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‘Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of’. But this ‘little’ girl was never known for the sugar. She was known for spice.
Growing up in a conservative Mennonite home with a mom who is a ‘by the recipe’ cook, I grew up eating classic American homemade comfort foods. Never satisfied with ‘plain old plain old’, I always pushed boundaries, living outside the lines wherever I felt safe. Cooking is one of those places I’ve always lived outside the lines. I love to take traditional American dishes and give them a twist, and one of my favorite twists is Latin American flavor.
I was introduced to spicy foods as a teenager, when I spent a summer in the southwest and two summers in Latin America, working and learning about life outside my world. Not only did I gain a love for travel and the people there, but I also developed a love for the bold and spicy dishes we were often served.
Authentic Mexican/Latin/South American foods became something I craved but never could find, so I started experimenting with simple spices to get as close as I could. They never measured up and I was excited when we moved to an area where we could find authentic Mexican prepared foods, ingredients, and spices.
I generally dabble in dried herbs and spices, but when I tried La Morena chipotle peppers in adobo sauce I was hooked. This summer I’ve been experimenting with La Morena products and all the ones I have tried add that authentic Latino flavor I love to our traditional American BBQ. La Morena has become a staple ingredient in my kitchen and I can easily get it in the Hispanic aisle at Walmart.
I rarely buy barbecue sauce because I don’t like the ingredients many main stream barbecue sauces have and don’t find the expensive ‘good stuff’ to be a valuable use for my tight grocery budget. But still, a girl craves good BBQ sometimes and this area isn’t exactly known for its BBQ joints. Plus, it’s summer and who isn’t looking for a new burger and sauce to change up their summer gathering?
That meant I needed to find a way to make my own to-die-for barbecue sauce. You know, the finger licking kind of sauce that’s thick and sweet and spicy. My friends, I have just that recipe and it is simply spectacular. So spectacular I didn’t want to share, but too good not to. Know what I mean?
The beauty of this sauce is that you can whip it up right on the grill burner (if you have one) while you are grilling burgers or chicken. You can also make it ahead of time if you want to.
I recommend the Jalapeño Queso Chorizo Burger recipe at the end of this post but really, the sky is the limit when you choose your protein. This recipe isn’t quite ‘all fresh from scratch’, but by using products I already use and approve of, I can still control the quality of what some will class as semi-homemade.
- 1 cup raw sugar*
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses*
- 3 tablespoons La Morena Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
- *Note: You can use white sugar in place of raw sugar or brown sugar in place of white/raw sugar and molasses. It just doesn't have quite the same richness
- Mince chipotle peppers in generous amount of their own sauce and measure 3 tablespoons.
- Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium/high heat.
- Stir often, heating until sugar is melted and mixture is thick and bubbling.
What better way to serve this barbecue sauce than with a good old American burger? However, this is no ordinary burger. Just as I gave a little Latino inspiration to my barbecue sauce, I am infusing it into a chorizo burger.
I have been craving one since I had not ONE but TWO amazing chorizo burgers in the last year. If you aren’t able to find chorizo, you can make your own.
I actually made a chorizo flavored ground turkey and mixed it with beef. The combination of chorizo, pickled jalapeños, and queso fresco makes this burger tasty and easy with flair.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound chorizo
- ¾ cup queso fresco
- ⅛ cup pickled jalapeños
- Mix the chorizo and burger together.
- Finely crumble the queso fresco.
- Mince the pickled jalapeños.
- Mix the cheese and jalapeños into the meat.
- Form into patties.
- Cook to desired temperature.
How will you use La Morena products to give your summer barbecue an authentic Latino twist?