While I say that this is a “Mexican-Inspired” menu, there are Spanish and South American influences here as well. Many recipes for the spoonbread call for canned creamed corn, but since corn is in season now and creamed corn is really easy to make, I prepared it ahead for the recipe. It was also easy to soak and cook the dried black beans ahead of time, but if you find yourself in a pinch, a canned version (without preservatives), would do as well. And in keeping with the idea that this is a “do-ahead” dinner, you can cook the rice stuffing a day ahead also!

Zuchinni boats stuffed with Mexican red rice pilaf topped with melted cheddar
Braised black beans with a drizzle of lime-sour cream sauce
Sweet corn spoonbread

Nectarine flan