From Jonathan Zaragoza of Birrieria Zaragoza. Each recipe makes 8 servings.
Whisk together 1 cup mayonnaise, ½ cup Mexican sour cream, ½ cup Cotija, and 3 tablespoons Parkay spread (“All the eloteros swear by this, but you can sub softened butter,” Zaragoza says). Coat 10 ears of corn with canola oil, sprinkle with salt, and grill until slightly blackened and blistered. Cut off kernels and fold them into the mayo mixture. Season with lime juice, chili powder, salt, and more Cotija.
Ensalada de Nopales
Sprinkle 3 lb. cleaned nopales paddles with salt and let rest for an hour, then rinse and pat dry. Grill nopales until slightly charred, then place in a bowl and cover with foil. Let cool, then slice into 2-inch strips. Heat a cast-iron skillet on the grill, add 1¾ cups canola oil, and fry 1½ cups sliced white onion with a pinch of salt, stirring until golden. Add 3 seeded and diced guajillo chiles and 2 tablespoons sliced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add nopales and sauté for 3 minutes. Pour in 1 cup apple cider vinegar and reduce by half. Season with salt and sugar, and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco.
“This is a quintessential side at every Zaragoza cookout.” Fry 8 oz. chopped bacon and 8 oz. crumbled chorizo in ¼ cup canola oil in a pot placed right on the grill. When bacon is crisp, add 1 cup diced white onion, 5 minced garlic cloves, and 1 minced jalapeño. Cook until fragrant. Add 2 cups diced Roma tomatoes, stirring until soft, then 1½ cups drained, cooked pinto beans, 2 cups chicken stock, and ½ cup chopped cilantro. Simmer for an hour until thickened. Salt to taste.