During the summertime, recipes sort of go out the window around our house. It is more about fresh, simple flavors drizzled with a little of this, sprinkled with a little of that and then grilled. I love this sort of "cooking" because prep is minimal and cleanup is easy - everything goes outside on a baking sheet.
Emma's new favorite phrase is "I help make dinner, Mom?" (as she skootches her chair over to the counter) brings a whole new importance to the idea of simple and easy.
Typically, her duties are peeling garlic, putting things in bowls after I chop them, drizzling olive oil, stirring, etc. She looooved the idea of brushing the marinade on the squash with a paintbrush - it was almost like she thought I was kidding. "Maahh-om" her other new favorite thing to say. Like a 3rd grader.
As I said before, these aren't really recipes, just sort of our favorite combos for simple summer dinners.
Steaks & Tarragon Butter
-fresh tarragon (or rosemary, thyme, basil...)
-salt & pepper
Zucchini & Squash
-salt & pepper
Tomatoes & Mozzarella
-fresh mozzarella, sliced
-salt & pepper
This is a great recipe for pre-tomato season because you need firm tomatoes so they hold up on the grill. Local tomatoes aren't quite ready here yet, so these are just standard grocery store tomatoes. Grilling them really amps up the "real" summer tomato flavor.
I just slice them, then top them with fresh mozzarella before they go on the grill. After the cheese is melty, top with fresh basil, olive oil, salt & pepper and balsamic.
For the squash, I just stir together the olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme, lemon juice and salt & pepper. This is a great marinade/sauce for anything and everything on the grill.
We always just put olive oil, sea salt and pepper on our steaks - anything more always ends up being less.
Everything on the grill. I also did a portabella mushroom... but literally forgot it on the grill. Found it the next night.
I started with the tomatoes on the bottom rack, them moved them to the top after a couple of minutes because they began to char. They worked great on the top, though - were perfectly melty when the steak was ready.
Mike and I often share a porterhouse, which, I've recently learned is the same as a T-bone, but the filet section is larger because it is cut from a larger part of the loin. One side of the bone is a strip, the other is a filet - I get the filet, Mike gets the strip : )
I grabbed some tarragon from our herb pots and ran inside to make the butter while everything finished cooking. I made it in our mini food processor, but you could make a larger batch in a large one and keep it in the fridge for easy access.
Any herb goes great with steaks - I think we'll be doing a thyme and rosemary blend next.
These tomatoes were my favorite part of the meal - very summery. I told Emma they were tiny pizzas.
I also topped the zucchini & squash with a little parmesan just before serving.
The steak was so good - the herb butter makes it just a little bit more special.
I'm planning to share some of my favorite recipes for the 4th this week (and next) along with a couple of new festive baking recipes and products. I'd love to here your favorite recipes for summer holidays, too. Happy Monday - I'm off to go package some products : )