Truly, has anything changed when it comes to grilling and good times, hanging out at home? It reminds me of summers when I was a kid, growing up in Pasadena. My brother Lance’s job was to stoke up the hibachi on the front porch, where it lived on a permanent, ever expanding grease spot. We grilled Spencer steaks from a stash my mom kept in the freezer, bought when they were on sale. A big watermelon got tucked into the ice cooler and we waited for the coals to turn red hot and ashen, and steak ready. I can still taste the delicious char on my steak, and feel the cool Bermuda grass on my bare feet, in the shade of the old camellia hedge.
When the weather gets hot, cooking outside with live fire beats turning on the oven. These days, you’ll catch me barefoot in the back yard, chillin’ with my friends and a cool cocktail in my hand. At home, I grill the old fashioned way on a baby Weber kettle grill with charcoal briquettes, matches and newspaper. This summer, put the sizzle in your steak with one of my all time favorite recipes – Grilled New York Steak with Zinfandel Chive Butter. This recipe is perfect for family dinners, summer parties and outdoor entertaining.
I find the New York cut more flavorful than tenderloin, and it grills really well. When you buy your steak, choose the one that’s well marbled, meaning it has a lot of fat running through the meat. This adds flavor and helps it stand up, nice and juicy, to the heat from the grill. I season simply with salt and pepper. Make sure your grill is hot so you get a good sear on the meat. And for the sauce, I love the simplicity of making a compound butter. For this recipe, I use reduced wine and chives. Or get creative and flavor your butter with ingredients like savory spices, herbs, garlic, caramelized onions and cheeses like parmesan.
You need a few delicious side dishes that pair perfectly with grilled steak. Slice heirloom tomatoes, add chopped herbs and drizzle with vinaigrette to make an easy and delicious salad. Try corn on the cob – slide back the husk, pull the silk strands from the corn and pat the husk back in place around the cob. Pop it on the grill to cook. For the perfect ending, brush peach halves with honey and grill them too! Serve the warm fruit with vanilla ice cream for an incredible summer dessert.
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