The Mexican BBQ Party Series: Sides

And the Mexican BBQ Party continues...... with all the little side dishes that pulled the meal together. You can't very well serve a Mexican meal without rice and beans, so we didn't. And you can't make fish tacos without a spicy slaw, so we didn't. And you can't have a BBQ without sweet corn for Pete's sake!! So we didn't. All of these dishes were either used to assemble tacos, or just served as sides to complement the dish! Now I know I can't necessarily call these dishes traditional Mexican, but they are my version of some of my Mexican and BBQ favorites.

Refried Black Beans with Bacon

2 15oz. cans black beans (drained)
1/2 yellow onion (rough chop)
3 cloves garlic (rough chop)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb bacon (chopped up into 1/2 pieces)*
1 tbsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 lime (juice)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*use 4 tbsp unsalted butter as a sub for bacon

While this might not be a traditional version of refried beans (no lard included), it certainly is a tasty version. I came up with this recipe a long time ago by winging it as to how I thought refried beans were probably made. Turns out, I'm not too far off!

Start by heating a large saute pan over medium heat and add bacon. Cook bacon down until there is a good amount of bacon fat in the pan, and bacon starts to get just a little bit crispy. This will take 7-10 minutes. Add onion to the bacon and grease and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and salt and pepper and cook for about 3 more minutes over medium heat. Your kitchen will smell amazing. Bacon, onion and garlic??? Yes, please.

Add beans and lime juice and let cook for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of broth and bay leaves and bring to a simmer (slow boil). Let it mostly evaporate and add the rest of the broth, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. There should still be some liquid in the pan when done. Put in food processor or use immersion blender to create a creamy texture with some whole bits of beans remaining.

Jason's Mexican Rice

1 tbs canola oil
2 tsp  dried Mexican oregano
2 tsp ground ancho pepper
2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
2 dried Mexican chili peppers (medium or large)
salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)
1 small can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow or white onion (chopped)
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 lime
1 1/2 cup white rice (any variety)

Start by making the enchilada sauce for the rice. Saute onions, oregano and garlic in canola oil w/ ground ancho and chipotle pepper until onion is softened.

Soak Mexican chilies in steaming hot water (~1 cup), and remove seeds if less heat is desired. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and soaked chilies and soaking liquid to onion mixture. Blend with immersion blender or regular blender until smooth, strain if desired. Return to heat and simmer on medium until reduced by 1/4, sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Salt sauce to taste, add fresh lime juice and cool.

Add rice to sauce pot with canola oil and saute on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Add enchilada sauce, bring to a simmer and reduce to very low heat. Cook for 45 minutes or until rice is tender (adding chicken stock or water as needed). Add any additional ingredients as desired (corn, jalapenos, carrots, olives, etc.)

Red Cabbage Slaw

1/2 head red cabbage (sliced thin)
1/2 cup regular mayo (don't even think about using Miracle Whip)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp hot sauce (use your favorite)
2 cloves garlic (minced very fine)
handful of cilantro (chopped up)
1/2 lime (juice and zest)
salt and pepper

Combine everything but the cabbage in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the cabbage to the creamy mixture and toss to coat. Cover, and set in fridge for 20-30 minutes.

This cabbage is ultimately addictive. You must top your fish tacos with this and a little melted cheese. It's heaven my friends. Give this awesome recipe a try. SOO simple, and delicious.

Mexican Grilled Corn

sweet corn in husks (1 per person)
1/2 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 lime (juice and zest)
1/2 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
1 cup hard Mexican cheese (crumbled) (like a Cotija cheese)

In a small bowl, combine butter, lime juice and zest, cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt. Chill until corn is ready.

Soak corn in a bath of water for 2 hours before grilling. After 2 hours, shuck the corn and heat grill to medium heat. Throw the corn straight on the grill, rotating for about 10 minutes. 

While the corn is grilling, on a large platter combine cheese, cilantro and some salt and pepper. You will roll the corn over it, so make sure its a big enough space.

When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with your flavorful butter. After buttered, roll the corn through your cheese and cilantro mixture. That's all! Just spicing up your every day grilled sweet corn. You could even cut the kernels off the ear and toss it on your taco. Ohhh the possibilities!

 Up next is the meat portion of the dinner. Stay tuned for another Mexican BBQ Party Series! We're grilling pork tenderloins and grouper!


  1. Loved the red cabbage slaw! Great recipe. Definitely making that for my family reunion this July. Such a great meal.

  2. OMG, these goodies look absolutely delish! I can't wait to make them all! I'm celebrating my birthday with a recipe link up and a spicy giveaway that include 4 oz of each of these spices: ground chipotle, ground cardamom, ground ceylon cinnamon, oregano, granulated garlic, and whole cumin. I'd love for you to stop by and link up this post and any other's that use one or more of these spices. TGIF!



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