Cooking In the House
Fourth of July Grilling
With the Fourth of July and other occasions for picnics and outdoor fun, I look forward to my favorite summer foods: Watermelon, corn on the cob, and hot meals right off the grill. My family looks forward to the marinated mushrooms that we barbeque along with some beef or chicken; they soak up all the flavors. The mushrooms are an uncontested favorite at our barbeques, although we currently have a running debate on the best potato salad. My husband can't appreciate the German Potato Salad I'm so fond of, which goes to prove, all palates are not created equal. I'll have to be sure my other German Potato Salad fans are at the next gathering; there's strength in numbers! We still probably won't convince my husband to appreciate the recipe, as he's much more content with a more traditional salad.
Weekends can be full of activities. With the great outdoors open to us, there seems to be twice as much to do. On some of the busier weekends, I've planned ahead, finding time to barbeque a roast beef at some point Saturday afternoon, knowing that we'll be returning home from church on Sunday with quite an appetite. A group of us are often hoping to get fed as quickly as possible. I discovered that I can more quickly supply a great meal when I've cooked the meat ahead of time. Grilled on the barbeque the day before, a roast has time to sit and re-absorb its juices, and it slices more easily after chilling, too.
It can seem challenging to determine the cooking time when barbequing beef, but the "feel" method works pretty well. A roast is probably done enough when it feels more firm, like leg muscle. If it still has a "flabby" feel to it when you go to turn it, you'd best leave it on a bit longer. A meat thermometer takes the mystery out of it; cook the roast until a thermometer stuck into the thickest part reads 120°, for medium rare. I generally try to keep it at medium rare, especially when I'll be cutting and serving it the next day. With the right treatment, it can be warmed up without overcooking it, and everyone should be thrilled. I've warmed it in the microwave just a few minutes on low power, and finished warming it in a 200° oven until serving time. With all the beautiful weather and fun outdoor activities, it feels great to spend less time in the kitchen. Celebrate this summer with good friends and family, and good food!
Marinated Mushrooms w/ Grilled Beef
There may be many options when it comes to beef cuts, but I find it's hard to beat London Broil or Tri-Tip, for economy and flavor. Marinating will tenderize it; I like to marinate some mushrooms to go with the meal as well. This recipe serves 4-6.
One day (or more) earlier, marinate beef in a simple marinade in a zip-lock bag. Add to bag: > 2-3 lb. Tri-Tip or London Broil > ¼ c. red wine vinegar > ¼ c. soy sauce > 1 TBS. sugar
Let marinate for a day or more.
One day early, marinate some mushrooms as well. To another Ziploc bag, add: > 10 oz. fresh mushrooms > ¼ c. olive oil
Toss the mushrooms around in the bag until they've absorbed the oil.
Next, add to bag: > ¼ c. soy sauce > ¼ c. balsamic vinegar > 1 TBS. chopped, fresh garlic > 1 TBS. chopped, fresh thyme (or sub ½ TBS. dry herbs of your choice)
On serving day, d rain the marinade from the mushrooms into a sauce pan, boiling until it reaches a thicker, sauce-like consistency. Meanwhile, fire up the barbeque, or use an iron skillet to grill up the meat and mushrooms. If pan-grilling, do the mushrooms separately. Don't overcrowd them or they'll steam instead of grill. Serve the meat with the mushrooms, with sauce on the side.
German Potato Salad
This salad is a nice change of pace from typical potato salads. The dressing uses egg and olive oil instead of mayonnaise, so it's best made on serving day, although you can do your prep a day ahead. A salad made with store-bought mayonnaise lasts longer because of the preservatives in it, but it's nice to have a bit of preservative-free food once in awhile! Cut this recipe in half for smaller gatherings, or make the full amount for a big potluck. Serves 15-20.
Earlier in the day, or the day before, cook: > 5 lb. potatoes (then strain, cool in refrigerator)
Hard boil: > 3 eggs
Optional: fry until crisp, and then drain: > ½ lb. bacon
Make dressing, mixing the following in a small bowl: > 2 eggs >1 ½ TBS. hot Dijon mustard > 3 TBS. apple cider vinegar > ¼ c. honey > ¼ c. frozen apple juice conc. > 2 tsp. salt > 1/8 tsp. celery seed > 1 tsp. pepper > 1 c. olive oil
Reserve hard-boiled eggs and crumbled bacon as a garnish. When ready to serve, mix the following: > Cubed, cooled potatoes > 1 c. chopped celery > ½ c. chopped red onion > Dressing (premixed in separate bowl)
Turn out into serving bowl. Crumble cooked bacon on top, arranging sliced hard-boiled eggs on as well, and serve.
AUTHOR BIO – Jennifer Cote
Jennifer Cote, with husband Tom, opened The New Deli in Pinole, CA in 1985. Her cookbook, " From the Land of Milk and Honey ", is filled with New Deli favorite recipes, plus scripture and insight into Christian living. Find more info at: www.PCCuisine.com ; email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Enjoy more recipes in Jennifer Cote's cookbook/devotional, From the Land of Milk and Honey , from Winepress Publishing.