Our Best Summer Recipes: Mango Guacamole, Garlic-Grilled Corn, Cocoa-Chili Rib Eye, and Ginger-Passion Fruit Mai Tais

By Melissa Schneider July 16, 2013 No Comments on Our Best Summer Recipes: Mango Guacamole, Garlic-Grilled Corn, Cocoa-Chili Rib Eye, and Ginger-Passion Fruit Mai Tais

Mai TaiNothing says summer quite like a backyard barbecue complete with guacamole, grilled steaks and mai tais.  Take things up a notch this year with our best summer recipes: funky flavors, exotic rubs, and infusion syrups.  Your taste buds will thank you!

Spicy Mango Guacamole


  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced medium
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled, and diced medium
  • 1 small red onion, diced small
  • ½ Serrano chili, minced (you can remove seeds and ribs to reduce spiciness)

Method:  Place the avocado, lime juice, oil, and salt in a medium bowl.  Squash avocado into a chunky paste with the back of a fork, and stir to combine with the lime juice and salt. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine. Taste to check the spice level and adjust as needed.  If too hot, add more lime juice, and a dash of sugar.  If not hot enough, add the seeds back in, or chop up another chili.  To keep the guacamole from browning, keep the avocado pit in it and cover tightly with foil in the fridge.  Or serve immediately and enjoy!

cornGrilled Basil ‘N Garlic Corn


  • 4 ears of corn, prepared as indicated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine

Roll the husks down and remove the silk threads, but leave husks in tact.  Whisk the oil, garlic, basil, and several grinds of kosher salt in a small bowl.  You can spice things up with a flavor-infused oil like Alta Cucina Italia’s Basil-Infused Olive Oil, or Tavern Direct’s Garlic with Rosemary Oil or Chili Pepper with Garlic Oil, but eliminate the fresh garlic if you use garlic-infused oil.  Place each cob on a separate sheet of foil, shiny side down, and use a brush to coat the corn with two tablespoons of the mixture.  Roll the husks back up, and wrap each tightly in the foil.  Place the ears well away from the flame, but in an evenly heated area of the grill. If your grill has an upper rack, you can use that. Otherwise, place the corn horizontally at the very front or back of the cooking surface.  Grill on the lowest flame setting for about 40 minutes, rotating cobs a quarter turn every 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat, unwrap, and serve.

Cocoa-Chili Rub

Cocoa-Chili-Rubbed Rib Eye

Inspired by the mole sauce of Mexico, this spice rub leads with cocoa, but balances its richness and slight bitterness with chili pepper heat and the quieter flavors of coffee and garlic.  Delish!  A fatty, well-marbled rib eye is perfect for this rub, as the juices retain the spices better than a lean steak.


  • 1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 1 to 2 tbsp chili powder (the best you can find, and of several pepper types)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp ground garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 rib-eye steaks
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil

Method:  Make the rub by combining all spices in a small bowl, and set aside.  Working over a plate, salt your steaks, then oil them with a pastry brush or oil mister.  Use your hands to completely cover both sides with the rub.  As some falls off, flip the steaks over again and press the rub back in.  It’s important to let the steaks rest for several minutes, to allow the juices, oil, and rub to blend on the steak.  Attend to another aspect of your dinner, and then come back to them.  Place steaks on the grill, and if you have leftover rub, continue to sprinkle it on the steaks.  Grill to desired done-ness and serve.  If you are cooking for more than a few people, brush the grill after a few steaks are cooked, since this rub will dirty the grill faster than a plain steak would.

Ginger-Passion Fruit Mai Tais
Famous for their tropical taste, mai tais make excellent summertime party drinks. Instead of adding the simple syrup called for in most recipes, opt for Jo Snow’s Ginger Passion Fruit Syrup.  The tartness of the ginger is sweetened with a subtle burst of passion fruit.  Your guests will be asking for refills!


Method:  Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass with ice. Garnish with a pineapple slice and toothpick umbrella if desired.  Yum!


Photo 1 (cc) Flickr user Sam Howzit
Photo 2 (cc) by Flickr user shauna-glutenfreegirl

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