owned and operated in the UK by Oriole Restaurants Limited

owned and operated in the UK by Oriole Restaurants Limited
The Real Mexican Kitchen
A Guide to Authentic Mexican Ingredients
The Mexican Dish Dictionary
The Mexican Kitchen at Home
Tequila - The Toast of Mexico
Authentic Mexican cuisine is an unknown entity for many of us.
When asked to describe Mexican dishes, we conjure up plates of nachos
dripping with cheese, burritos bursting with sour cream and meal-kit-enchiladas
smothered in a tomato salsa, which are a far cry from the fresh and vibrant
tastes of authentic Mexican cuisine.
Mexican cuisine is as vibrant and diverse as its fascinating culture.
With its various influences – from the early Mayan Indians to the Spanish, French,
West Africans and Portuguese – Mexican food has evolved over many hundreds of years,
combining a vast array of wonderful ingredients, fantastic flavours and unique cooking
methods. The ‘real Mexican kitchen’ honours the Mexican tradition of investing time
and passion into the sourcing, preparation and cooking of fresh, wholesome food.
Cantina Laredo offers authentic Mexican food that is faithful to the way Mexicans have
been cooking – and enjoying – it for generations. To help showcase the depth and
variety of Mexican cooking, the Cantina Laredo team have put together a
short guide to authentic Mexican cuisine.
AVOCADOS
Like tomatoes, the avocado is often mistaken to be a vegetable when it is in fact a fruit. It is believed
that the Aztecs introduced avocado seedlings into Mexico during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Aztec
name for avocado was ahuacatl. This name was first changed to aguacate by the Spanish, before being
corrupted to alligator pear and then to avocado by the English. There are several varieties of avocado.
Cantina Laredo only uses the Hass variety which is distinctive for its skin that turns from green to
purplish-black when ripe. The Hass avocado has the perfect texture, flavour and oil content for Cantina
Laredo’s Top Shelf Guacamole.
TOMATILLOS (TOH-MAH-TEE-YO)
The tomatillo, which means ‘little tomato’ in Spanish, has been grown in Mexico since Aztec times,
when they were known as miltomatl. As their name suggests, tomatillos resemble a small green tomato
in size, shape and appearance except for the fact that they are enshrouded by a papery husk. The
tomatillo belongs to the same nightshade family as the tomato; however their flavour resembles that of
Mexican food varies widely between different regions within Mexico;
however fresh fish, traditional cuts of meat, and an extensive variety of
vegetables, chillies and spices form the basis of Mexican cooking.
You will find the following key ingredients in any authentic
Mexican kitchen:
tart apples with a hint of lemon, which is enhanced by cooking. At Cantina Laredo tomatillos are used
in a variety of dishes including traditional Mexican Green Sauce, Mole Sauce and Roasted
Tomatillo Salsa.
JALAPEÑO PEPPERS (HAH-LAH-PEHN-YO)
The jalapeño is one of the most commonly grown chillies in Mexico originating from the town Xalapa in
the Mexican state of Veracruz. The jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on
its growing conditions and its method of preparation. In general however, jalapeños have a heat level of
6 (10 being the hottest). The heat level of jalapeños can be reduced by deseeding and deveining the
pepper prior to eating. The jalapeño is very versatile and is used widely in authentic Mexican cooking.
At Cantina Laredo jalapeños are prepared and used in a variety of ways. For instance, freshly diced
raw jalapeños are used to make Pico De Gallo, roasted jalapeños are used in the Roasted Tomato and
Tomatillo Salsas, and fresh jalapeños are cooked in a number of sauces including the Jalapeño Beurre
Blanc Sauce and Ranchera Sauce.
POBLANO PEPPER (POE-BLAH-NOH)
Originating from the Mexican state of Puebla, the poblano pepper is another of the most popular chilli
peppers grown in Mexico. It is a large, dark green pepper with a similar flavour to a bell pepper but
with a mild heat (heat level of 3). Poblano peppers are widely used in Mexican cooking where the tough
outer skin of the poblano is often removed before eating. Poblano peppers are used in a variety of
dishes at Cantina Laredo including the traditional Mexican Chile Relleno, and our signature dish - the
Camaron Poblano Asada.
CASCABEL PEPPER (KAHS-KAH-BEL)
CORN MASA
The cascabel chilli pepper is a native of the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where it can still be found
Masa or “dough” in Spanish is made from field corn which is dried, boiled in lime water solution,
growing wild. The name cascabel means “little rattle” in Spanish and refers to the noise that the seeds
rinsed, patted dry, and then ground. Water is then added to this ground corn to form a stiff dough. In
make inside the chilli. This small, reddish-brown chilli has a nutty, smoky flavour and is moderate in
traditional Mexican cooking, corn masa is used to make corn tortillas and tamales.
heat (heat level of 4).
Cascabel chillies are most commonly used in Mexican cooking in a dried form. The drying process
TORTILLAS (TOR-TEE-YAS)
concentrates natural sugars present in the chillies and produces a great depth of flavour. At Cantina
Mexican tortillas are a type of flat, unleavened bread made from either finely ground corn masa or
Laredo dried cascabel chillies are ground down and used to make Cascabel Sauce, which is in turn
wheat flour. Tortillas vary in their shape, size, thickness, colour, and flavour depending on how they are
used to prepare a number of dishes including the Cascabel Ribeye and Tacos Cascabel.
made and the flour or corn used. The type of tortillas eaten in Mexico vary by region also, for instance
wheat flour tortillas are more common than corn tortillas in the north of Mexico, whereas corn tortillas
CHIPOTLE PEPPER (CHI-POHT-LAY)
are far more common in southern and central Mexico.
Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapeño peppers. The drying and smoking process deepens the
Cantina Laredo uses nine different types of tortilla (listed below), each with their own unique
flavour of the jalapeño pepper to a rich smokiness and the name of the chilli changes and becomes
characteristics that lend themselves to a particular use within the menu. Many of the tortillas used
chipotle. Chipotle peppers can be identified by their sweet, smoky chocolate flavour and nutty tone,
by Cantina Laredo are produced exclusively for the restaurant to the house recipe.
with a heat level of 6.
• Tostada Chips (toe-STAH-dah) – hand-cut yellow corn tortillas, which are fried, lightly
Chipotles have been used since Aztec times and originate in the region that is now northern Mexico
salted and served warm to every guest with Cantina Laredo’s Roasted Tomato and Roasted
City. It is believed that the Aztecs smoked the chillies because the thick, fleshy, jalapeño was difficult to
Tomatillo Salsas.
dry and prone to rot. At Cantina Laredo chipotles are ground down to make Chipotle Wine Sauce and
Chipotle Portabella Sauce.
ANCHO PEPPER (AHN-CHOH)
Ancho chilli peppers are dried red poblano chilli peppers. They are the most common dried chilli in
Mexico and are also the sweetest of the dried chillies. Ancho chillies have a mild fruit flavour with a
heat level of 3.
Ancho chillies are a key ingredient in the creation of Mexico’s famous Mole Sauce. At Cantina Laredo
ancho chillies are ground down and used to make Mole Sauce.
• White Table Corn Tortilla – a soft corn tortilla served with Cantina Laredo’s Carnitas and
used to make Brisket Tacos.
• Orange Oval Corn Tortilla – a naturally coloured vibrant orange oval corn tortilla fried
and cut into strips or ‘flags’ and used in Ceviche, Enchilada Veracruz, Taco Salad and
Tortilla Soup.
• White Oval Corn Tortilla – a white oval corn tortilla predominantly used to hand roll
Cantina Laredo’s Enchiladas to order.
• 4.5” Yellow Corn Tortilla – a small, round, yellow corn tortilla used to make Tacos Cascabel
and Tacos al Pastor. Two tortillas are layered and served per taco.
PASILLA PEPPER (PAH-SEE-YAH)
Pasilla chilli peppers are the dried form of the fresh chilaca chilli. Pasilla means “little raisin” and
these chillies can be identified by their long, thin shape and shiny, black-green raisin like colour. The
pasilla has a deep, rich, complex smoky flavour with a heat level of 4.
Like ancho chillies, pasilla chillies are a key ingredient found in traditional Mexican Mole Sauce
recipes. At Cantina Laredo pasilla chillies are ground down and used to make Mole Sauce.
• 6” Taco Shell Corn Tortilla – a thin tortilla which is fried to create a crispy taco shell used
in Niños Crispy Tacos and Chicken Flautas.
• 6” Flour Tortilla – a soft wheat flour tortilla served with Cantina Laredo’s Fajitas, and Fiesta
Grill, and used to make Soft tacos and Tacos al Carbon.
• 8” Flour Tortilla – a soft wheat flour tortilla which is toasted to make Quesadillas.
• 10” Flour Tortilla – a soft wheat flour tortilla which is filled, wrapped, and fried to make
Cantina Laredo’s Chimichangas.
RICE
QUESO FRESCO
The Spaniards first brought rice to Mexico through the port of Veracruz in the 16th century. The warm,
As the name suggests queso fresco (fresh cheese) is an immature cheese. Queso fresco is in fact a
moist climate of Veracruz proved to be ideal for its cultivation, and it soon grew into Mexican culinary
generic name for a number of cheeses, all of which share some common characteristics. Queso fresco
prominence. The rice most commonly used in Mexican cuisine is long grain white rice which has had
tends to be moist and creamy in colour, with a very mild flavour and crumbly in texture. Cantina Laredo
its husk removed. Removing the rice husk allows the rice to absorb flavours more easily which is
uses fresco cheese crumbles as a garnish to a variety of dishes.
important to traditional Mexican cooking.
At Cantina Laredo long grain white rice (with the husks removed) is simmered with tomatoes, onions,
SKIRT STEAK
garlic, chicken stock and spices to make colourful and flavoursome authentic Mexican rice.
Skirt steak is a thin, long, fan-shaped cut from the beef plate (belly) primal, and is one of the most
flavourful of all steaks. This belt-shaped cut of meat is the source of the word fajita, meaning “belt” in
PINTO BEANS
Spanish. Skirt steak is the authentic meat for Mexican fajitas and carne asadas.
Beans continue to be the staple food in Mexico, and you will find a simmering pot of dried beans in
This incredibly tender and flavoursome cut is used in a number of dishes at Cantina Laredo including
almost every home. Pinto and black beans are the two most commonly used dried beans in Mexico and
Beef Fajitas, Carne Asada, Camaron Poblano Asada and the Fiesta Grill.
are the dried beans used by Cantina Laredo.
Pinto or “painted” in Spanish, refers to the speckled lines of brown on the pale skins of the pinto
PORK TIBIA
bean. The pinto bean is a rich source of protein and iron, and can be prepared and served in a number
The pork tibia is a unique cut of meat, similar to a pork shank, used in traditional Mexican cooking to
of ways.
make carnitas. Carnitas are made by slowly braising the pork tibia with spices until it is tender enough
to fall off the bone. This famous Mexican dish can be served in a variety of ways; at Cantina Laredo the
At Cantina Laredo pinto beans are used to make Refried Beans and Borracho Beans. To make Refried
braised pork tibias are topped with Chipotle Wine Sauce and served with soft corn tortillas.
Beans, pinto beans are slowly cooked with onions until tender and then fried in a little pork fat for
additional flavour. Borracho or “drunken” beans are prepared using pinto beans, jalapeños, onions,
tomatoes, spices and beer.
BLACK BEANS
Or turtle beans, are small, shiny black beans which have a dense and meaty texture. Black beans are
traditionally used to create soups or fillings for enchiladas or tacos.
At Cantina Laredo black beans are simmered with onions and salt and served partially mashed with
fresco cheese.
QUESO DE OAXACA (KAY-SOH DE WA-HA-CA)
Cheese was an important addition to the Mexican diet when Spanish invaders introduced dairy cattle to
Mexico in the 16th century. The first cheeses were based on traditional Spanish recipes, but the Mexicans soon developed several cheeses of their own.
Oaxaca or Queso De Oaxaca is a white, semi-hard cheese originating from the southern Mexican state
of Oaxaca. Known as the Mexican Mozzarella, the milky, stringy texture is similar in taste to un-aged
Monterey Jack cheese and is ideal for cooking as it has good melting properties.
Like Champagne, ‘Oaxaca cheese’ is strictly regulated and can only be produced in the Mexican state
of Oaxaca. Due to UK dairy import restrictions Cantina Laredo have commissioned production of their
own semi-hard, medium fat cheese which has been matched to the moisture, fat, salt and PH content to
Queso De Oaxaca to ensure an authentic taste.
HERBS AND SPICES
Although chillies are a major flavouring used in Mexican cooking, they are by no means the only
flavourings used. At Cantina Laredo recipes include allspice, cinnamon, cloves, fresh coriander leaves,
coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, Mexican oregano, nutmeg, turmeric and a wealth of other herbs
and spices.
TACOS Traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling.
TAMALES (TAH–MAH–LEES) Corn masa filled with shredded pork and spices, then wrapped and
steamed in a cornhusk to keep it moist.
Key to enjoying the new look Mexican food on offer at Cantina Laredo
is casting aside old habits and being a bit braver! With so many weird
and wonderful names and terms, you’d be forgiven for finding the
authentic Mexican menu a little daunting.
Do you know your tamales from your chile rellenos?
Or your chimichangas from your quesadillas? The team at
Cantina Laredo are here to help with this handy guide to some
of the fantastic dishes, cooking styles and ingredients that
make up any authentic Mexican menu.
MEXICAN MENU TERMINOLOGY
A lot of these sound obvious – but be careful...
AL CARBON (AHL-CAR-BONE) Grilled.
AL PASTOR (PAHS-TOR) A traditional dish of pork simmered in Cascabel sauce.
ASADA (AH-SAH-DAH) A style of cooking, fajita beef cooked on the grill, served as a steak instead of
in strips.
BISTEC (BIZ-TEK) Steak.
BOTANAS (BOW-TAAN-AHS) A sampler dish.
CAMARONES (CAH-MAH-ROW-NAYS) Prawns.
CHILLIS (CHILL-EES) Hot and spicy peppers.
CHIPOTLE (CHI-POTE-LAY) A smoked, dried jalapeño pepper.
CHORIZO (CHORE-EZZ-OH) Mexican pork sausage.
COSTILLAS (COH-STEE-AHS) Ribs.
GREAT DISHES
DEL MAR (DELL-MARR) ‘From the sea’.
ENSALADAS (EN-SAAL-AH-DAS) Salads.
Many of these may be unfamiliar to UK diners – but delicious!
FAJITA MEAT (FAH-HEE-TAH) Grilled strips of beef, or chicken breast strips with a butter marinade.
BLACK BEANS Black beans simmered with onions and salt, then partially mashed.
MACHACA (MA-CHA-KAH) Shredded beef, seasoned with onions and poblano peppers. Used for
BORRACHO BEANS Which translates literally as ‘drunken beans’ is made from whole pinto beans
stewed with jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, spices, and beer!
CARNITAS (CAR-NEE-TAHS) Braised pork shank.
CHILE RELLENO (CHILLY–RAY–YAY–NO) A large poblano pepper, skinned and seeded, filled with a
choice of stuffing and then battered and deep fried until golden brown.
FRESCO Fresh.
beef enchiladas.
MOLE (MO-LEH) A dark, sweet spicy sauce with a blend of chillis, onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, raisins,
sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, crushed almonds, chocolate, and spices.
PESCADO (PESS-KAH-DOE) Fish.
PICO DE GALLO (PEE-KOE–DAY-GUY-YO) Meaning ‘the beak of the rooster’, Pico de Gallo is a
CHIMICHANGA (CHIM-EE-CHANG-AH) A flour tortilla, filled, rolled up and fried. Usually topped with
traditional colourful Mexican relish of tomatoes, red onions, yellow onions, coriander, jalapeño
a sauce.
peppers, vinegar, lime juice and spices.
ENCHILADAS (EN–CHEE–LAH–DAHS) Corn tortillas dipped into hot oil to soften them; then basted in
enchilada sauce, filled with choice of filling and topped with sauce.
POBLANO (POE-BLAH-NOH) chilli peppers, similar to bell peppers, but sometimes a little hotter.
POLLO (POI-YO) Chicken.
GUACAMOLE (WAHK–AH–MOE–LEE) Avocados, tomatoes, red onions, coriander, jalapeño peppers
SOPA (SEW-PA) Soup.
and spices.
TORTILLAS (TOR-TEE-YAS) A type of flat, unleavened bread made from either finely ground corn masa
QUESADILLAS (KAY-SA-DEE-YAS) A Mexican grilled cheese sandwich! The quesadilla combines a
choice of filling and cheese, placed between two soft flour tortillas and grilled until the cheese melts.
QUESO (KAY-SOH) Cheese. Also the common name for chilli con queso - a hot, creamy blend of
cheese, chilli peppers, onions, tomatoes and spices.
REFRIED BEANS A dish consisting of pinto beans which have been slowly cooked with onions until
tender, and then fried in a small amount of pork fat.
or wheat flour.
GUACAMOLE
Serve with Tostada chips or Warm Corn Tortillas
Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, Measuring Cups, Forks, Spoons, Mixing Bowl, Chilled Serving Bowl
and a Rubber/Wooden Spatula.
Why not try some fantastic Cantina Laredo recipes
at home? Here are four great recipes to get you started.
INGREDIENTS
Lime, Fresh
Salt
Granulated Garlic
Avocado
Red Onions, Diced
Jalapeños Fresh, Seeds Removed, Finely Diced
Coriander, Finely Chopped
Tomatoes Fresh, Diced
Tomato Wedge
WEIGHT
½ Tomato
MEASURE
½ Lime
¼ Teaspoon
¼ Teaspoon
1 Large or 2 Mediums
2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons
1/3 Cup
1 Each
PROCEDURE
1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the internal stone.
2.
With a knife score the inside of the avocado into ½” lines turning the knife length wise and cross
wise to form ½” squares. This will help with mashing the avocados.
3.
Finely chop the coriander and the jalapeños (remember to remove the seeds).
4.
Dice the red onions and tomatoes into small pieces. Keep the tomatoes separate as they will
be added later.
5.
Gather and measure the granulated garlic.
6.
Take the avocado half and place a spoon between the skin and pulp of the avocado. Remove the
pulp and place into the mixing bowl. Do the same with the rest of the avocados.
7.
With the two forks mash the avocados to make a chunky paste.
8.
Add the lime juice, salt, garlic, onions, jalapeños and coriander. Mix well with rubber/wooden
spatula.
9.
Add tomatoes to guacamole and gently fold until mixed thoroughly.
10. Transfer the guacamole to a chilled serving bowl. Garnish with tomato wedge and serve with corn
tortilla chips.
HINTS AND TIPS
1. If you are unable to get hold of fresh jalapeños, try substituting with fresh green chilli peppers
available at your local supermarket - these will work too.
2.
If you like your guacamole extra spicy, do not remove the seeds from the jalapeños.
3.
Wear plastic gloves when cutting the jalapeño peppers as they can be hot.
4.
Always use firm and ripe tomatoes.
WHERE TO BUY
All ingredients should be available at your local supermarket.
PREP TIME 5 minutes
SERVES 2-3 people
SHELF LIFE Use immediately
CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
CASA RITA MARGARITA
Use as a sauce on grilled salmon, grilled prawns, steaks or a dressing for salads
Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, Measuring Utensils, Cocktail Shaker, Lemon/Lime Squeezer, Mixing
Cup and two Serving Glasses.
Equipment: Cutting Board, Measuring Cups, Spoons, Blender, Garlic Crusher or Pestle and Mortar,
Rubber/Wooden Spatula, Small Plastic Container with Lid.
INGREDIENTS
Fresh Garlic Cloves
Salt
Coriander, Finely Chopped
Vegetable Oil
Lemon Juice, Fresh
Cayenne Pepper
WEIGHT
MEASURE
3 Each
1 Teaspoon
70g
¾ Cup
6 Tablespoons
½ Teaspoon
PROCEDURE
1. Mince the garlic cloves. Add the salt to the garlic. Mash the salt into the garlic to form a paste
using the back of a spoon.
2.
Measure and add the finely chopped coriander, vegetable oil, cayenne pepper and garlic salt paste
into a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Do not over blend.
3.
Slowly add the lemon juice to the mixture and blend well until the mix is emulsified. Do not over
blend the mixture or it will become very oily.
4.
Pour the contents into a plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
WHERE TO BUY
All ingredients should be available at your local supermarket.
PREP TIME 15 minutes
SERVES 9-10 people
SHELF LIFE 48 hours, refrigerated
INGREDIENTS
Reposado Tequila
Cointreau
Fresh Lime Juice
Simple Syrup*
Ice
WEIGHT
*Simple Syrup
Sugar
Hot Water
MEASURE
100ml
40ml
85ml (approxmately 7 limes)
As Below
As Desired
3 Tablespoons
3 Tablespoons
PROCEDURE
1. Gather the reposado tequila, cointreau, fresh limes, sugar and hot water.
2.
Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar to 3 tablespoons of hot water in a mixing cup. Stir thoroughly until all
the sugar has dissolved.
3.
Squeeze your fresh lime juice making sure that all pips are removed.
4.
Measure and add the reposado tequila, cointreau, fresh lime juice and simple syrup into a cocktail
shaker. Add ice as desired. Shake to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
5.
Strain and serve immediatley over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
HINTS AND TIPS
1. Always use fresh lime juice as this will provide a superior quality product.
WHERE TO BUY
All ingredients should be available at your local supermarket.
PREP TIME 5 minutes
SERVES 2 people
SHELF LIFE Serve immediately
CEVICHE
Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, 1 Litre Plastic Containers with Lid, Rubber/Wooden Spatula, Sauce
Pan, Measuring Cups and Spoons.
11. Gather and measure all the ingredients for the vegetable mix. Place into mixing bowl and
mix well.
12. If serving immediately, combine the seafood mix with the vegetables. Mix thoroughly.
INGREDIENTS
Seafood
Grey Mullet/Tilapia, Fillet
Scallops
Prawns, Medium, Boiled
Lime Juice, Fresh
Sea Salt, Course
Cholula Sauce
Vegetables
Capers, Drained
Olives, Finely Sliced
Red Onions, Finely Sliced
Red Bell Peppers, Finely Sliced
Coriander, Finely Chopped
Tomatoes, Diced
Jalapeños, Canned, Finely Chopped, Seeds Removed
Oregano
Vegetable Oil
WEIGHT
MEASURE
14. If not using immediately, keep the seafood and vegetables separate and only combine when
ready to serve.
225g
115g
115g
¾ Cup
¼ Teaspoon
2 Tablespoons
HINTS AND TIPS
1. Try using other seasonal local fish if grey mullet/tilapia are not available, for example cod.
A fleshy fish is recommended to absorb the lime juices.
3 Tablespoons
6 Each
WHERE TO BUY
1. Cholula Sauce – online. Just look up Cholula Sauce under any Search Engine.
2. Canned jalapeños are usually packed in jars in supermarkets.
3. All other ingredients should be available at your local supermarket.
85g (1 Large)
85g (Half)
2 Medium
20g
Garnish
Avocado Slices
Lime Wedge
Corn Tortilla Chips
13. The dish is now ready to be served. Garnish with avocado slices, a lime wedge and serve with
corn tortilla chips.
3 Tablespoons
¾ Cup
5 Each
1 ½ Teaspoons
3 Tablespoons
As Needed
1 Each
As Needed
PROCEDURE
1. Remove waste tract from prawns by slitting down the back with a knife to reveal.
2.
Add water to a pan. Bring to the boil. Add prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes.
3.
Remove prawns from boiling water and refrigerate immediately for approximately 10 minutes
to cool.
4.
Only proceed to next step once prawns have cooled down.
5.
Gather the grey mullet/tilapia, scallops and pre-boiled prawns and place on a cutting board.
6.
Cut grey mullet/tilapia, scallops, and prawns into ½” chunks. Scallops may not need to be cut if
they are small.
7.
Place the seafood into a 1 litre plastic container.
8.
Measure the fresh lime juice and pour over the entire surface of the seafood.
9.
Cover with plastic lid and place into the refrigerator for 12 hours to “cook”.
10. After 12 hours drain off the juice. Add Sea Salt and Cholula Sauce to the seafood. Mix together
using a rubber/wooden spatula.
SEAFOOD
PREP TIME 10 minutes, 12 hours refrigerated
SERVES 4 people
SHELF LIFE 24 hours, refrigerated.
VEGETABLES
PREP TIME 10 minutes
SERVES 4 people
SHELF LIFE 18 hours, refrigerated
It’s a surprise to many people that there is more to drinking tequila
than slammers! In fact connoisseurs of tequila would rather sip than
“throw one down the hatch”. They will argue the merits of their
favourite brands with every bit as much passion as a whiskey
enthusiast debates the merits of a single malt. Different brands
and types of tequila suit different foods and occasions.
WHAT IS TEQUILA?
COOKING AND MILLING
Tequila is a unique alcoholic drink with its own individual flavour, produced by fermenting the juice of
The harvested pinas are then cut up and cooked in large ovens or autoclaves. While the agave is
the blue agave (ah-gah-VAY) plant which is indigenous to Mexico. As champagne can only be produced
cooking, a sweet liquid is extracted from the plants mass. This liquid is diluted with water and placed in
in the Champagne region of France, tequila can only be produced within certain designated areas,
fermentation tanks. The dark brown cooked agave is then removed from the cooking vessels and moved
primarily within the state of Jalisco.
to the crushing-juicing equipment where the fibrous pulp of the agave is crushed expelling the juice.
After the agaves have been fully crushed, the juice is placed in fermentation tanks along with the diluted
THE KINDS OF TEQUILA
juice from the cooking process.
There are two basic types of tequila namely 100 percent agave tequila and ‘mixed’ tequila or mixto.
As you would expect, ‘100 percent agave’ tequila is distilled entirely from the fermented juice of the
agave plant. Mixto is distilled from a mixture of agave juice and other sugars.
FERMENTATION
After being separated from the fibre, the juice is placed in fermentation tanks with water, and yeast is
added. Natural fermentation usually takes between seven and ten days.
In addition to the two basic types of tequila, there are four classifications based on what happens to
the tequila after distillation. Combining these four classifications with each of the two types would
DISTILLATION
give eight varieties of tequila, but in practice gold tequila is always a mixto, so there are actually
After all the sugar has been converted to alcohol, the reaction ceases and the fermented ‘must’ is then
seven varieties:
emptied into a holding tank to await first distillation. The recommended method of distillation is the pot,
THE FOUR TYPES OF TEQUILA ARE:
• Blanco or plata (‘white’ or ‘silver’) – White or blanco tequila is a clear liquid which, in the
or alembic still, and two distillations are the recommended norm.
AGING AND BLENDING
bottle, usually looks much like water. It may be bottled immediately after distillation or
When tequila leaves the still after the final run, it is as clear as water. This first stage of tequila is called
allowed to rest in stainless steel tanks for a period of time no longer than 60 days, while
blanco. The blanco tequila may be bottled immediately or put into wooden containers for aging.
awaiting bottling. It may be 100% agave or mixto.
Typically tequila is aged in oak barrels which give reposado and añejo tequilas a smoother consistency,
• Reposado (‘rested’) – Reposado must be placed in wooden storage tanks or barrels for a
deeper colour, and a more complex oaky flavour.
period of not less than two months. Reposado may be 100% agave or mixto.
• Añejo (‘aged’) - Añejo tequila must be aged in wooden barrels no larger than 600 litres,
TEQUILA AT CANTINA LAREDO
for a period of time no less than one year. Like blanco or reposado, anejo may be 100%
Cantina Laredo is known for its love of tequila and offers a range of over 30 of the world’s finest 100
agave or mixto.
percent blue agave varieties, as well as a couple of the world’s very best mixto tequilas. These are
• Gold – Gold tequila is unaged, but treated with additives to achieve some of the same effects
as aging. The additive is predominantly caramel (burnt sugar). Gold tequila is always a mixto.
HOW IS IT MADE?
sourced (and tested!) by our dedicated team who encourage guests to develop an appreciation of the
spirit akin to that of the whiskey connoisseur.
TEQUILA DINNERS AT CANTINA LAREDO
At every Cantina Laredo, monthly tequila dinners are organised to encourage people to learn more
HARVESTING THE PINA
about the famous spirit which was first made almost 700 years ago and is still produced today from
The first stage of the tequila making process is harvesting the swollen, juicy stem of the blue agave
hand-harvested agave plants. The bar menu includes a ‘tequila flight’ during which guests can taste
sometimes called a pina, because it resembles a pineapple although it is much larger and typically
and compare three different varieties.
weighs between 35 and 75 kilograms. The jimador (harvest worker) cuts the plant free from its roots,
then removes the spiky leaves from the pina before taking the harvested pinas to the tequila factory.
CAZADORES REPOSADO
Colour: Very pale straw colour.
Aroma: Moderate caramel and smoke aromas, with slight hints of agave, pepper, fruit, and
floral elements.
Flavour: Moderate agave and some pepper.
Finish: Sweet, long finish.
Aged: Rested for more than 2 months in new, small, American white-oak casks.
PATRÓN SILVER
Colour: Clear silver.
SOME OF THE TEQUILAS STOCKED AT CANTINA LAREDO
Aroma: Good agave nose with hints of vanilla, dried pineapple, nutmeg, and mildly earthy/wet
DON JULIO REAL
Flavour: Sweet agave flavour with hints of roasted citrus, dried flowers, and dusty mineral flavours.
Colour: Majestic golden hue.
Finish: Balanced bitter-sweet aftertaste with a sweet, long finish.
Aroma: Rich, sweet aromas of caramel and toffee layered with a fresh vanilla fragrance and hints of red
Aged: Bottled immediately after distillation.
concrete aromas.
fruits like cherry mixed with caramel and almonds. Chocolate tones along with cinnamon and a light
touch of wood.
Flavour: Attractive dry fruit flavours, cooked agave and peach are the first flavours perceived. Enticing
vanilla flavours layered with caramel, chocolate and coffee undertones and a slight herbal essence
create a refined, yet unforgettable sensation.
Finish: Sweetly seductive with lingering vanilla impressions and a hint of oak for a warm,
SAUZA SILVER
Colour: Clear.
Aroma: Hints of white pepper and fresh citrus.
Flavour: Sweet taste with hints of fresh cut oak and pepper.
sensuous finish.
Finish: Ends with a hearty warmth.
Aged: Painstakingly cared for in American white-oak barrels for three to five years.
Aged: Bottled immediately after distillation.
CABO WABO AÑEJO
Colour: Amber-gold colour.
Aroma: Full vanilla and caramel nose.
Flavour: Woody notes on the palate complemented by hints of honey and chocolate.
Finish: Long, smooth, delicate finish.
Aged: Matured in American oak barrels for 14 months.
Cantina Laredo
Unit 22, St. Martin’s Courtyard
Upper St. Martin’s Lane
London. WC2H 9DL
Please also visit our website www.cantinalaredo.co.uk
and connect with us via Twitter @CantinaLaredoUK
or Facebook Cantina Laredo UK.
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