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Fire Up the Grill!

June 1, 2009

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Latin and South American countries love their meat (vegetarians, you have been warned).

Perhaps one of the most famous countries known for their love of meat is Argentina. It is a carnivore’s dream destination. A hungry traveler will find a variety of steaks, chicken, blood sausage, chorizo, and even sweetbreads and intestines roasting on the parrilla (the traditional grill). It is common to see all of these options served on one platter, known as the parillada mixta. The dinner guest consumes 2 pounds of beef at a single meal, teaming these cuts with nothing more than with a spoonful of zesty Chimichurri Sauce, and sides of fried potatoes and salad.

Brazil, by some standards, manages to top the Argentinian’s love of beef at what is known as the churrascaria rodizio. Here, diners enjoy huge quantities of not just beef, but grilled lamb, pork, chicken and sometimes goat, all stacked and carried to the table on long, king-size skewers. This impressive display of meat is carved table-side, much to the joy of the patrons.

These carnivorous delights have not gone undetected. Here in the US, Brazilian and Argentinean grill houses are popping up in many major cities with much success. However, even though massive plates of beef are a bit intimidating and not so healthy, you can certainly still enjoy the fine flavors of grilled meats in your own backyard – in moderate quantities. All you need is a grill, a fire and a nice, smaller cut of poultry, fish or meat, along with your own special blend of flavors and spices.

Summer-time is the perfect season to get outside and enjoy grilled meals with your family and friends. Check out this recipe below:

Tequila Lime Chicken With Colby-Jack Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients:

  • Chicken:
    1/3 cup tequila*
    1/3 cup lime juice
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    6 chicken breasts, skinned, boned (about 5 ounces each)
  • Salsa:
    1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes seasoned with chilies
    1 (15 ounce) can black beans
    4 green onions, sliced thin
    1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1 1/2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
    Pinch of salt

Preparations

  1. Combine tequila, lime juice, sugar, salt, oil and pepper in large bowl. Marinate chicken in mixture for at least 20 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  2. Sauté or grill chicken breasts on each side over medium-high heat until cooked through and lightly browned.
  3. While chicken is cooking, prepare salsa by combining remaining ingredients in bowl; serve with chicken.

*Recipe adapted from Wisconsin Cheese

To find more delicious recipes like the one above, and to learn more about healthy eating habits for Latinos, visit Sarita’s Sensations on the Latino Nutrition Coalition Website.

Buen provecho!

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