Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Margaritaville – Tequila Lime Bars

If you’ve been around this blog for very long, you have probably noticed that my office is very food-centric. We will use any reasonable excuse (and some that are just completely unreasonable) to bring food in to work. The ironic part is that it used to be much, much worse. When people talk about putting on the “freshman 15” when they went to college, I just smile. Working here is very much like that, only its more like ‘25’ since we all sit at desks all day, letting the calories seep into our chair-butts.

So, it was no surprise when we got an email last week, announcing that my boss’ wife was turning 40 and we were going to have a birthday food table for her on Monday. What this means is that we are all invited to bring in a dish of our choosing, and then spend the day grazing on a veritable buffet of fat and cholesterol for the rest of the day. In this particular case, the birthday girl is a big fan of the “Margaritaville” genre, and so we had a birthday table with a theme.

Oh, darn, twist my arm....I’ve been dying to try this recipe anyway and anything with the word “tequila” in it definitely fits the theme.

I did have a little difficulty buying the tequila, which almost put a damper on the whole thing though, since, you know, me and Jose? Yeah, we’re not such good friends.... Well, that, and the fact that none of the stores in town had a small bottle of tequila. And I didn’t really want to drop a twenty dollar bill on a bottle of liquor that I won’t even drink (okay, hello....that’s an official call out for food recipes involving tequila! Help a girl out! I need to find a way to use the rest of this tequila that doesn't involve a hangover...). Fortunately, I did finally find a $13 bottle of Cuervo at the local Walmart (too bad I wasn’t thinking about this when I was at the liquor mega store in Springfield on Saturday!) and proceeded to crack open the bottle, carefully holding it out of smelling distance. *shudder*

I did have a moment of dismay with this recipe, as I was reading the ingredient list, and Ginny and I had a phone debate over how many egg whites it actually required. This is how the original ingredient list reads:
"5 large egg yolks, plus 2 egg whites"

My opinion was that I should use the whites from the 5 eggs that you used the yolks from, PLUS two additional whites.

Ginny’s take was to ONLY use 2 whites and no more.

I ended up compromising and started with two. When that looked like it would in no possible way do the trick, I added the rest of the original five to the bowl, and I think it turned out just fine. And so, I have amended the recipe accordingly.

These little beauties were quite tasty! The lime flavor is quite intense, and there is definitely a tequila undertone there as well, but I was still able to muddle through my little piece. Drizzling a little agave nectar on it really pushed it over the top, countering the tartness of the lime with the sweetness of the agave.

My only complaint about this dish was the large number of dirty dishes I ended up with for one 9x13 dessert. Other than that, it was very easy to put together and quite tasty!
Tequila Lime Bars
1 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup unsalted butter (11/2 sticks), melted
1/3 cup tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 good sized limes, in my case)
5 large egg yolks and whites, divided
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Agave nectar for drizzling
zest of 2 limes

Preheat the oven to 350. Pulse the wafers and pine nuts in a food processor until well ground up. Add the melted butter and blend until evenly mixed. Set aside 1/3 cup of crumbs; press the rest evenly into a 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the tequila, lime juice, egg yolks, lime zest and condensed milk.
In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the tequila mixture. Spread the filling evenly over the crust and bake for 25 minutes; cool. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight before cutting. Drizzle with agave nectar, if desired.

3 comments:

David said...

Wow! What's not to like? Typically there is liquor of various sorts in my cupboard for Monday Night Football parties (we mostly drink and ignore the game but I digress). This year there was more liquor than parties so I have a LOT of leftovers. This looks like an amazing use for leftover tequila. If I can hold out till September it will make a great opening night desert. If not, there is always a work birthday. Anything that calls for whiskey?

David said...

Wow! What's not to like? Typically there is liquor of various sorts in my cupboard for Monday Night Football parties (we mostly drink and ignore the game but I digress). This year there was more liquor than parties so I have a LOT of leftovers. This looks like an amazing use for leftover tequila. If I can hold out till September it will make a great opening night desert. If not, there is always a work birthday. Anything that calls for whiskey?

MonkeyGirl said...

I love tequila and Jose and I get along famously! I will have to try these out and I need to see if my hubby will part with his award winning tequila wing recipe - he has this baby perfecto!