Mex it up


Warm weather is made for Mexican dishes that play up fresh and fun ingredients. Craft them into spicy pork tacos or a citrusy seafood salad, and turn any night of the week into a fiesta.

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH MANGO AND MINT-LIME DRESSING

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/3 cup safflower oil, plus more for brushing

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus whole leaves for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (about 1 1⁄2 pounds)

1 bunch radishes, preferably small

1 serrano pepper

1 bunch watercress, tough lower stems removed

1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into sticks

6 ounces queso fresco or goat cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. In a bowl, combine lime juice and garlic. Whisk in oil, then chopped mint; season with salt and pepper. Pound chicken to an even 1⁄2-inch thickness; transfer to a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper; toss with half of dressing. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. Brush grill grates with oil. Grill chicken, radishes and serrano, flipping chicken once and turning vegetables occasionally, until chicken is just cooked through and radishes are charred in places, 6 to 8 minutes. Mince serrano; stir into remaining dressing. Serve chicken with radishes, watercress and mango; drizzle with dressing and top with cheese and mint leaves.

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GRILLED PORK-AND-PINEAPPLE TACOS

Active Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

1 1⁄2 teaspoons chili powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound pork tenderloin, patted dry

Safflower oil, for brushing

1⁄2 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1⁄2-inch rings

1 white onion, cut into 1⁄2-inch rounds

12 corn tortillas

Chipotle salsa, shredded cabbage and cilantro, for serving

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Stir together chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle evenly over pork. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. Brush grill grates with oil. Grill pork, turning a few times, until charred in places and a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 140 F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Grill pineapple and onion, flipping once, until charred in places and crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to board with pork. Grill tortillas, flipping once, until hot and blistered in places, 30 to 45 seconds each, placing them inside a folded kitchen towel as you go. Let steam a few minutes to soften.

3. Thinly slice pork and cut pineapple into 1⁄2-inch-thick pieces; slice onion. Fill warm tortillas with pork, pineapple, onion, salsa, cabbage and cilantro; serve.

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STEAK-AND-AVOCADO PEPITOS

Active Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Serves: 4

1 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 4 pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 medium red onion, chopped (1 1⁄2 cups)

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, undrained

Sliced tomato and avocado, Mexican crema or sour cream, and hot sauce, for serving

4 hoagie rolls (preferably seeded), split, for serving

1. Season steak with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and Worcestershire, turning to evenly coat; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high. Add steak and cook, flipping once, until seared and medium-rare, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Return skillet to medium heat (do not wipe clean). Add 1 cup onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add beans with liquid and 1/3 cup water; simmer until thickened slightly, 5 minutes. Smash with a potato masher or fork until spreadable. Thinly slice steak, then stir steak juices into bean mixture.

3. Season tomato and avocado with salt. Spread bean mixture onto rolls. Top with steak, tomato, avocado, remaining 1⁄2 cup onion, crema and hot sauce; serve.

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MEXICAN SEAFOOD SALAD

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, squeezed rinds reserved

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 ears corn, shucked

3⁄4 pound medium shrimp (preferably wild), peeled and deveined

3⁄4 pound skin-on red snapper fillet

2 medium tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (1 1⁄2 cups)

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced into rounds

1⁄2 white onion, finely chopped (3⁄4 cup)

3⁄4 cup chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons safflower oil

1 head Boston or bibb lettuce, leaves separated

Corn nuts, for serving (optional)

1. Bring 1 1⁄2 inches water and lime rinds to a boil in a wide pot; season generously with salt. Add corn; boil until bright yellow and crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Transfer corn to a plate. Add shrimp and fish to pot; remove from heat, cover and let stand until shrimp are opaque and fish is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to plate; let cool about 5 minutes. Discard lime. Cut corn from cobs.

2. Stir together corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice and oil. Remove skin from fish; flake into bite-size pieces and stir into corn mixture with shrimp. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally (or refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day). Season with salt and pepper. Serve seafood salad over lettuce, topped with corn nuts.

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For more recipes and additional tips, visit www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood. Questions or comments should be sent to: askmartha@marthastewart.com.


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