5 Memorial Day favorites, Latinized (RECIPES)

This coming weekend is Memorial Day and summer's officially starting! Although I'm already starting to enjoy some great grill-worthy recipes when I made Mexican corn on the cob (elotes) this weekend, this coming weekend is actually the time to start breaking out the grill and making delicious food. There are a few Memorial Day weekend favorites that are perfect for the beach or the backyard, but nothing can be better than making all of them Latin-style. These recipes are all perfect to share with the whole family. Start off with a quinoa, corn and black bean salad that everyone will love, then start grilling by making a Latin marinade for your steak, try a Latin burger with a caramelized onion and jalapeño relish or even a chorizo-style corn dog. Plus, finish it all off with some baked yuca fries (instead of the French variety) and don't forget the margaritas!


Read more ¿Qué más? Every Latina's fave corn on the cob: Elotes! (RECIPE)

Quinoa, Corn & Black Bean Salad (recipe courtesy of Savvy Vegetarian)

Ingredients (for the dressing):
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped scallions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or basil
1 Tbsp minced fresh jalapeño pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic heated until soft in 1 Tbsp olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients (for the salad):
2 - 3 cups cooked quinoa
One 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained OR: 1 cup cooked black beans
2 ears fresh corn, cooked, and kernels stripped off OR: 1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (red, green, orange, yellow or a mix)
1/2 cup chopped mango - fresh or dried (soaked)
Lime wedges for garnish

1. 1 hr ahead: Soak dried mango in hot water if you're using it instead of fresh mango
2. 1 hr ahead: Cook quinoa if you haven't got any on hand
3. Dressing: Chop scallions, cilantro and jalapeño pepper
4. Combine with cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil & lime juice
5. Salad: Rinse and drain the black beans
6. Cook corn and slice off the kernels, OR: thaw 1 cup frozen corn
7. Chop tomatoes and peppers
8. Mix together cooked quinoa (press out any lumps), black beans, and veggies
9. Add the salad dressing and stir
10. Adjust seasonings to taste
11. Serve garnished with lime wedges
12. Cover and chill if you don't plan to eat the salad immediately

Latin Flair Skirt Steak Marinade (recipe courtesy of Andrea Correale)

1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Whole Squeezed Lime
1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro
1 Packet Goya Sason Seasoning with Saffron
1 Tsp Garlic Powder

Combine the ingredients below then place in a plastic baggie with the steak for a minimum of 2 hours.

Latin Burgers with Caramelized Onion and Jalapeño Relish and Red Pepper Mayonnaise (recipe courtesy of Ingrid Hoffman at Food Network)

3/4 pound ground sirloin
3/4 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound raw chorizo, casings removed and crumbled
1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
1 large onion, grated
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions, finely sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup bottled and sliced jalapeño chiles, drained
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 medium jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
3/4 cup mayonnaise
6 slices Oaxaca cheese or mozzarella
6 hamburger rolls

Directions (to prepare the burgers):
In a large bowl, mix thoroughly by hand the ground beef, the chorizo, the adobo seasoning, the grated onion and the bread crumbs. Form the burgers into 6 patties without pressing them too much or they can become tough. Line a baking pan with waxed paper and put the burgers side-by-side in a single layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This will help the burgers hold together. If you make more than you need just separate with waxed paper and insert into a storage freezer bag for future use.

Directions (for the caramelized onion and jalapeño relish):
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Add the jalapeño chiles and the brown sugar. Saute for 15 minutes or until the onion and the chiles are caramelized and soft. Set aside.

Directions (for the red pepper mayonnaise):
Drain the roasted red peppers and put them in a blender or food processor. Add the mayonnaise, and season with salt and pepper. Puree the mayonnaise and roasted red peppers until well combined and the mixture is smooth. NOTE: This may be done up to 2 days ahead of time, and in fact the flavor will be more complete with an overnight chilling.

Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Place the burgers on the hot grill or pan until cooked to desired doneness. Due to the raw chorizo in the recipe, at least medium-well is recommended, approximately 10 minutes on each side. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, top the burgers with the slices of cheese so it can melt. If your grill has a lid, putting it on briefly will help the cheese melt quickly and evenly. To serve: Spread about 1 tablespoon of the red pepper mayonnaise on both sides of the rolls. Lay a burger on the bottom halves, and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the caramelized onion and jalapeno relish.

Chorizo Corn Puffs (recipe courtesy of Better Than Takeout)

1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of canola oil
3-4 cups of peanut oil for frying
8 inches of chorizo , ideally 1 inch in diameter
assortment of mustard

1. In a large bowl, mix all your dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix all your wet ingredients. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth (pancake batter consistency).

2. Pour peanut oil into a small, tall pot until 3" deep. Heat oil to 350F.

3. Peel and discard chorizo casing. Cut into 1/2 inch slices or form into little balls (which ever is easier for you).

4. Coat chorizo in the batter. Place 6 at a time in the oil and fry for about 1.5 minutes - turning half way through. Transfer to a paper towel and serve hot with the assorted mustard. I used traditional French's yellow mustard, Maille green mustard and Honey Mustard.

Baked Yuca Fries (recipe courtesy of The Innocent Primate Vegan Blog)

1 yuca
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Peel yuca with vegetable peeler. Cut off ends and discard. Cut yuca into ~3 inch sections.

3. Boil sections for 12 minutes, or until the center of each section begins to split.

4. Slice each section in half, following the central cleave. Remove the thin stalk you'll find running along the length of the yuca.

5. Cut into wedges, or shape of your choice. Brush lightly with olive oil and spread over a cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake 12 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

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What is your favorite dish to make for Memorial Day weekend and the summer? Share with us in the comments below!

Images via ms. tea/flickr, I am Jeffrey/flickr, I am Jeffrey/flickr, thethrillstheyyield/flickr, Better Than Takeout

Topics: latin food  latin recipes  latin restaurants  latin chefs