Cuban Cooking on the Grill

by Cate on May 26, 2007

I promised you Cuban Cooking on the grill the other night, but was too tired to post it last night. On Wednesday, I made The Neighbor Wife a deal. I’d make dinner in return for her helping me to do some inventory and packing in the kitchen. I can’t believe we move in three weeks – I am so not ready. I can tell I’m going to be making many more of those deals in the very near future.

I knew I wanted to do something on the grill, and just the other day, I was reading the current issue of Latina magazine and spied the perfect recipe (see what I dedicated wife I am? I get Latina magazine just to find good Latin recipes to try out on The Husband). The June issue had a recipe for Adobo-Citrus Grilled Chicken that was too simple to pass up. Just after that, I spied a recipe for Cuban Potato Salad, and a menu was born.

The chicken could not have been simpler to make. Throw a bunch of things in a Ziploc bag, and let it marinate for a few hours. Toss it on the grill for 15 minutes, and you’ll be eating very tender, moist, flavorful chicken in no time flat. We all concurred that this one is a keeper, and will be seeing plenty of time on our grill this season.

In the many, many years I have known The Husband, he has never once eaten Potato Salad. Silly man. I love the stuff, but unless we’re having company over, I don’t make it, knowing his disdain for it. Well, I’ve learned a little secret in the course of making this dinner. Apparently if you call it Cuban Potato Salad (and that wasn’t even me, it was the magazine!), he is intrigued enough to try it … and go back for seconds! Will wonders never cease. There is a bit of chopping for the recipe, but it’s easy enough to make quick work of it, and it was the ideal side dish for the chicken.

Rounding out the table was a plate of buttery-soft, perfectly ripe avocados (which I just drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, hot sauce, salt and pepper), and a big bowl of Five Cup Salad (love the stuff, but another thing The Husband won’t go near; luckily The Neighbor Wife was there to help).

A perfect weeknight meal, fairly healthy, and even better when enjoyed with good company.

A year ago today… guilty pleasures.
Two years ago today… another good weeknight menu.

Healthy Cuban Potato Salad
Recipe courtesy of Latina Magazine
Makes 6 servings

2 lb potatoes
4 slices bacon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small red onion, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
1/2 cup chopped green olives
4 hard-boiled egg whites, chopped (I used the yolks too)
3/4 cup reduced-fat mayo
1 T garlic powder
1 T mustard
1-2 tsp. hot sauce
freshly ground black pepper

In heavy-bottom saucepan, place potatoes; cover generously with cold water, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes. If using bacon, in large skillet, slowly fry until crisp, then drain, crumble and set aside (I bake in oven instead on wire rack set on cookie sheet so fat drips down and keeps stovetop clean). When potatoes are cool, peel and cut into bite-size pieces. In large, non-reactive bowl, add potatoes and vinegar; gently stir to coat. Let cool 10-15 minutes. In same bowl, add celery, onion, scallions, pickles, olives and egg whites. In separate small bowl, combine mayo, garlic powder, mustard, hot sauce and black pepper, to taste (I put all in the same bowl). Pour mayo mixture over salad ingredients and stir to combine. Crumble bacon and sprinkle over salad, if using (I mixed in).

Adobo-Citrus Grilled Chicken Thighs
Recipe courtesy of Latina Magazine
Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 (7 oz) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T Mexican oregano (I used regular)
1 t ground cumin
1 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

In blender or bowl of food processor, combine all ingredients except chicken and process until well combined (I just dumped in Ziploc bag). Transfer marinade to zip-top plastic bag or nonreactive dish. Add chicken to marinade and coat completely. Close bag or cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Preheat and prepare outdoor grill or ridged grill pan. Remove chicken from marinade, drain and pat dry (we didn’t pat dry). Over medium-high heat, grill thighs, turning once, until juices run clear or internal temperature reaches 180F, about 15 minutes.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 26, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Wow, I had never heard of Cuban Potato Salad (& I have been Cuban a long time) LOL! Dad is a big fan of Potato Salad, I may just have to try it.

The Sister In-Law

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mdvelazquez May 31, 2007 at 12:34 pm

I love potato salad. I will have to give this one a try. Thank you.

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Angela Martínez June 7, 2007 at 2:07 pm

I tried this chicken for dinner last night. As luck would have it, it started pouring rain about five minutes after we fired up the grill, but it was delicious in the oven as well. Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing it.

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