May is upon us. It means the colder weather will soon be behind us (Are you listening Mother Nature, because lately you’ve been flipping the hot and cold switch far too often).
It also means Cinco de Mayo is around the corner and, better yet, it is NATIONAL BARBECUE MONTH!!
Likely two of my all-time favorite things food-wise (well besides my love of Latin food and sushi and just about everything else), Mexican food cooked on an outdoor grilling and served with a tall tequila-laden margarita.
I plan to make the most of this weekend’s Cinco de Mayo by grilling some skirt steak and a pork shoulder so I can make enchiladas, burritos and tacos, for like days and weeks to come.
Because: I CAN AND I WANT TO.
I marinate the steak and pork the day before grilling so they can soak up some Mexican flavors. I typically use a taco seasoning pack, some mojo, lime juice, cilantro paste, a dash of apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, ground cumin and a spicy barbecue sauce that has either chipotle pepper flavor or jalapeno flavoring (or I add chopped jalapenos into the marinade) and some salt and pepper. I mix that all together and place the marinade into two zip lock bags, adding the steak in one and the pork in the other. Zip them shut and let them chill overnight or at least a few hours, if marinating the day of.
Light up the grill and cook the pork until the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. Cook the steak to your liking, which for me means medium rare.
When the pork is ready, I like to hand pull the meat apart. I use the pork to make pulled pork tacos topped with spicy chipotle barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle sauce) and cole-slaw.
I slice the steak into thin strips and use that for burritos or enchiladas. I stuff the burritos with the steak, grilled onions, cooked black beans, Mexican white cheese and slices of avocado.
My side dish is Mexican street corn. I saw this on a show once and had to give it a shot. This is not my own recipe but the typical ingredients you will see in most recipes you find.
Grill four ears of corn on the grill, turning often for even char and cooking. Mix together half cup mayonnaise, one and a half cups of sour cream and a quarter cup of fresh chopped cilantro.
When you pull the corn off the grill, slather it with the mayo-mix, add a squeeze of lime juice then top it off with grated Parmesan cheese.
Another side option is skewered grilled shrimp basted with cilantro and garlic sauce. Take some lemon juice, olive oil minced garlic and finely chopped cilantro and mix it together. Let the shrimp sit in the mixture for a while before grilling. Keep basting the shrimp as it cooks for awesome flavoring. Spice it up with some hot sauce, if that is your thing.
Both sides are scrumptiously awesome.
Finally tie the whole meal together by making a pitcher of margarita. You need lime juice, tequila, triple sec (or any other orange flavored liqueur) margarita salt, glasses or just one big straw.
MIX AND DRINK. That is all you need to do.
That just takes care of this weekend. National Barbecue Month is going to keep me busy.
I get a hankering for a slab of ribs whenever I start cleaning my grill for the season. I can picture those ribs being served with a side of fresh made potato salad.
Hmmm, sounds like my next foodie column is already a work in progress.