Latin-ize your grill
Draw on traditional cuisines to punch up the flavor for summer menus
Caribbean-style garlic-soaked shrimp: In Cuba, the native sour orange is used; here we add lime juice to simulate its flavor. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
It's easy — by drawing from the traditions of Latin America's down-to-earth cuisines, you can dial up the flavor without spending too much time in the kitchen.
For meat lovers, making Mexican-style chorizo is almost easier than finding it at the grocery store. By grilling it in patties you skip the tricky steps of sausage making, and can serve chorizo burgers with queso fresco and avocado salsa any day of the week. (Just remember to prepare the chorizo mixture a day ahead for better flavor.) Margaritas and chilled Mexican lager are a must.
Argentine cooks are famous for their savory grilled meats, and their signature chimichurri sauce accents carne asada perfectly. Make a big batch of this fresh green sauce and serve with grilled vegetables or seafood as well, for a less traditional but equally delicious idea. Try serving with a vinegar-based potato salad for a real change of pace, and pair it all with a malbec for authenticity.
The tropical flavors of the Caribbean suit our steamy summers. In our recipe for grilled shrimp al mojo, the marinade and the sauce are one and the same for easy execution and a powerful flavor punch that works on poultry or pork chops too. Serve with rice and black beans and a hearts of palm salad. Don't forget the mojitos.
Chorizo burgers with queso fresco, avocado salsa
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 2 hours or overnight
Cook: 8-10 minutes
Makes: 8 burgers
3 to 4 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar