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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A COOKOUT FOR FATHER'S DAY!


ukfathersday.com
We are having a group over for a Father's Day cookout this Sunday.  Always fun to gather around the grill! It'll be poolside, so the plan is to eat outside and enjoy the sunshine!  But more important that the weather and the food is that we get to spend some time with family celebrating Dad!  The family is divvying up the duties - here's what's on the menu:

MENU:

FIESTA DIP with veggies and chips
GRILLED POTATO SALAD
CHERRY TOMATOES WITH BUTTERMILK BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
GREEK FETA AND CUCUMBER SALAD
GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN OR FLAT IRON STEAK
ROLLS

DESSERT:
PEACH CRISP

FATHER'S DAY DRINK:
CAIPIROSKAS


Here's what we'll enjoy by the pool before dinner:
FIESTA DIP
(Adapted from Southern Living)
southernliving
This dip is nice since it's cool, and when served with fresh veggies, it's a perfect summer appetizer.
1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce (I use Tabasco)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers
2 TBSP finely chopped green onion
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Mix together well the first 7 ingredients until smooth. Stir in red peppers and green onion.
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Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Serve with veggies, chips, crackers or pita chips.

GRILLED POTATO SALAD
(Adapted from Southern Living)
southern living
8 bacon slices
4 medium-size red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 5 cups cubed)
1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
Potato Salad Dry Rub
Potato Salad Dressing
chopped fresh parsley

Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees F (medium-high) heat. Cook bacon, in batches, in a large skillet over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
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Add potatoes, onion, and Potato Salad Dry Rub to hot drippings in skillet, tossing to coat. Remove potato mixture with a slotted spoon.
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Be sure and place a pan under your metal grill basket to collect the bacon drippings a bit before placing on the grill.
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Grill potato mixture, covered with grill lid, over 350 degrees F to 400 degrees F (medium-high) heat in a grill wok or metal basket 30 minutes or until tender, stirring every 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
****All of the above can be done a bit before eating. Then add the Potato Salad Dressing JUST before serving (since there's mayo), and toss to coat. Stir in bacon. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Potato Salad Dry Rub
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1/8 tsp celery seeds

Potato Salad Dressing
5 1/2 TSBP mayonnaise
2 TSBP Dijon mustard
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
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CHERRY TOMATOES WITH BUTTERMILK BLUE CHEESE DRESSING 
(Adapted from Tyler Florence)
foodnetwork
DRESSING:
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh chives, minced
2 pints yellow cherry tomatoes, or red grape tomatoes, or both
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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To prepare the dressing, place the blue cheese, buttermilk, and olive oil in a medium bowl, and stir together with a fork, mashing a little to break up the cheese. Season with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Set aside.
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Wash the tomatoes, and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice each tomato in half lengthwise, and season with a pinch of salt.
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Add the tomatoes to the dressing mixture and toss to combine then garnish with freshly ground pepper, to taste.

GREEK FETA AND CUCUMBER SALAD
(Adapted from Michael Symon)
cookingchanneltv
2 English cucumbers (also known hothouse)
Salt
1 cup crumbled fresh feta cheese (it'll be in a liquid, similar to fresh mozzarella)
2 TBSP fresh oregano leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
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Slice cucumbers as thinly as you can. A mandolin or vegetable slicer will make it easy.
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Toss together the cucumbers and a large pinch of salt in a mesh strainer set over a bowl.
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Combine the feta, oregano, garlic and shallots in a separate bowl.
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Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk in the olive oil.
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Drain off and discard any water that has released from the cucumbers. Toss together the cucumbers and the dressing. Serve.


NOTE***I haven't decided whether I'm going with a beef tenderloin or with a flavorful flat iron steak here.  Here are 2 fabulous recipes that I'm choosing from:

WHOLE GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN
(Tragaer)


RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Oak, Pecan or Hickory
SERVES: 4 to 6

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (divided use)
1 2- to 3-pound filet of beef, trimmed, preferably center cut (see Note below)
Traeger Beef Rub or Prime Rib Rub, or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4 to 5 minutes or until the fire is established.

If you don't want to trim off the thinner ends of the tenderloin simply tuck the narrow "tail" ends under the tenderloin and secure them in place with butcher's string to help it cook more evenly.

Place the tenderloin on the grill and smoke for 1 hour.

After you take the meat off the Traeger, turn the heat up to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Season the meat with the Traeger Beef Rub. (You may need to drizzle the tenderloin with olive oil to help the seasoning adhere.) When the oil is shimmering, put the meat into the pan, searing it well on all sides. (Don’t forget the ends: Carefully hold the meat upright with tongs.)

Transfer the meat to a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix well.

Brush or slather the mustard mixture over the outside of the filet.

Put the filet directly on the grill grate and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an instant-read meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 135 degrees F (for medium rare). Cook less time if you prefer your meat rarer than that, or more time if you like it well-done.

Transfer to a cutting board and let the meat rest, tented with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

GRILLED FLAT IRON STEAK
(Adapted from Kevin Gillespie)
cookingchanneltv
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 (1 1/4-pound) flat iron steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large zip top bag, combine the oil, parsley, chives, tarragon and lemon zest and massage to blend. Place the steak in the bag and massage the marinade into the steak. Zip closed and marinate, refrigerated, for 2 hours (or overnight).

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Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove the steak from the marinade and wipe any excess off with a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook until medium rare, about 150 degrees F, 5 minutes more. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. To serve, slice in thin strips against the grain of the meat.

PEACH CRUMBLE
(Adapted from Michael Symon)
cookingchannel

TOPPING:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 TBSP butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
FILLING:
6 cups sliced peaches (about 4 to 6 peaches)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional
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Topping: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, sugar, almonds, butter, cinnamon and salt.
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Stir with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.
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Filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the peaches, sugar, cornstarch, almond extract and nutmeg.
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Transfer to an 8- or 9-inch shallow baking dish. Crumble the topping over the peach mixture.
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Bake until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm (with vanilla ice cream, if desired).
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CAIPIROSKA
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
bonappetit
This drink carries a lot of nostalgia for our family, as the 4 of us drank the concoction ALL over Italy a few summers ago.  It'll be perfect for the hot weather!

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges (or use little key limes, quartered - they're more flavorful and juicy!)
1 TBSP sugar (can use white granulated or brown here)
1/4 cup vodka
splash of club soda
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Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, lightly crush lime and sugar in a 16-oz. mixing glass or a cocktail shaker to release juice (press limes just firmly enough to release juice but not bitter oil from the peel). Stir until sugar dissolves. ***THAT is key - DISSOLVING the sugar! Add vodka.
Fill an Old Fashioned glass halfway with cracked ice. Pour vodka mixture over ice, then pour entire mixture, including ice, back into mixing glass to gently mix drink. Return to Old Fashioned glass, and top off with some club soda.
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HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

It was a great Father's Day celebration!  Best part?  The Dad in the family could relax for a day:





Gift time!

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