I see grilling as an opportunity to experiment with ingredients—to put my personal stamp on a meal. Growing up in Texas, we used to eat Mexican chili-coated candies, and that’s the note I was after with these tamarind ribs. The sweet-tart fruit adds a tropical twist that perfectly complements charred pork.

Get the recipe: Tamarind-Glazed Ribs

Another way I surprise my backyard guests is by adding nontraditional meat garnishes, like Cotija cheese or cilantro, to my mom’s classic grilled chicken dishes. With a few unexpected tastes, the food at your next barbecue will be as memorable as the conversation.

Photo: ALLEKO/iStock

Get the recipe: Arroz con Pollo

Photo: iStock

Get the recipe: Ribeye con Cebollitas

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