Summer Mexican Recipes for the Holiday Weekend

There have been a slew of post-pandemic cookbooks that have come out in the past couple of months, but the one that got me most excited is “Mi Cocina” by my friend Rick Martínez. Rick has spent the majority of the pandemic in his Mazatlán home writing this book, having spent several months traversing Mexico for his best home cooking dishes. This type of Mexican cuisine is my favorite to dive deep into; the simple and very tasty home cooking that you don’t often see in restaurants.

One of Martínez’s signature dishes is a dish called Poc Chuc, a Yucatácan dish that marinates thinly sliced ​​pork shoulder in orange and lime juices before quickly grilling it and serving it with grilled onions, radishes and avocados. It immediately put me in the mood for summer grilling, pulled in by its brilliant marinade and simple preparation.

To keep that mood going, I’m going to dip into some other simple Mexican-inspired dishes that are ideal for outdoor entertaining all summer long.

Grilled Steak with Chunky Guacamole Salad by Jonathan Melendez uses store-bought taco seasoning to flavor a steak that’s served with a simple salad made with the traditional components of guacamole.

Paola Briseño González’s Shrimp, Mushrooms and Zucchini with Labneh Poblano Sauce and Corn Slaw is a fantastic dish that rewards you for having her simple Labneh Poblano Sauce on hand in the fridge – just toss the corn salad while some vegetables and shrimp cook (or use vegetables only) and you have a great meal with that sauce drizzled over everything.

Elotes is a classic corn treat, coating boiled or grilled corn with mayonnaise, cotija, and chili for a great side dish or afternoon snack. And to go with everything, Esteban Castillo’s Traditional Molcajete Salsa is the perfect side dish to keep in the fridge all summer long. Pour it on literally everything you eat to instantly brighten it up and transport you to Mexico in your mind.

Poc Chuc (grilled pork marinated in orange and lime)

It is a typical Yucatán dish with Mayan origins. The pork is sliced ​​very thin so it can quickly and completely absorb the fresh orange and lime marinade – this also allows for a quick cooking time on a hot grill. Save yourself two hours and some hassle by having your butcher thinly slice your pork shoulder.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 45 minutes + 2h30 rest

Grilled steak with chunky guacamole salad

Using a taco seasoning packet is a great way to get more bang for your buck at the grocery store. It already has a bunch of different spices and herbs mixed in for you, so you don’t have to buy them separately.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 1 hour.

Grilled steak with guacamole salad by Jonathan Melendez.

(Jonathan Melendez / For Time)

Shrimps, Mushrooms And Zucchini With Poblano Labneh Sauce And Corn Salad

Fire-roasted poblano peppers flavor the creamy sauce for simple poached shrimp and pan-fried vegetables. Corn – boiled first to fluff up its kernels – is tossed with mint and lime juice to add a sour crunch to the dish.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 1 hour

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, Aug 25, 2021: Crispy oyster mushrooms and zucchini

(Silvia Razgova/For the times)

Classic elotes

Grilled Mexican corn, or elotes, is a Mexican comfort food that everyone loves. Prepare the toppings before cooking the corn so they’re ready to brush on the ears once they’re hot from the grill or pan.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Molcajete Salsa

Ground in a traditional Mexican molcajete, mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock, this thick, smoky salsa made with roasted tomatoes, grilled árbol peppers and fresh onion and cilantro is perfect over fried eggs , chilaquiles, a bowl of frijolitos, tacos or a quesadilla. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, this can easily be done in a food processor.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Molcajete salsa

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