a try.

What came from it just proves that worthless television can occasionally produce great results (Lesson: watch more worthless TV - may I suggest Bridezillas?).

It's a sangria concoction of Peruvian purple corn (found in many Latin grocery stores), pineapple, cinnamon, water, sugar, Pisco liquor and Sauvignon Blanc.

We've made it three times now and it's a dark, heavenly brew that has become the standard for sangria in the Ney household.

One caveat: cheap Sauvignon Blanc doesn't cut it. We tried using Barefoot once and it wasn't nearly as good. Kim Crawford - a wine that was hot for about two seconds last year, every wine shop ordered entirely too much, it never sold and now everyone's stuck with it by the pallet, thereby driving down the price considerably - works perfect ($13).

Food: Tilapia tacos with guacamole, radish and Brussels sprout slaw, jalapeño sour cream and hot sauce

Quickly becoming a staple, tilapia (or mahi mahi) tacos aim to be authentic Mexican (or Central American coast) tacos and, from our experience in trying to get to know these things, succeeds. Other tacos from anywhere (including Los Nopales) just don't measure up.

Fish marinade = shallot, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cilantro and cumin and then grill the fish.

Spicy, salty, earthy and fresh with the just the right acid, making everything a ridiculous, mouth-watering, blissful adventure. I wasn't even hungry when we started eating last night. Didn't matter.

Beverage: Purple Corn Sangria

Tough to explain the flavor of it. Dark and intense, yet the depth created by the purple corn takes the sweetness that plagues typical sangria down a notch. Good sangria is great, but I rarely want more than a glass or so. Purple corn sangria never gets old.

And the recipe is incredibly easy to made. Just one more step than regular sangria. Stick the purple corn and pineapple flesh in a pot of simmering water for an hour and drain.

Pairing: Yes, Please

Probably a top-three hot summer meal no matter how trite that sounds.

The sangria brightened up a bit, sure. Mostly though, the pleasure was in how complimentary the food and sangria were. It's not as if they played off each other or the sangria enhanced the food particularly, just that nothing conflicted and the consistent "Latin-ness" of everything made for a better meal than if each were separate. It stayed at that point but it was still a pretty nice place to be.

Again, wasn't even hungry and I was sad to see it end.

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