Chris Kimball's grilled corn and fresh margaritas

Simply your summer evening. Here, Chris Kimball of "America's Test Kitchen" and editor of "Cook's Illustrated" magazine shares his recipes to make the best margarita and the classic grilled corn.

Fresh margaritas
Servings:

Makes about 1 quart, serving 4 to 6

Ingredients

    • 4 teaspoons grated zest plus 1/2 cup juice from 2 to 3 limes
    • 4 teaspoons grated zest plus 1/2 cup juice from 2 to 3 lemons
    • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
    • Pinch table salt
    • 2 cups crushed ice
    • 1 cup 100 percent agave tequila, preferably reposado
    • 1 cup Triple Sec

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Combine lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and salt in large liquid measuring cup; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until flavors meld, 4 to 24 hours. 2. Divide 1 cup crushed ice among 4 or 6 margarita or double old-fashioned glasses. Strain juice mixture into 1-quart pitcher or cocktail shaker. Add tequila, Triple Sec, and remaining crushed ice; stir or shake until thoroughly combined and chilled, 20 to 60 seconds. Strain into ice-filled glasses and serve immediately.

Tips:

The longer the zest and juice mixture is allowed to steep, the more developed the citrus flavors in the finished margaritas. We recommend steeping for the full 24 hours, although the margaritas will still be great if the mixture is steeped only for the minimum 4 hours. If you're in a rush and want to serve margaritas immediately, omit the zest and skip the steeping process altogether.

Grilled corn
Servings:

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • Grilled corn

    • Salt and pepper
    • 8 ears corn, husks and silks removed
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, or 1 recipe flavored butter (below)
  • Chesapeake baby butter

    • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
    • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Latin-spiced butter

    • 1 stick softened, unsalted butter
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated lime zest
    • 1 minced garlic clove
    • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan, if desired
  • Basil pesto butter

    • 1 stick softened, unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Barbecue-scallion butter

    • 1 stick softened, unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
    • 1 minced scallion

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. In large pot, stir 1⁄2 cup salt into 4 quarts cold water until dissolved. Add corn and let soak for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. 2. Grill corn over hot fire, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until kernels are lightly charred all over, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove corn from grill, brush with softened butter (see various options below), and season with salt and pepper. Serve.Chesapeake baby butter: Using fork, beat 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter with 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, and 1 minced garlic clove. Latin-spiced butter: Using fork, beat 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1⁄2 teaspoon grated lime zest, and 1 minced garlic clove. (Sprinkle cobs with 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan, if desired.) Basil pesto butter: Using fork, beat 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter with 1 tablespoon basil pesto and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Barbecue-scallion butter: Using fork, beat 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce and 1 minced scallion.

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