Chow Town

Latin Grilling: bold flavors and a little char

Skirt steak with Argentinean chimichurri, short ribs and chicken.
Skirt steak with Argentinean chimichurri, short ribs and chicken. The Kansas City Star

If you want to kick your grilling up a notch, look for Latin American inspiration.

We’re not necessarily talking heat, but we are talking bold flavors and a little char.

“Latin America is a vast, often misunderstood culinary bonanza of grilling ideas and inspiration. That means choripán, pinchos and provoleta, anticuchos, pollada and churrascos, guasacaca, pebre, molho a campanha and chimichurri,” according to Kansas City food writer Connie McCabe.

McCabe recently moved back to her childhood home after living in Chile for several years. She was missing the inspired flavors of her husband’s homeland, so recently Star photographer Tammy Ljungblad and I spent an afternoon on Connie’s deck grilling up several of the region’s meat specialties, including her own favorite recipe for Choripan With Pebre, mild sausages blanketed in a bit of baguette and topped with a tomato-based garnish.

The ins an outs of Latin-inspired grilling was featured in The Star’s food section this week. You’ll find recipes for Argentinian Skirt Steak and Short Ribs With Chimichurri, Rick Bayless’ Lazy Salsa, Peruvian Spicy Grilled Chicken and Connie’s own Choripan.