Chef Rick Bayless

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are fast approaching, which means parties and entertaining. Chef Rick Bayless joins us to share a festive margarita recipe and shrimp cocktail with a Mexican twist. Both are recipes from his book, Fiesta at Rick's.

Blood Orange Margarita
Margarita de Naranja Rosa
Makes 9 6-ounce cocktails 

2/3 cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup sugar

1 cup 100% agave silver tequila (some good choices for this drink are Tres Generaciones and El Milagro)

½ cup Cointreau

2 cups fresh blood orange juice (you’ll need about 6 juicy blood oranges)

A lime half for moistening the glass rims

Coarse (Kosher) salt

Ice cubes (you’ll need about 6 cups—small ones are best)

1. Make the base. In a large pitcher, stir together the lime juice, sugar and 3/4 cup water until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the tequila, Cointreau and blood orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

2. Shake and serve.  Moisten the rims of 3 6-ounce martini glasses with the cut side of a lime half. Spread coarse salt on a small plate, then upend the glasses into the salt to crust the rims. Fill a cocktail shaker about ¾ full of ice and measure in 1 ½ cups of the margarita for 3 drinks. Cover and shake for about 15 seconds to thoroughly chill the mixture. Strain into the prepared glasses and hand to your guests.  When you’re ready, finish the remaining margaritas in the same way.

Mexican-Style Shrimp Cocktail
Cóctel de Camarón
Make 4 cups, serving 6 to 8 as a starter

1 pound (71 to 90 pieces per pound) peeled, cooked small shrimp

¾ cup ketchup

¼ cup Mexican hot sauce (such as Valentina or Tamazula)

½ cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off)

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 small white onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces

¾ cup clam juice, shellfish stock or water

Salt

1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and sliced

2 to 3 dozen crackers (standard-issue saltines, artisanal crackers or the homemade red chile crackers) OR 8 to 12 ounces of tortilla chips

2 limes, cut into wedges

1. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, ketchup, hot sauce, cilantro, lime juice and onion. Stir in the clam juice, stock or water. Taste and season with salt if you think it needs it. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

2. Serve the cocktail in small bowls topped with slices of avocado, accompanied by saltine crackers (for a very authentic touch) or tortilla chips and lime wedges for your guests to squeeze on.