Adding a little bit of spice and spirits to your dinner table this summer.
There’s a whole spectrum of flavors, textures, and ingredients when it comes to authentic Mexican victuals. Unique, fresh, and tender, these dishes have some of the most versatile flavors on the market. And what’s better than pairing these dishes with Mexico’s most popular beverage — tequila! Guided by local chef Johnny Graham, we dug into five authentic Mexican dishes paired with the newly popular El Bandido Tequila.
Carne Asada means “roasted or grilled meat” in Spanish. Steak is marinated before and after it’s cooked with traditional Mexican spices like jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro, plus lime juice and salt. It’s a dish that many of us have grown to love, and when there’s a bold dish, there’s an even bolder beverage. Don’t be afraid to enjoy this savory, yet spicy, dish with a shot of El Bandido Tequila!
To start a meal, Chef Johnny Graham likes to go with flavor profiles that are polar opposites of one another. Bursting with flavor, Ceviche is a truly refreshing dish on its own with fresh fish, shrimp, cilantro, corn, and jalapeno peppers, all seasoned, marinated, and cooked together in lime juice. To combat this dish’s spicy, sweet, and sour profiles, it can only be paired with a bold beverage like a Bloody Maria.
Shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream. America has taken the taco and turned it into something quite opposite of its original creation. Traditional Mexican tacos are made with a few simple ingredients — including freshly made corn tortillas. These tacos happen to include pork slowly cooked with pineapple, onion, and the option to add cotija cheese and other fresh toppings. Sprinkle as much or as little as you like, but don’t forget that adding too much may mask all those savory juices from the pork. What drink would go with so many topping options? Try pairing this dish with a Bonito Hound from Logboat Brewing Co. It’s certainly no lemonade, but the beers’ lightness from its lemon profile pairs well with several flavor combinations.
There are so many variations of chili used in Mexican dishes, each with its own characteristics. However, the combination of hot peppers and chocolate gives one dish a particularly sweet, but spicy, flavor — the chicken mole. This truly authentic Mexican dish is often difficult to master, which is why Chef Johnny recently spent time in Mexico with fellow chefs and friends learning how to cook this tedious, time consuming, but ultimately delicious, and one-of-a-kind dish. To cut through the chocolate, peppers, and the overall richness of the chicken, mole is paired with a Watermelon Bandita. A mix of fresh watermelon, lime juice, orange juice, and tequila, this beverage is a bit lighter on your palate to help counter the heaviness of the mole.
As the meal comes to an end, there’s nothing better than taking in a sweet, citrus blend after a spicy entree. While you can fi nd many traditional variations of flan flavors, this one is made with orange-scented flour, eggs, condensed milk, and topped with a caramel glaze. One of Mexico’s most popular desserts, flan is smooth, rich, creamy, and as sweet as it is irresistible with the first bite. A match made in heaven (or on the beach), Chef Johnny pairs this dessert with a passionate sunrise combining El Bandido Tequila, pineapple, passionfruit, and orange juice with a little grenadine for color.