Now That’s Entertaining: Nouveau Campfire Treats

July 25, 2014

By this point of summer, when we’ve already got a few backyard hangouts and beach picnics under our belts, we start to feel a little smug about our 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, we decided to turn our typical fireside fare on its ear, amping up the excitement with blazing-bright flavors and surprising ingredients. From chorizo with chimichurri to spicy-sweet s’mores, you might never go back to those old standbys


Chimichurri Chorizo DogsMexican-style chorizo sausages
Hot dog buns
Pickled onions
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.

Chimichurri Sauce2 bunches flat parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ 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.

Adobo Mayonnaise½ cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz) can chipotle in adobo, liquid only

Stir together until incorporated.

Roasted Jalapeno Salsa1-2 jalapenos
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
juice from ½ 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.


Grilled Corn with Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter

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 ½ 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.


Churro S’mores

Churro Cookies (recipe to follow)
Spicy Chocolate Sauce (recipe to follow)

To assemble s’mores, roast marshmallows over open fire until soft and slightly charred. Place on top of a churro cookie and pour melted chocolate sauce over. Top with another churro cookie if desired. Serve with plenty of napkins nearby.

Churro Cookies1 cup water
5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl or dish, mix together ¼ sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Set aside. In a large saucepan, combine water, butter, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in flour. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla and combine. Allow to cool slightly, and then transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip.‚ On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, pipe the dough into small discs by using a spiraling motion. Repeat until you have 16-18 cookies, and bake for 15 minutes, or until just browned. While still warm, individually coat the cookies in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

Spicy Chocolate Sauce½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup dark chocolate, chopped
½ tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together chocolate, ancho, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate mixture. Let stand for about one minute and then whisk until entirely smooth.