Independence with dependents
Special to AmNews | , Kysha Harris | 10/12/2012, 4:29 p.m.
While I do love a long weekend, July 4 seems to start the clock on the days remaining until Labor Day weekend. Right now is the meat--the porterhouse, the filet mignon--of the summer when you have to make it count.
Plans this weekend? I hope so. But if not, just get some really great ingredients, invite a couple of your essential, dependable friends and family over, and celebrate our independence. Here are some great recipes for your menu, whether indoors or out.
I recently made some Mexican-style Grilled Corn that was off the chain. There's a similar recipe below from chef Bobby Flay. The only difference is I slathered the grilled corn with sour cream before I crumbled on the cheese.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ears corn, silks removed, but husks left on, soaked in cold water for at least 10 minutes
2 fresh limes, quartered
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, cotija or mild feta
Combine the butter and garlic in a food processor or with a mixer until smooth. (To mix by hand, let the butter get very soft, then beat in the garlic, finely minced, with a large, wooden spoon.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The garlic butter can be made in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated up to 2 days, or frozen for a week. Bring to cool room temperature before serving.)
Heat your grill to high. Place the corn on the grill, close the grill hood, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until steamed through and hot, but still crisp (test by carefully piercing with a knife). Unwrap the husks from the corn and immediately spread or brush with garlic butter. Squeeze the limes on top and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.
I did say now is the meat of the summer, so I must hit you with my favorite grilled meats: skirt, flank or hanger. I like the first two because they are a thin piece of meat, which means you can marinate it quickly and easily. Think herbs, spices, some acid and a little heat, and you will have a mean piece of meat. Try a quick marinade of 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, 1 clove of garlic, a little parsley, a quarter of an onion and splashes of Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar. Season it up with salt and pepper. You can use it as a marinade and/or as a finishing sauce when the meat comes off the grill.
There is something synonymous with outdoor grilling and meat on a stick: the kabob. It's like an adult lollipop meal, combining the main course with the side dish. I came across this recipe on Epicurious.com, and it intrigues me: Grilled Lamb and Fig Skewers with Mint-Pepper Glaze and Grilled Eggplant. It lures me in with its decadent, exotic flavors. I am captivated!
2/3 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup red wine vinegar