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(Mostly) Local Date Night Dinner

September 16, 2010

After a long summer of travelling, last weekend was blocked off for staying in town and hanging out.  On Friday, armed with supplies from our CSA and Whole Foods, we enjoyed a mostly local dinner.  On the menu was NY strip steak (organic, from Upstate NY), smashed potatoes (organic, but from MD) with garlic and dill (both from the CSA), and grilled tomatoes (CSA).  We rounded out the meal with our new favorite drink, a modified Pimm’s cup, made with Pimm’s No. 1, lime, mint (from our garden), cucumber (local/organic) and ginger ale.

Backyard dining at its best

For the steak, we went for a dry rub of about 1/2 cup brown sugar and spices (a mix of Penzeys Northwoods Fire, cumin, chili pepper, salt and pepper).  Dry rubs are a new favorite- the caramelized sugar provides a wonderfully crunchy exterior and the intense flavor does not require the wait time of marinades.  Once the grill was piping hot, the steaks were cooked until charred on the outside, but still pink on the inside.  A 10+ minute rest is crucial as well.

Steak with dry rub, awaiting its fate on the grill

The potatoes (about 1 pound) were steamed along with 4 peeled garlic cloves.  Steaming is a quick way to cook potatoes, and the garlic also cooked enough to be smashable.  Next time I will use even more garlic.

Steamed potatoes, done in no time!

Once cooked, I mashed up the potatoes roughly along with the garlic, 2 tbsp. butter, 1/2 c. whole milk, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste.  A liberal amount of chopped dill was added and mixed in.  Yum!

Smashed and ready to eat

Grilled tomatoes were something we decided to try just because we were going to have the grill on anyway.  The thick slices were drizzled with olive oil, with salt and pepper sprinkled over.  On the grill, each side got a few minutes to heat up and soften.  Once off the grill, a bit more oil, salt and pepper was added along with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes for fun from the garden.

Grilled tomatoes with basil

The finished meal was delicious, and very few leftovers survived.

The whole shebang

To match up to this meal of tastiness, we mixed up our favorite version of Pimm’s cup:

Two dinner drinks, ready to be enjoyed.

For two (tall) drinks, the shaker was filled with 1 cup of Pimm’s, 5+ sprigs of crushed mint, 1/2 of a lime (squeezed out), and a handful of cucumber slices.  Ice was added to help cool and smash things around.  This was poured out into 2 glasses, and each glass was topped off with ginger ale, ice, and a cucumber slice or 2.  Next experiment: substituting basil and watermelon for mint and cucumber…stay tuned.

A shaker full of goodness

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 19, 2010 4:07 am

    That’s a big Pim’s cup! Where’s the gin tasting photos? Good times :)!
    btw, here’s my friend Christian’s blog, too. I imagine you’d both appreciate each other’s explorations…!

    See you montag,

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