A Summer Soiree to Satisfy the Soul
Contributing Guest Blogger: Kirby Green
After a relaxing day out in the sun by the pool, there is no better way to conclude the day by a nice dinner out by the grill. As the amber sunset fills the sky, gather around the BBQ Island for a full course meal. Enjoy the soothing sound of water stirring the river rocks in your fountain as the landscape lighting reflects off the water.
Try these delectable recipes for an evening you’ll always remember:
Barbecued Beef Short Ribs
For the short ribs:
- 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 6 Tbs. soy sauce
- 6 Tbs. apple (or Asian pear) juice
- 1/4 cup Asian sesame oil
- 4 medium cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 tsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lb. 1/2-inch-thick, cross-cut, bone-in short ribs (flanken)
- Vegetable oil, as needed
Marinate the short ribs:
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, apple juice, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the short ribs and, using your hands, massage the marinade into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 12 hours.
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts (about 2 medium)
- Big pinch of Korean chile threads or 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh long red chiles
- 1 tsp. roasted sesame seeds
- 18 lettuce leaves (such as green or red leaf), washed and dried
- 4 cups cooked white rice, preferably short-grain Ssamjang
Garnish the meat with the scallions, chile threads, and sesame seeds. Serve with the lettuce, rice, and Ssamjang, cutting the bones from the meat with kitchen shears before eating.
To eat, put a small spoonful of rice inside a lettuce leaf, dab it with some sauce, and top with a piece of the beef. Wrap and eat.
Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries with Basil
- 2 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (about 4 cups)
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 8 to 10 medium fresh basil leaves
To keep the strawberry’s shape, use a paring knife to remove the cap with an angled cut. In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not yet mushy, about 30 minutes. (Don’t let the berries sit for more than 90 minutes, or they’ll start to collapse.) Just before serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board and roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape. Using a sharp chef’s knife, very thinly slice across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil. Portion the strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter with the basil to garnish, or choose one of the serving suggestions below.
Serve the strawberries over grilled pound cake. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche and scattered basil.
Garden Party Cocktail
- 1 fl. oz. (2 Tbs.) fresh lime juice
- 1 fl. oz. (2 Tbs.) agave syrup
- 4 sprigs fresh cilantro; more for garnish
- 3 1/4-inch-thick slices English cucumber
- 1 1/4-inch-thick slice jalapeño
- 2 fl. oz. (1/4 cup) 100% agave blanco (silver) tequila, preferably Lunazul
Combine the lime juice, agave syrup, cilantro sprigs, 2 cucumber slices, and the jalapeño in a chilled cocktail shaker. Muddle well. Add the tequila and fill the shaker with ice. Put the lid on the shaker and make sure you have a tight seal. Shake as hard as you can for 30 seconds and then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Rub the remaining cucumber slice around the rim of the glass to season it; then use it to garnish the drink, along with a sprig of cilantro.