Desperation Entertaining! is a great source of recipes for entertaining or just for your everyday dinners. As with the earlier Desperation Dinners, it is focused on making things easy for you. In the first book, all the recipes took about 20 minutes from start to finish (although they sometimes started assuming you already had the water boiling!). Here the emphasis is on planning things ahead where you can and doing preparation work before your company arrives so you can relax and enjoy visiting rather than go crazy in the kitchen at the last minute!
I think one of the tricks to entertaining cheaply is to serve a variety of side dishes and many of them can be made ahead of time, like this chimichurri sauce. You can barbecue one cut of meat and offer a variety of salsas, sauces, or chutneys to go with it. People have fun experimenting with new things and you get to a lot of the preparation ahead of time rather than at the last minute. Barbecue a tri-tip or splurge on some rib eyes and serve some chimichurri sauce on the side. It goes equally well with chicken or pork. Just spoon some over the meat.
If you want to be especially frugal with this recipe grow your own garlic and parsley. I also have a lemon tree, which makes this sauce nearly all home-grown. This is one of the few things where my food processor gets used. If you don’t have one, try mincing the parsley and garlic, then mixing everything else together in your blender, scraping it down so everything is blended.
Warning: This is for garlic lovers!
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/2 olive oil use the virgin here; you want the flavor
- 1-2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper or more to taste
- Chop up the parsley in your food processor, scraping down periodically.
- Add the garlic cloves one at a time and pulse the food processor on after each one.
- Add the oil, lemon juice, peppers, and sat and blend until mixed, about 5 seconds.