Friday, May 1, 2009

Feasting Friday: Fire Up to Grill

Driving home from work last night...I could smell the sweet, mouthwatering smell of charred meat. I love barbecuing year-round (which is why I bought a Weber Genesis two years ago). Something about these early days of Spring however, give me grill-fever.

Last night was the Dine Out for Life though, so while we feasted on Red Mill burgers, we plotted a scheme for firing up the grill on Friday - a forecasted 70-degree day. We had a coupon from our local grocery store for buy one, get one free bone-in rib-eye steaks from Painted Hills Farms. And, one thing we've noticed recently - on trips to Chicago and The Met - is that we LOVE bone-in rib-eye steaks. I used to be a well-done steak lover. Then, I liked medium rare, but filet mignon or New York steaks. The rib-eye steak however, is the ultimate journey to Flavor Country.

So, it's Friday. We arrived home from work and immediately took the steaks out of the fridge, salt and peppered them and let them get up to room temperature. I've been reading Ruhlman's The Elements of Cooking, in which he says that steaks can be salted as soon as you buy them. It not only prohibits the growth of microbes, but it also allows the salt to distribute itself throughout the meat. I should have thought about that last night...but at least the steaks got a good hour of salt.

One thing we've learned in our samplings of great steaks is that char is key. Our grill will get up to about 700 degrees, about half the temperature of the smoking grills at Gibson's. For us however, that appears to be plenty-o-heat. The trick is to throw the steaks on the grill, shut the lid and walk away. For. Two. Minutes. Then, open the lid, flip the steaks, shut the lid and walk...away. Again. For...two minutes. Then, assess. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, you can move them to a cooler part of the grill or remove and let rest. I am a fan of the finger test for doneness. When they are near your desired doneness, remove from the grill and tent with foil for 2-10 minutes.

So, it's Friday. There is something SO comforting about meat and potatoes. We fired up the grill, cooked the rib-eyes, baked some potatoes and opened a nice bottle of Washington wine. And then, we feasted.

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