Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Throw Your Mama a Señor Sangria and Chinese-Fusion Tapas Party for Mother’s Day!

By Pinny Tam

Taking your mama to a Mother’s Day brunch is fine but throwing her a Sangria and tapas fiesta is divine! Señor Sangria's pre-made Classic White and Classic Red Sangrias are going to be a big part of the party. I found out about Señor Sangria in the Jersey City Beer Festival in April this year and loved the quality wines and real fruit juices they use to make their Sangrias, both white and red. I saw the great “potential” of these Sangrias right away – how they can be served and how they pair the food I like to cook. Also, these Sangrias are Jersey-proud and were first made for the market by a New Jersey fellow around ten years ago. As a Jersey girl, I support local business and am very excited to share my pairings once I received the samples.
The story of these Sangrias started off by a nice New Jersey guy, Rick Martinez, who always brought some home-made Sangria to the parties to share with his friends and family. It was such a hit that his friends started sharing it with their friends and giving it as gifts. The popularity of the Sangria gave Rick a light-bulb moment and he decided to commercialize it. The first batch of Classic Red Sangria was born in March 2009, following with the introduction of the Classic White Sangria in June of 2011.

Unlike some of the Sangrias in the market, Señor Sangria is truly authentic by using the real-deal juices, concentrates and wines, without artificial flavors and added colors.  Looking at the ingredient label of the Classic Red, it contains "English” I can read – Merlot, orange juice, red grape juice, lime juice and cane sugar. While the Classic White may have different wine (Sauvignon Blanc) and tropical fruit juices (pineapple and mango), these Sangrias are drinks that are "honest" and have the balanced taste (not too sugary or too tart, but still have the alcoholic kick) that Sangria lovers seek. 
No one wants to wait in line for a Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. Instead, show your mama some love by giving her a treat of great Sangria and Chinese-fusion tapas fiesta in the comfort of her own or your home. Let's take a look at my Instagram post for ideas on decorating the glasses for the party.

💐Mother’s Day is upon us. Throw your mama a Sangria fiesta 🎉with Asian fusion tapas and the Señor Sangria🍷. The Classic White and Classic Red are made out of quality Sauvignon Blanc (in White) and Merlot (in Red) plus real fruit juice. There’s no need to cut fruit and try to mix the right amount of juice and wine/liquor to get the best Sangria. Just open the bottles and pour it over ice - a tasty Sangria is ready for your mama! Sangria and tapas food are perfect match. 🥢Recommended pairings: Chinese meatballs with parsley and scallion; Bacon glazed with dark soya sauce and brown sugar; Shrimp and cucumber salad with rice vinegar sesame oil dressing. #chinesefoodandwinepairings • • • #chinesefoodandwinepairing #senorsangria #whitesangria #redsangria #wine #winelover #winelovers #winelovers🍷 #winelover🍷 #tapas #jerseysangria #mothersday #mothersdaygifts #mothersdayparty #tastelikehappy
A post shared by Pinny Tam (@pairchifoodwine) on
It has been a wacky spring with drastic changes of temperatures and humidity on a daily basis. To shake off the chills, give your mama a cup of warm mulled Sangria as a starter drink upon her arrival. To make mulled Sangria with the pre-made Señor Sangria, all you need to do is pour it in a glass and put it in the microwave on high for one minute. 

I add a couple slices of ginger and an anise in the Classic White and voila – this is probably the best mulled white Sangria you have ever tasted. The ginger gives the drink a spicy kick but also helps fight allergies and colds. The anise is aromatic and goes well with mulled drinks. The Classic Red is a bit more traditional with a cinnamon stick, an anise and some cloves, which is infused with these warm spices that warm your heart and soul. The “add-ons” can be put in the Sangria while microwaving it for a stronger taste.
After having a warm drink, your mama is probably ready for a feast and more Sangria. I froze some table green and red grapes and dropped them in a glass of Classic White or Classic Red respectively for fun and the look. I also added a giant ice cube in the serving glass to make it extra icy cold. Drinking the Sangria cold is a no-brianer as it’s meant to be cold, refreshing and boozy, to around ABV 8% in Señor Sangria’s case.
Sangria + tapas (a collection of small portion dishes that are traditionally served in Spain) are the perfect match – like Yin and Yang or peas and carrots! When I cook…to the wine, I like to kick it up a notch, and this time it’s to give a twist to these tapas dishes to make them equally good as the Spanish counterparts or maybe even better.

Well, I have prepared ten different Chinese tapas for mama to enjoy. It may seem a bit overwhelming to cook so many dishes. But the trick is to improvise your dishes with some ready-to-eat, fresh ingredients added on to pre-cooked food, or cooking from scratch - but always adding a bit of Asian flair to your dishes! A trip to the Chinese grocery store is ideal to get all the authentic Chinese ingredients, but flexibility to substitute is great too – whichever way works for you and your taste buds!  

Chinese-Fusion Tapas
    1. Cha Siu on Toasty Artisan Buns: “Cha Siu” (Chinese Roasted BBQ Pork) is sold pre-cooked and by the pound in Chinese grocery stores. Substitute with BBQ roasted pork loin or chop if you can’t find Cha Siu. After toasting the artisan buns, brush the BBQ sauce that comes with the Cha Siu, or from a bottle, on both sides of the bun, lay cut-up pork slices on the buns, and make multiple sandwiches.

    2. Deviled Egg with Chinese Salami: Cut up the Chinese salami (i.e., uncooked savory and sweet dry sausages) into bite-sized pieces and pan-fry them until the grease releases. Flow in in the egg yolks from the hard-boiled/halved eggs, and mix them with real mayo and a bit of rice vinegar until a creamy texture is reached. No salt is needed as the Chinese salami is quite salty. Roll the mixture into small balls and put them back to the halved eggs.

    3. Bacon Glazed with Dark Soya Sauce and Brown Sugar: Spray oil on a baking rack prior to laying the thick cut bacon on it. Brush on dark soya sauce on the bacon and sprinkle brown sugar right after. Bake it in the oven for 20 mins until they are brown, but not burnt.

    4. Meatball with Minced Garlic and Scallion: Make meatballs with your favorite recipe minus any cheese, salt and herb. Add minced garlic, scallion, 2 tbsp of dark soya sauce for 1 pound of ground meat, and mix all the ingredients together until it’s formable. Roll them into balls and bake.

    5. Pillsbury Croissant Roll-Out Tart with Farmer Cheese and Ginger Honey Lemon Marmalade: Add one pack of farmer cheese to ½ cup of ginger honey lemon marmalade, and mix them well. Roll out a can of Pillsbury croissant to a square shape and in the center spread out the mixture but leave 1 inch borders so you can fold the border in. Bake 375 degree for 15-20 mins or until the croissant is brown.

    6. Chicken and Vegetable Egg Rolls: Get them from any grocery stores and bake according to the direction.

    7. Scallion Pancake: Get them from the frozen section in a Chinese grocery store, heat up a frying pan with some oil, put the frozen pancake in the pan, and fry both sides until golden brown.

    8. Shrimp and Cucumber Salad in Rice Vinegar and Sesame  Oil Dressing: Cook the shrimp in boiling water or use defrosted pre-cooked shrimp. To make the salad dressing, mix rice vinegar, salt and sugar to the taste you prefer. Toss the shrimp and cube-up cucumber in the salad dressing. Drizzle a little sesame oil on top.

    9. Pineapple Fruit Boat: Use the pineapple as a serving bowl and top it with cut-up pineapple, strawberry and grapes.  

    10. Mochi ice cream: I got mine in ShopRite and Wegmans and choose any flavors you would like.

      I’m sure your mama is as happy as a clam when she enjoys all the tasty tapas food you make for her and the great Sangrias, but her true happiness probably comes from simply spending time with the people she loves!

      Disclosure: The Sangrias in this post are samples. All opinions are my own.

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