Summer Fiesta Menu
Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned
Taming the Flame: 20 Meals from the Grill by Elizabeth KarmelIn this weekly column, grilling expert Elizabeth Karmel shares menus for full meals cooked on the grill (with occasional allowances for a no-cook or make-ahead dish that's not grilled). In this column, she shares her recipes for a summer fiesta: The World's Best Grilled Salsa, Pete's Favorite Chipotle Chicken and Cool Orange, Jicama and Mango Slaw. "None of these recipes are 'authentic,' she says, "but they all have been inspired by the robust flavors of that great and diverse country."
The World's Best Grilled Salsa" quite by accident. I was making a smoked vegetable gazpacho and I puréed the ingredients before I thinned it out -- well, I planned on thinning it out! I tasted the pureed grill-smoked veggies to make sure they were well seasoned; then I was going to add a bit of rosé wine and Clamato juice. Well, the chunky, smoky unctuous mixture was so good and just screaming for a tortilla chip. I changed my menu and served it as salsa instead of thinning it and serving it as a soup. And, as good as it was while it was still warm, it was even better chilled the next day. This is a great way to use up produce that is being "stored" in your fridge and a great way to eat your veggies. And, if tortilla chips aren't your thing, make the recipe as written and thin it out with rosé wine and Clamato or chicken broth, chill and serve as soup.
Pete's Favorite Chipotle Chicken for 100 lucky folks every summer for his annual BBQ. He grills all bone-in thighs, but you can use whole chickens, chicken pieces, breasts, thighs, drumsticks -- any piece you prefer.
I created this recipe to capture the essence of the food that I ate and cooked during my two-week culinary exploration of Oaxaca. Once you accept that mayonnaise is purchased in Mexican warehouse stores (Sam's Club and Costco) and used for cooking everything -- even in the most remote villages -- you understand that it is really just a great way to lubricate and flavor poultry, meat or fish. This chipotle wet rub also works well on thick fish steaks or large whole fish such as snapper. The chicken needs to marinate two to four hours -- the larger the piece, the longer you can marinade it. But you can make the marinade up to two days in advance and keep it in a sealed airtight container in the refrigerator until the day you are going to cook the chicken.
Frontera Grill. He cut the fresh jicama into matchstick-like pieces and served it with segmented grapefruit and a dusting of chile powder. I had the salad in the winter, but I was instantly transported to summer and I knew I needed to make a summer "slaw" out of the cool, crunchy, white jicama. Mango adds sweet-tartness to this traditional Mexican combination of citrus and jicama. Grating jicama gives this side dish the texture of an American slaw and is a welcome change from the cabbage and mayo slaws that we eat all summer.
More Barbecue and Grilling from KitchenDaily
- Browse more barbecue and grilling menus by Elizabeth Karmel.
- View how to grill videos.
- See how Tyler Florence makes grilled chicken kabob salad and grilled chicken with radicchio.
- Watch Curtis Stone make a grilled chicken cutlet.