The Hip Hostess

Menus, tips and ideas for hosting with style!

Chimmichuri Burgers July 13, 2012

argentinean grill bbq recipe summer entertaining

I had a plethora of fresh parsley and cilantro from my CSE crop-share, and was thinking that a chimmichuri steak sauce (an Argentinean steak sauce made from parsley, olive oil and garlic) was a great way to use my supply.  I planned on making skirt steak with chimichurri but my local market was out of that cut so I picked up some ground beef instead and made Chimmichuri burgers by adding some of the sauce to the beef before making them into patties.  The result was a super moist and flavorful burger that we all enjoyed.  I served sauteed swiss chard on the side, and a salad tossed with some of the leftover chimmichuri.  We snacked on aged manchego, fig paste and crackers while the burgers cooked, and finished with salted caramel ice cream (reminiscent of dulce de leche).  It was a wonderful, vegetable-heavy summer meal.  To make these burgers into cheese burgers, slice some manchego and melt it ontop. (more…)


Grilled Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad September 5, 2011

This recipe came about when I was cooking for a crowd but only had 4 ears of corn from my crop-share. Cutting corn off the cobb is a great way to make a little corn go a long way and mixing it with other complimentary ingredients, such as basil and tomato, adds a burst of summer flavor.

Grilling the corn makes the natural sugars caramelize and creates a nice charred flavor. This salad is a great use for late-summer corn, which generally has larger kernels that aren’t as tender and sweet as early-season corn.

Use the best ingredients you can find – super ripe tomatoes and fresh basil make this corn salad amazing.


Grilled Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad
4 ears of sweet corn
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into ½” pieces
½ C. fresh basil, chopped
salt & fresh-ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat grill. Shuck corn by removing husks and silk. (To remove pieces of clingy silk use a moist paper towel and wipe in a downward motion, from stalk to tip of cobb). Grill corn until slightly charred. Set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, stand corn vertically in center of large bowl and using a sharp knife, cut corn from stalk, allowing cut corn to fall into bowl. Squeeze any “milk” from empty husk into bowl and continue with remaining pieces of corn.

2. Add tomato and basil to corn and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Can be made up to 2 hours in advance and served at room temperature.

Serves: 6-8 as a side


Argentinean Theme BBQ Menu August 7, 2011

Mix up your standard BBQ with an Argentina-inspired grill menu.  Argentinean steak houses, called churrascarias, are best known for their grilled meats.  Pick your favorite cut of red meat, grill it to perfection and serve it with chimichurri, the traditional Argentinean sauce made from parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and vinegar.  Add in a batch of rose sangria and you have the beginning of a very hip Arentinean theme BBQ.

Check out my August 2011 column on The Family Groove for more tips and ideas for hosting an Argentinean grill theme BBQ.


Chimmichuri Steak Sauce June 23, 2011

Chimichurri, a lively steak sauce made from parsley, olive oil and garlic, is Argentina’s greatest gift to the culinary world.  This sauce makes even mediocre cuts of meat taste divine.  I like to serve it over skirt steak, which is great for entertaining because it can be cooked in a matter of minutes on the grill or in the oven.

Although chimichurri is traditionally served with red meat, it’s also a delicious marinade for shrimp and chicken.  I use the leftover sauce for jazzing up roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables.  You can also serve it as a dipping sauce for warm pita or crusty bread.



1 C. flat-leaf Italian parsley (packed)

¼ C. fresh cilantro (packed)

½ C. extra-virgin olive oil

¼ C. red wine vinegar

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled

¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. salt

Combine ingredients in food processor and puree.  Sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated (bring to room temperature before serving).


Smoky Roasted Red Pepper & White Bean Dip June 18, 2011

This dip is a smoky, creamy and filling – a delicious alternative to hummus!  You’d never guess that it’s super healthy too.  I usually have all the ingredients for this dip on hand, which makes it great for last minute entertaining.  It’s a real crowd-pleaser too.  Serve it with toasted pita, breadsticks or tortilla chips.

I like to serve this dip as part of an Argentinean Grill or Tapas theme menu.  It would also be a great appetizer for a backyard BBQ.

The dip can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in an air-tight container (bring the dip to room temp before serving and wait to garnish with the cilantro until then).

This recipe is a variation on Bobby Flay’s awesome dip from Mesa Grill.

Smoky Roasted Red Pepper & White Bean Dip

2 (9oz) cans white beans, rinsed and drained

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 large roasted red bell peppers, peeled & seeded, or 1 (8oz) jar roasted red peppers

3 Tbs. red wine vinegar

½ – 1 Tbs. canned chipotles in adobo (use mixture of peppers and adobo sauce)

1 Tbs. honey or agave nectar

salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

¼ C. cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients (other than cilantro) in a food processor and process until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.


Rosé Sangria June 6, 2011

Sangria is the perfect party drink since it can be made in big batches and is best when mixed in advance.  Traditionally, sangria is made with red wine.  During the summer, serve rosé sangria instead: It’s light enough for warmer weather and still goes well with grilled meat.  Here is a basic recipe for rosé sangria, which can easily be doubled or tripled depending on the size of your party.


Rosé Sangria (serves 4)

1 bottle dry rosé wine, preferably Spanish or French

1 cup orange juice

½ cup brandy

½ cup triple sec

¼ cup simple syrup or agave nectar

3 cups sliced assorted fresh fruit (oranges, lemons, limes, apples, blackberries and/or watermelon)

Combine the ingredients in a large pitcher.  Add additional sweetener (simple syrup or agave) to taste.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.  Serve straight up or over ice.


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