At this point of the northern hemisphere summer, when you’ve already got quite a few backyard parties and beach picnics under your belt, you’re probably starting to feel a little smug about your entertaining abilities…
Hot dogs on the grill? Child’s play.
S’mores? Piece of (melty, chocolaty, marshmallowy) cake.
So, in the spirit of “Trying New Things”, let’s turn your typical fireside fare on its ear, amping up the excitement with blazing-bright flavors and surprising ingredients into what looks like becoming a late season routine.
Here’s a little something to get you started.
Chimichurri Chorizo Dogs
Mexican-style chorizo sausages
Hot dog buns
One bunch of scallions, white ends removed
Chimichurri sauce (recipe to follow)
Adobo mayonnaise (recipe to follow)
Roasted jalapeno salsa (recipe to follow)
On a grill, or using a grill grate over an open fire, cook sausages for 15-20 minutes, turning often. Cook scallions directly on grate until charred and set aside. If desired, toast hot dog buns by placing the opened buns on the grill for a few seconds. Once cooked, assemble hot dogs and pile on your toppings.
2 bunches flat parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp oregano
zest from one lemon
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
Pulse all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until well combined. Can be made up to one week in advance.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz) can chipotle in adobo, liquid only
Stir together until incorporated.
Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Using tongs, place whole jalapenos on the grill and cook until charred, turning to achieve all-over color. Remove from heat and allow to rest until slightly cooled. Remove the charred skin by rubbing with a towel. Dice the roasted jalapeno, removing all or most of the seeds. In a large bowl, mix diced jalapeno, tomatoes, oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Corn on the cob, silks removed, husks intact
Compound butter (recipe to follow)
Cojita cheese, crumbled
Cayenne, or chipotle, to taste
Without completely removing, pull back husks to take off the silk. Replace husks over corn and soak cobs in cold water for at least ten minutes. Drain and shake off excess water. Transfer to grill or grate and cook in the husks 15-20 minutes, turning about every 5 minutes. To serve, pull back husks and generously slather with compound butter. Add a dusting of cayenne and some of the crumbled cojita to each.
Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Juice & zest from half a lime
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1-2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut into all ingredients until well combined. Transfer mixture to a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a log, twisting each end to seal and tighten. Refrigerate until firm.