Friday, September 10, 2010

A Big Summer Party {and an Elote Recipe}

Fresh squeezed lemonade with lavender and mint
A few weeks ago, we threw a big summer barbecue. That right there is a big vat of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Last time we threw this party, I filled that thing up, and it ran out within the first half hour. This year I was much better prepared - I made 8 gallons and we went through almost all of it.
Casa Robertson BBQ 8.1.10

We usually throw this party in September, but a couple of years ago we realized that was kind of silly, because our yard is looking pretty tired after a long, hot summer. We moved the party up this year - and then didn't have a hot summer. Oh well - at least on the day of the party the weather was perfect!
Shawn Rohlf and the 7th Day Buskers played...
We had live music from Shawn Rohlf and the 7th Day Buskers - a great local bluegrass/folk/rock band. If they look familiar, it might be because they play every Sunday at the Hillcrest Farmers Market. They also play gigs at the Casbah and Riviera occasionally.
Casa Robertson BBQ 8.1.10
People kept asking what they could bring, so I came up with the idea of a community cookie table. I asked people to bring a couple dozen of their favorite kind of homemade cookies - only if they wanted to of course. It worked out great. I put out paper and markers so people could make signs for their cookies, and at the end of the party everyone took the leftovers home in little paper bags.
The Community Cookie Table
Casa Robertson BBQ 8.1.10
For the food, we served Knight Salumi sausage sandwiches (Rey came and grilled them himself) and potato salad. My mom made a mess of deviled eggs, and we had watermelon salad with feta and greens. For dessert, Viva Pops came and handed out popsicles in the garden. We had four flavors - salted caramel, peach ginger, orange-cream and strawberry, cucumber and mint.  If you haven't been to their shop yet on Adams (or tried their pops at the local farmers markets) you MUST.  Especially the salted caramel!
Viva Pops II
My favorite dish though, might have been the Mexican style corn -  skewered, grilled and covered with Kewpie mayo, cotija cheese, lime juice and hot sauce.
Elote - grilled corn with mayo, cotija, lime and Cholula hot sauce
I got the idea from the MIHO Gastrotruck. It's so simple but so, so good - creamy, spicy, sweet and tangy - and best of all, something you can eat with your fingers - always a good plan at a backyard party.  ;)
Grilled corn, ready for mayo and cotija cheese!

Mexican Grilled Corn (aka "Elote")
Serves 6-8 people

6 ears of sweet white corn shucked, split and skewered
1 cup Kewpie or other high quality mayonnaise
2 cups crumbled cotija cheese
lime wedges
Cholula hot sauce

Spoon mayonnaise into a bowl and crumble cotija cheese into another bowl.
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat.
Place the corn on the grill and cook for about five to eight minutes - rotating once or twice during grilling. You want it to show some color and get a little char on it, but you don't want it to dry out.
When the corn is fresh off the grill, brush it liberally with the mayonnaise and coat with the cotija cheese by sprinkling it over the corn with your fingers.
Place on a plate and douse with hot sauce and a squirt of lime juice.

Enjoy with lots of napkins!


  1. I actually saw those candy apple sticks at Vons the other day sort of randomly hanging in an isle (I think it was by the candy)

  2. Wow, looks like it was a GREAT party! You could give Martha a run for her money, seriously.

  3. Your parties always look so fun! And now I'm craving elote. :)

  4. Yum, I love corn with cotija cheese!

  5. Friends, my sanity jumped ship and my taste buds took over. Amazing flavors and fantastic party. Must. Make. Corn. AQ/J, once again, thank you for having us. Loved every minute.