My family and I host cookouts year-round, but in the summer we ramp it up big time. Since Labor Day is one of the last big Grilling Weekends of the year, I want to share some of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes with you, so you can enjoy the long weekend at the helm of the grill too!
My steaks are always a hit—my friends tell me they’re restaurant-quality every time. I am a fan of tri-tip and top sirloin cuts; they’re really good grilling steaks because of the marbling. And like all of the meat you find in our department, our beef was raised and processed in the U.S. without antibiotics or hormones.
Mix together garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Generously apply the mixture to each side of the steak. I know it seems like a lot, but trust me, you’ll be amazed. It really doesn’t come out that garlicky. Then give it a light brush of canola oil to help with the char.
Smash the garlic cloves and put into a ramekin with the butter. Microwave for about 20 seconds so it melts but doesn’t boil over. You can just leave it in the microwave for later.
Heat your grill to the highest it will go and close the lid. When it’s ready, put the steak on grill, close the lid, and let it grill for about two minutes. To get those nice crisscrossed grill marks on there, turn the steak around 90 degrees and cook for another couple of minutes. I like to have a plate ready so that after I cook the first side, I can put the steak aside for a minute while I let the grill get back up to temp with the lid closed. Then I repeat the process on the other side. This should give you a medium-cooked steak.
Once my steak is done to my liking, I put it on a plate, and let it rest under a loose foil tent for about ten minutes; don’t wrap the foil around the plate so the steak steams, but just gently lay it on top. Resting lets the juice and flavor absorb into the meat.
While the meat is resting, microwave the garlic butter for another 20 seconds so it melts again. When it’s time to serve, brush garlic butter lightly over the steak. Some of my friends like to cut their steaks and dip it into the butter as well, so I keep the remainder for them.
When cutting and eating your steak, I strongly recommend cutting smaller pieces. While you’re chewing, you’re actually sucking juices out of the steak, so if you take smaller bites you’ll have a more flavorful experience! And of course, always cut across the grain whenever you’re cutting beef so it’s more tender and easier to chew.
Side Dish: For steak nights, we always serve the classic sides like salad, potato salad, chips, beer (Fat Tire Amber Ale’s my favorite), and corn on the cob. The corn on the cob is usually the biggest hit. Some people open the husks to put salt and pepper and a hot rub on, and then close them back up to grill them. I like to keep them closed though because I think you get a nice, grilled flavor that way.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of one (skinless) side of the salmon. I like to then layer my fixings down the length of the salmon. First, I put a couple of sprigs of fresh dill on top. Then I slice the butter into 1/8-inch thick pads, and lay them about two inches apart from one another down the middle. I slice both the red onion and the lemon super thin and layer them on top.
Grill the salmon over medium heat skin-side down, or on a piece of foil. If you’re cooking a pound of fish at 300 degrees, it will probably take around 8-12 minutes to cook. When the flesh turns to the opaque light pink, it’s finished. If you want to check to see if the middle is cooked, stick the tip of a paring knife into the thickest part of salmon and lay it back to see if it’s turned that light pink.
Side Dish: Alongside salmon, we like to grill broccoli. Cut a head of broccoli into long spears and toss them in a bowl with oil, salt, and pepper, and put them directly onto the grill next to the salmon for a nice char. Grate some Parmesan cheese over top of the broccoli, and close the lid to let it melt. Keep a close eye on it though so it doesn’t burn!
This is our favorite thing to do at the end of a cookout. If you’re using a charcoal grill, once the briquettes are ashed, lay a graham cracker with marshmallow and chocolate on top of grilling spatula, or on the warming rack, or right on the grill if it’s cool enough!
Date: Tuesday August 30, 2016
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