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Video: Margarita time! Trick for juicing limes in seconds

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    >>> in "today's kitchen" we're making your summer cooking as easy as one, two, three.

    >> from the best margheritas for the secret to storing tomato chris has the gadgets and tips you want to know about, editor of "cook's illustrated" magazine. good morning.

    >> good morning how are you?

    >> this time of year we drink citrusy alcoholic drinks or other drinks.

    >> or non-alcoholic.

    >> or just alcoholic.

    >> she leads with the booze, yes.

    >> i said or other drinks so you have a tip for helping us juice up our citrus.

    >> you want to make margaritas, we like half lime, half lemon. in a hand with a small electric thing is takes a long time so we put it into the bowl of the standing mixer with the paddle attachment and hold on, get the bowl in place. now the bowl is fastened, this takes 30 seconds. we've done that here, you press it and you get quite a lot of juice.

    >> and you strain it.

    >> 30 seconds?

    >> 30 seconds and press on it to get the rest of the juice out. if you just make a margarita, the juice is raw and acidic and you get the bite from the white pit, we'll take the sugar, this is about a quarter cup of super fine sugar, four teaspoons of lemon and lime zest and of course a little salt in everything, and we're going to let that sit. if you let that sit up to 24 hours , at least four hours, what's going to happen you get a rich, mellow citrus flavor and it's much better like twice as good for the margarita. this has been sitting and we have blue agave tequila, up to 12 months is great. longer than that is bad because there's too much flavor. we put that in. you don't want too much flavor with everything else in there and triplsec, you don't want to overpour the citrus favor so one part each the juices, lemon and lime, the tequila and the quantro, in this case triplesec. this is an all will you ice tray, we like this the best. here is the trick it has a removable cover. you fill it up, you can overfill it, put the cover on, drain out the excess liquid and put it in the freezer, and store it up to 45 degrees like this.

    >> nothing leaking.

    >> there is something new in the world of ice cube trays.

    >> it's groundbreaking. there we go.

    >> you said margarita mixes are made by the devil themselves.

    >> did i say that?

    >> yes, something along those lines.

    >> i know the devil personally. he makes lovely margaritas.

    >> let's talk about tips for storing tomatoes.

    >> it means if you start tomatoes with the stem side up, air gets in here, bacteria gets in and they start to rot in a couple of days. if you store them stem side down, this is like a david copperfield trick, all of a sudden they don't rot and they'll keep longer than a week. we have them head to head.

    >> we have photos and it turns out the air doesn't get in, the moisture doesn't get in and they keep much better. bye-bye tomato.

    >> the problem with herbs is if you want to make a lot of money you go in the drug business. more money in the herb business, three or four bucks you get four sprigs. so expensive. you use a tiny bit and put it in the fridge. this is $15 called the herb keeper, has a fill line, keep it with water and you can keep this in the fridge for up to a month, some herbs only 12 to 14 days. a lot will keep up to a month.

    >> chris kimball thank you so much for all these great tips. who knew? i'll start keeping my tomatoes stored like that. the recipes for these delicious perfect margaritas are on our website today.com along with a little bit more.

    >> not from a mix.

    >> not from a mix.

    >> this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> coming up with kathie lee and hoda, what women really want in bed. wow.

    >> may have to stick around

TODAY recipes
updated 6/3/2013 8:21:44 AM ET 2013-06-03T12:21:44

Recipe: Fresh margaritas

  • 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

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.


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.

Serving Size

Makes about 1 quart, serving 4 to 6

Recipe: Grilled corn

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Serves 4 to 6

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