Everyone looks forward for Labor Day weekend which marks the end of summer fun, grilling by the pool, and a celebration of National Work Day. It is time to take a break, relax, and enjoy with family and friends your favorite activity along with simple BBQ recipes. The following picks represent Latin fusion in several American classics traditionally served during this long weekend.
Start with a soothing iced black tea infused with hibiscus and ginger. This dried tropical flower is a great ally for hypertension and fatigue with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Just perfect for this celebration of long hours of work.
Pick up your favorite chorizo sausage at your local butcher or market, a crusty "pan de agua", a simple bun or the sophisticated baguette and make the Latino version of hot dog- the Choripan. Any condiment will do but chimichurri or grilled peppers are delicious with this street food of Latin Americans. Kids love it too!
Tired of beef and chicken on the grill? Try the thick-cut pork chops marinated in a take on the classic Mexican pork recipe — al Pibil. Steak lovers will love them and so will those looking for lean proteins on a tight budget. They also go nicely with any salad including the potato or macaroni, faithful guests of Labor Day picnics.
Finally, if camping in the woods is your activity, the classic Smores make way for Latino style as well. Roast the marshmallows, then layer the sweet fluffy favorite between dark chocolate, María cookie, and dulce de leche. A sweet holiday it is to indulge, enjoy, and have a great break!
Hibiscus Tea with Ginger
- 8 cups of water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Black tea bags
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 slices of fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- In a 6- quart saucepan over medium heat, simmer 4 cups of water with sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, add black tea bags, hibiscus flowers, cinnamon stick, and ginger slices. Cover and infuse for 15-20 minutes.
- Pour infusion into a large pitcher using a strainer. Add lime juice, the remaining 4 cups of water, and refrigerate.
- Serve over ice and decorate with fresh ginger slices.
Choripan — Grilled Chorizo and Bread
- 6 Chorizo style- sausages for the grill (Spanish Chistorras, Argentinean or Mexican Chorizo)
- 2 long baguette-style bread or 12 individual brioche long buns
- Favorite condiment for sausages (chimichurri, grilled peppers, mustard)
- Heat grill to medium high-heat. Add sausages and grill 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness.
- Slice bread horizontally, add favorite condiment, and place grilled chorizo in the middle. Serve warm.
Easy Grilled Pork Chops- Pibil Style
- 4 (1-in.) thick bone-in pork chop
- Easy Marinade Pibil-style:
- 1 teaspoon Achiote (Annatto) in powder or paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Mix all ingredients of the Pibil-style seasoning in a bowl. Place pork chops in a rectangular dish or large plastic food bag and pour the marinade over the chops making sure they are completely seasoned. Cover with a plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator until ready to use. You may marinate up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium-high and grill for 5-7 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite grilled chile or pepper.
Smores with Dulce de Leche
- One package "María"-style cookies
- One dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces
- One 10 oz. can Dulce de Leche
- 16 whole marshmallows
- Wooden or steel sticks for grilling marshmallows
- Spread a thin layer of dulce de leche on one María cookie.
- Place a piece of chocolate in the center of another María cookie.
- Place marshmallow on a stick and grill until slightly golden. Slide warm marshmallow on top of the chocolate on the María cookie and then place the other cookie with the dulce de leche on top of the marshmallow.