Sunday, August 21, 2011

Family Dinner

Last week, I was visiting my Aunt and Uncle in Dutchess County (upstate New York), and since my sister and her husband were there, as well, we thought a family dinner would be fun.  My sister happens to be a vegetarian (I know...  how could I have a sister who is a vegetarian?), so besides some good Rib Eye steaks, we had lots of vegetable dishes.

There are some upsides to having a vegetarian sister:  the most obvious, more meat for everyone else! The other, she comes armed with great vegetable recipes.  So aside from the shopping, this whole meal only took about 40 minutes to prepare.  

Here was the menu:

Rib Eye Steaks:
Aunt Dana ordered steaks from her local butcher.  They were two inches thick and nicely trimmed.  I let them come up to room temperature and gave them the standard Olive Oil, (sea) salt, and freshly ground pepper.  Since these steaks were thick, I used a lot of seasoning.  In the video, I mention 7 minutes per side, but 14 minutes ended up being a bit too long.  The grill was very hot, so I only cooked the steaks for a total of 11 minutes (six minutes on the first side and 5 on the other).

How did I know when to take the steaks off for a perfect medium rare?  Here is how I knew. This takes some practice.  Alternatively, use a thermometer.  When the center of a steak get to 110 degrees (this only applies to steaks), take it off! Put the steak on a dish and cover it with foil, and let the meat re-distribute its juices for 10 minutes.  The meat will continue to cook and will end up about 125 degrees.  That's a perfect medium rare.  

Note: anything coming off the grill should rest for at least 10 minutes after it is done cooking.  The juice in the meat is re-distributed during that time, and when the meat is sliced, it will retain most of its juice.  No dried out food!

Corn on the Cob:
Last week was peak corn season in Dutchess County.  This recipe is only for corn in peak season.  If you try this with early season corn or frozen corn, it's not going to be good.  Since I'm not a huge corn fan, peak season corn is the only kind I will eat.  Any other time of year, I just skip it.  Peak season corn is very sweet and sugar caramelizes on the grill, so the taste is great.

Uncle Ira was in charge of corn, which was picked that morning.  He shucked the corn and put it on the grill, then he rotated the corn around a few times--starting directly on the burners and then moving them up to the warming rack to caramelize a bit.  Total grill time is about 25 minutes.   Put the corn in a dish and cover with foil.  They will stay hot for about 30 minutes.  That's it!  Moral of the story: Work with fresh local ingredients that are in season, and things are simple.  Nothing fancy required here.  If you can't find peak season corn, there are plenty of other good vegetable side dishes to make.

This stuff is like couscous or rice, but way better!  Just try it.  Have I steered you wrong yet?

Ashish's Smoked Eggplant - This stole the show in my opinion

Who is Ashish? He is my sister husband and a recent and welcome addition to our family.  My kids call him Uncle Ashish. Uncle Ashish showed me how to smoke (grill really, we did not use smoke) eggplant.  Let me tell you, this is worth making. 

Try these out!  Let me know how it goes.  Send me any questions you have to

No comments:

Post a Comment