May 17, 2009

The Grill Is Coming!

I'm excited to tell you that Mr. Grumps is picking up our Weber gas grill today (yahooo)! I have so many wonderful grilling recipes I've found to cook and share, so I'm hoping you'll "tune" in throughout the summer. Many of the meals are designed to take advantage of the local fruits and vegetables we'll soon be enjoying. I went to the farmer's market on Saturday, and saw many flowering, hanging baskets, as well as a few hundred flats of rainbow colored annuals.

With each visit, I'll be scoping out what's in season and the best way to cook, freeze or store these short-lived treasures. I'll keep you "posted".

To make this blog a little more user friendly, I'm happy to say that I've added a "print" notation under each recipe title. If you click on the colored text, it will take you to a separate page, allowing you to have just the recipe, minus my rambling and numerous pics. When finished, you can just go back to the blog. I hope it works for everyone; I've tested it a few times and it seems to be okay.

I'll also be posting a cake recipe later this week. My youngest is turning 19! Although I'm sad about it, she is looking forward to much independence and life celebration. I try to think back to when I was nineteen, and remember feeling much the same way. Still, it's awfully hard letting go.

I've selected some songs and artists that remind me of "nineteen". My closet was filled with painter (carpenter) pants, green army fatigues, bodysuits (still bearing scars from the "snaps"), down vests and timberline workboots (you have to take into account that I lived in Buffalo, NY that year.) Who didn't love 70's pop/rock music? Steve Miller? Fleetwood Mac? Need I say more?

I waited in the freezing cold with my roommate to see Firefall w/The Sanford Townsend Band at the New Century Theater on Main Street. And tickets, (get this!) were $7.00. We not only "snuck" in a bit of Merlot in a goatskin wine bota; we smuggled McDonald's cheeseburgers, french fries, and apple pies under our shirts and sweaters. It was a sweet night with a lot of laughter, "oh my gods", and dancing. I'm hoping my little 19 year-old will be able to look back on friendships that once were and happy times as well. I know my life advice to her is taken lightly, but my main focus is that she makes good decisions, remembers we love her, always knows where "home" is, and stays safe and healthy. (Wow, that's a lot.)

Speaking of healthy, it was my hope to post the first of many grilled meals today, but the temperature right now in lovely Upstate New York, is a "balmy" 48 degrees. It's also a little too windy to enjoy my cold wine and stand by the grill. So, in recognition of this unfair weather pattern, I am once again resorting to my warm, cozy kitchen to create what will hopefully be the last "indoor" meal of the season. Keep the music playing while you reminisce and make this delicious roast and roasted potato side dish.

Herbed Roast of Beef

One 3-4 pound sirloin tip roast
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each: dried basil, thyme, oregano
(or 3 teasp. Italian seasoning)
fresh, cracked pepper

Now, don't panic. This recipe is going to sound weird, but it works. First, rinse off your roast and place it on a clean surface. Using your hands, rub the 3 teaspoons of kosher salt all over the roast, and place into a large, ziploc bag. (It sounds really salty, but the meat doesn't absorb all of the salt; it tenderizes it.) You are going to put this in the fridge for about an hour.

After an hour, remove the meat, rinse the salt off, and pat the roast dry with paper towels.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Yes, that's right, 500 degrees.

Again, using your hands, rub the roast with olive oil, then rub in the dried herbs and pepper. Place in a shallow casserole dish or small roasting pan, and place in the hot oven, uncovered.

It is imperative that you set a timer. I don't care if you think you'll be in the room, sitting at the table, etc. Set a timer for 15 minutes. (Do I sound like a mom or what?)

When the timer goes off, don't open the oven door. You are now going to reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue cooking the roast until a meat thermometer registers between 145 and 155 degrees; about 45-50 minutes.

When done, remove from the oven. Keep in mind the roast will continue cooking once you take it out. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then carve thin slices, on a slant. This will practically melt in your mouth. You can serve with a little horseradish on the side, or layer onto your favorite kaiser or onion roll.
To accompany this dish, you can bake up these roasted potatoes, and place them in the oven with the beef. * Cook these potatoes the same as you would the roast: 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then 350 for about 50 minutes.

Roasted Oven Potatoes

5 large russet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large onion, sliced
1 large banana pepper, sliced (or substitute your preference)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons of red wine - vinegar
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
4-5 fresh basil leaves
kosher salt/cracked pepper

In the bottom of a 13x9 pan, pour in the olive oil. Wash the potatoes and peppers, set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then dice into 1 inch pieces.

Slice the onion into thin rings, and slice the pepper into thin strips. Cut the garlic into small slices. Place the potatoes, peppers, onions and garlic into the oil coated pan. Give it a stir. Now add the seasonings: red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and basil leaves.

Cover with foil, bake at 500 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, sprinkle with the red wine vinegar, then generously salt and pepper. Bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Thought for the day:
"Most of the food allergies die under garlic and onion.."
-Martin H. Fischer

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