Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fathers' Day Dinner

For Fathers' Day this year Denis and I planned a huge feast for both our families. I got most of the menu from the It makes it so easy to plan a meal because there are so many great chefs in one place. Denis and I definitely worked as a team for this dinner. For one, as I've mentioned before, I am afraid of the charcoal grill so he did all the grilling. And while I was setting up the table-scape, he made the most delish potato salad I have ever had. I've never made one of Robert Irvine's recipes but this one was addicting! If you only make one of these recipes on the menu that is the one I recommend the most, although, everything else was pretty delicious too. I had never deep fried anything before because all that hot oil makes me nervous, but Ina's onion rings were really easy and came out as a pretty good pairing with the grilled flank steak. All the recipes below our for about 4-6 servings but for our dinner I doubled everything and it still tasted great.

On the Menu:
Red Wine-Rosemary Grilled Flank Steak
Bobby Flay
Serves 4


3 cups dry red wine
4 small sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
4 gloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (2 pound) flank steak
salt and freshly ground pepper


To prepare the steak: Place the wine, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, onion, garlic and olive oil in a large ziplock bag. The recipe suggests to put it in a large shallow baking dish, but I really think it gets all over the meat in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat the grill, remove the meat from the marinade, season both sides with salt and pepper to taste and grill 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Let sit 5 minutes and slice against the grain.

Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings
Barefoot Contessa at Home
Serves 4 to 6


2 large Spanish onions (or 3 yellow onions)
2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (medium) yellow cornmeal
1 quart vegetable oil


Peel the onions, slice them 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick, and separate them into rings. Combine the buttermilk, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion rings, toss well, and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes. (The onion rings can sit in the buttermilk for a few hours.) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

When you're ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large Dutch oven. (A candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot with help you maintain the proper temperature.) Working in batches, lift some onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture. Drop into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them once with tongs. Don't crowd them! Place the finished onion rings on the baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt, and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the next batch. Continue frying the onion rings and placing them in the warm oven until all the onions are fried. They will remain crisp in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Potato Salad
Robert Irvine
Serves 4 to 6


2 pounds small red potatoes scrubbed and quartered
1 pound bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
6 scallions, chopped in 1/4-inch segments
1 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped


Place potatoes in cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to medium, letting them cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. In a skillet, saute bacon on low heat until crispy. Place bacon on a paper towel and discard the grease. Drain the potatoes, but DO NOT rinse them under cold water, rather let them cool for about 6 to 8 minutes on a sheet pan. In a small bowl combine vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, scallions, onion, sugar, and salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl and sprinkle bacon and hard boiled eggs over them. Then fold mayonnaise mixture into the potatoes and serve at room temperature.

Dijon-Lemon Vinaigrette
Yield: 2/3 cup (serving size: 1 tablespoon)


3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Worestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. I used a hand held blender to mix, but you can also put it in a closed container and shake to combine. Store in refrigerator. Toss over 2 cups mixed greens when ready to serve.

Roasted Garlic Butter Bread
By: Me
Serves 4-6
Baguette, sliced on a diagonal
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese

Put the oven on broil, high. Line the slices baguette on a baking sheet. Combine oil, salt, and pepper and brush both sides of bread. Toast in the broiler 5 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, squeeze pulp out of the garlic cloves and combine with the stick of butter, mix well. Remove toast from the oven spread roasted garlic butter on toast and top with cheese. Put back in the broiler for 5-7 minutes.

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