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The warmer months are upon us. Well, at least they're supposed to be - but we cranky sleet-enduring New Yorkers digress.
Five Favorite Dishes for a Mexican-Inspired Outdoor Party: Akhtar Nawab
Tip: Make sure to keep the shellfish liquor in the shell when transferring from the grill to the pot with the chorizo. Let everything cook together until the flavors start to combine in an intense stew. Serve with fried tortillas for a great lunch."
2. Bone-in carne asada with a Mexican “dry rub”
The dry rub also has a lot of uses outside of this dish, great for roasted chicken or hearty fishes as well. In our dry rub, we use Mexican oregano, black pepper, cumin, coriander seed, onion powder and garlic powder. Toast everything in a pan until aromatic, allow to cool and grind in a spice grinder. Be sure to store in a cool dry place.
Tip: When buying the sirloin, ask the butcher to cut the steaks at least one-inch thick so the meat can spend some time on the grill charring before it reaches medium rare. This will help to avoid overcooking."
3. Elotes callajeros (grilled corn) with lime mayonnaise, cotija cheese and chile piquin
Get the freshest corn you can, peel, and grill them until the kernels are slightly charred and start to pop. Use a thick wooden skewer to create a handle for eating. Brush with some lime mayonnaise, generously dust with cotija cheese and finish with a little fresh chile piquin.
Tip: For those looking for a little less spice, substitute chile powder for the chile piquin."
4. Grilled Hen of the woods mushrooms cooked with mojo de ajo, epazote, and Fresno chilies and cebollitas (green onions)
Carefully break the mushrooms into large pieces, brush with the mojo de ajo and grill over medium heat. In a separate pan quickly sauté the sliced shallots and chilies. When the mushrooms are tender, add the peppers and onions and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are coated with the peppers and mojo de ajo.
Tip: The mojo, like the dry rub for the steak, is easy to make and has so many different uses, so take a little extra time and make a big batch! Great with shrimp and fish also.
To make, simply mince garlic in a food processor, add to a pot, cover with olive oil, fresh chilies (I like to use chile de arbol), and cook slowly. When the garlic starts to caramelize, add some lime juice and the minced herbs. Cool and use on anything and everything."
5. Grilled tomatillo and ajo (garlic) salsa
Simply place the tomatillos, serrano chile, garlic, and onions on a hot spot of the grill and cook turning only when necessary. An easy way to make this salsa is to put everything in a blender and process for a few seconds. Season with salt.
Tip: Make certain to purchase small tomatillos so they won’t have to spend as long on the grill charring. This will help to contain their valuable juices."
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