California Avocado season has ended.

Cumin Glazed Rib Tacos with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa and Grilled Corn Esquite

Total time:

1 hrs 30 min

Prep time:


Cook time:

1 hrs 30 min

Nutritional Highlights (Per serving) See Full
1412 Calories
86 g Fat
12 g Fiber
1546 mg Sodium
80 g Carbs
Cumin Glazed Rib Tacos with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa and Grilled Corn Esquite


Featuring a feast of colors, flavors and fresh produce, Cumin Glazed Rib Tacos with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa is a celebration of California cuisine, perfect for the PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim. These tacos have a sophisticated appeal for adults and a fun to eat flair for kids. Slow-grilled pork ribs are seasoned, marinated, and glazed, then deboned. The meat is then placed atop a grilled corn esquite, which is a creamy, slightly spicy corn salad with the tang of fresh lime juice and a touch of cotija cheese. The crowning jewel of the dish is the California Avocado Pineapple Salsa, which combines seven ingredients from the produce department (California Avocados, pineapple, jicama, red onion, jalapeño, lime and cilantro) with seasonings, vinegar and a splash of tequila. The pineapple is grilled, adding a smoky note to a salsa that blends sweetness, acidity and spicy heat with California Avocados’ creamy goodness. The combination of flavors, color and aroma of the succulent glazed pork, zesty grilled corn esquite and smoky sweet avocado salsa is simply intoxicating!


Serves: 6

California Avocado Pineapple Salsa
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp. Tequila
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 ripe pineapple, trimmed+ and cut into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
1/2 small jicama, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
Cumin Glazed Ribs
1/4 cup Paprika
1/4 cup ancho chile powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
4 1/2 lbs. pork baby back ribs
As needed Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped garlic
3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and seeded if desired
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
3 Tbsp. hot sauce
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
As needed California Avocado Pineapple Salsa (see make-ahead recipe above)
As needed Grilled Corn Esquite (see recipe below)
12 (4-inch) corn tortillas, warmed (optional)
Grilled Corn Esquite
6 ears fresh, sweet corn, in the husk
2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. grated cojita cheese (can substitute with Feta cheese)
12 (4-inch) corn tortillas, warmed (optional)

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting.
Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados.


  1. In a shallow bowl, combine lime juice, tequila and sugar. Add pineapple and toss to coat thoroughly. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Remove pineapple and set aside.
  2. Transfer marinade to a saucepan over medium heat. Add vinegar and simmer, stirring often until reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high. Wipe grill with an oiled towel and place pineapple on grill at an angle. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until outside of pineapple is lightly golden and caramelized.
  4. Remove from grill, let cool and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. In a bowl, combine pineapple with reduced vinegar mixture. Gently toss in onion, jalapeño, jicama, cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and avocado. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

+ To trim pineapple, cut off top and bottom and stand it upright. Cut off the rind, using a sharp knife in smooth downward motions. Remove any remaining “eyes” with the tip of a paring knife. Cut in quarters lengthwise and cut out woody core.

Cumin Glazed Ribs

  1. Combine paprika, chile powder, and cumin in a small bowl. Season ribs with salt and pepper to taste. Pat spice mixture all over ribs and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill to 300ºF. Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan and add 1/4-inch of water to pan. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes on grill with the lid closed.
  3. Cover ribs with foil and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until very tender.
  4. Meanwhile, for the glaze, purée garlic, jalapeños, cumin, hot sauce, lime juice and salt in a food processor.  
  5. Pour mixture into a small saucepan and stir in honey. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn.
  6. Increase grill temperature to 450ºF. Remove ribs from baking pan and generously glaze. Grill for 5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with additional glaze.
  7. Cut ribs apart, debone and cut into bite-sized pieces

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Grilled Corn Esquite

  1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  2. Carefully remove corn silks, leaving husks attached. Soak ears of corn in husks in a large bowl or sink of cold water for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain corn well and place each husk-enclosed ear on hot grill. Cook for about 12 minutes, turning frequently.  Corn is steamed when it loses it raw crunch. Remove each cob from grill and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. When corn is cool enough to handle, pull off husks, and cut cooked corn from cob.
  5. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and sauté until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mayonnaise, lime juice, cayenne, and salt. Serve immediately topped with grated cotija.

Taco Assembly

To assemble the tacos, layer Grilled Corn Esquite, rib meat, and California Avocado Pineapple Salsa atop warm, soft corn tortillas. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving

Calories 1412
Total Fat 86 g (Sat 28 g, Trans 0.6 g, Poly 12.8 g, Mono 33 g)
Cholesterol 290 mg
Sodium 1546 mg
Potassium 1768 mg
Total Carbohydrates 80 g
Dietary Fiber 12 g
Total Sugar 39 g
Protein 87 g

% Daily Value*: Vitamin A 110%; Vitamin C 80%; Calcium 30%; Iron 35%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

About the author

Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill in Los Angeles, CA


(1 Ratings)