Summertime to me equals many things, some of which Ive already mentioned here, but above all, Summertime equals bar-be-ques to me. Grilling over an open flame like our fore-fathers used to do. Man versus nature- there's just something pure about it. Its almost...religious? Maybe I'm going a bit too far, but I am a huge fan of grilling on nice night, and all that goes along with it.
A friend of mine quite nicely offered up his grill the other day for my use since I am grill free in my apartment sadly. I leapt at the chance for some steaks, so off to the grocery store I went. I picked up two steaks, and all of the ingredients for the sides I wanted to do. Back at home, I salt and peppered the steak, and then put it in a zip lock bag with fresh squeezed orange juice, lots of thyme and garlic. I then popped it into the fridge to let it marinate before I headed to my friends place. Then I made what I felt like would be a tasty and nutritious salad. I steamed up some broccoli and some green beans, and then allowed them to cool for a bit. Then I just added chopped cucumber to the mix. For a dressing, I mixed together non fat greek yogurt (quite an obsession of mine because it is SO good for you), lemon juice, a tiny bit of honey to balance the acidity, and dill- for that classic twist. A little bit of salt to meld it all together, and then I just tossed all my veggies in the dressing. The salad was ready to go.
My final side is a throw back to a childhood favorite. When I was really little, I remember grilling with my dad, and we would always make potatoes on the grill. Basically, we used to cut potatoes down into chunks- usually about an inch, inch and a half in size, wrap each one individually in tinfoil, and then pile them on to the grill. These were delicious to eat, but an absolute pain to make- literally and figuratively as unwrapping hot potatoes caused for a few burns. So a few years ago I got the idea to instead of wrapping each one, use a tin foil pan, and just roast them open air. I added olive oil and herbs, and had a really flavorful potato. Lacking a tinfoil pan, I improvised on Wednesday. I sliced thin slices of red potato, then layered them on half a sheet of tin foil with lots of thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Once I had enough layers I folded over the other half of the tin foil and sealed them together- a nice envelope for the grill.
I packed up my food and set off for my friends place where I remembered that grilling, at night, after the sun has gone down-is not the easiest thing to do. I take full responsibility for over cooking the steaks-which was incredibly sad as the marinade was really good. The sugar from the oranges had caramelized some on the outside and given that nice crust to the meat, and the inside had just the delicate flavors. The salad was nice and refreshing- light, crisp and cool on a hot summer night. Exactly the flavors I was looking for while giving all the nutrition of good vegetables. The potatoes were also good- great flavor from roasting them and a really nice tribute to meat and potatoes.
All in all- I have to say I was extremely happy to be sitting outside on a gorgeous summer evening, grilling and eating away- I'm telling you-there is just something about it that screams "IDYLLIC SUMMER" to me :-)