The Only Margaritas I’ve Ever Loved and Scallops with Bacon Beurre Blanc de Tocino and Cilantro

01.3.12

In 1993 I discovered margaritas. One week later my boyfriend, my gay travel-mate and I were spilling a pitcher of margaritas on a pool table in a crappy bar in the middle of a Colorado Winter. A few hours later I found out that my boyfriend was curious about kissing my gay friend and were I not retching I might have cared. That was the one and only week of the margaritas.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila floor…. as the saying goes.

Almost twenty years later I was able to enjoy a margarita again. During my trip to Gran Velas Riviera Nayarit we sampled dozens of margaritas (sampled folks… it was like one sip of each) and learned to make a few dishes. Chef Claudio Hotter is the executive Chef at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, he spent a day cooking with all of us and shared these recipes.

Scallops with Bacon Beurre Blanc de Tocino and Cilantro

4 portions

Ingredients

12 pieces Scallops (vieras)
150 gr. Champignons (mushrooms) (approx 1/3 pound)
Olive oil
Salt, pepper

Beurre Blanc

200 gr. Butter (1 3/4 sticks)
60 gr. Shallot (2 oz)
200 ml. red wine vinegar (3/4 cup)
Salt, pepper
100 gr. Smoked bacon (3.5 ounces)
30 gr. Fine chopped parsley (a sprinkling)

Décor
05 gr. coriander
02 gr. chives
02 gr. Dill
Olive oil
Salt, pepper

Preparation:
Clean all ingredients
Cut the champignons into quarters sauté them in olive oil and season with salt and
pepper.
Sautee the shallot and smoked bacon then add the red wine vinegar and the butter.
Fine chopped parley in our sauce.

Grill the scallops on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
Heat up the champignon and serve it with scallops over it and lastly add the buerre blanc over the grilled scallops.

Garnish with fresh coriander and chives, drop some olive oil over it and
Bon appetite

And to accompany it try this amazing margarita.

Tamarind Mint Margarita

1.5 oz Tamarind Concentrate
4 Fresh Mint Leaves
1.5 oz Tequila
½ oz Controy (Mexican Orange Liqueur)
Dash of Lemon Juice
Dash of Simple Syrup

Preparation:
Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously and serve in salt-rimmed frosted glass.

I did notice that all the fine dining restaurants in Riviera Nayarit the salts were complex and the margaritas were served in martini glasses. Some of the salts were sweet, others were tart (I loved those) and still others were spicy. I’m not sure where to get all those fabulous salts here in the US, but I’m going to figure it out.

Sayulita: The hippie enclave you MUST visit in Mexico

12.13.11

While staying at Gran Velas in Riviera Nayarit we took a few trips around the region.

My favorite day was spent exploring this tiny little town called Sayulita. It was about a twenty minute scenic drive through the mountains from Riviera Nayarit to Sayulita. The roads weren’t particularly well maintained but the forest was stunning and the slow drive down the mountain where the green canopies parted to reveal azure blue seas.

The town is a typical seaside town. The homes are small and low slung, the streets are cobblestoned and crooked. Children try to sell you string bracelets for just a peso or two and pharmacies do brisk business with American housewives looking for Ritalin and Xanax.

What makes Sayulita unusual is the artisanal community that has sprung up. When we arrived there was a farmer’s market in full force with organic and gluten free offerings.

sayulita farmers market

sayulita farmers market gluten free

Captain Pablo and his wife live in a beautiful casita right on the beach (you can see it’s gate on the top left of the frame). They are from Portland, Oregon and have two sons who are professional surfers.

sayulita surf lessons

There’s a little campground there that looks like a lot of fun for young adults (but not me) as well as quite a few rental homes. When you’re there look for the tortilla factory, if your back is to the ocean it’s up the hill and to the right. Buy a bag of fresh tortilla chips, they are a treat not to be missed.

The Hotel Des Artistes is NOT TO BE MISSED. The art gallery is amazing. You could stay there and spend your days lounging in Sayulita. I haven’t seen the rooms at the Hotel Des Artistes but I’ll give you a little glimpse at our lunch. Take a look at how they serve dessert for large parties.

On our way back to Gran Velas we stopped to watch a Polo Match with the La Patrona team. The horses were beautiful and it was fascinating as I was sitting next to a journalist who happens to be associated with a thoroughbred rescue. She was explaining to me how polo can be deadly for horses and how it’s not a sport that she’d support. But while watching the horses really didn’t corner that quickly (which is how they break legs and lose their lives) and the riders seemed very cognizant of the safety of the horses.

So we sipped fruity cocktails and enjoyed it guilt free.

Polo Grounds