Sunday, September 18, 2011

Closing Out Summer in the Hamptons

I can think of no better way to end summer than with good friends and good food. The last weekend before labor day, my girlfriend and I went out to Quogue in the Hamptons with some friends to visit our friend's parent's house. We had postponed the trip a week because of hurricane Irene, and the weather was perfect. We spent some time on the beach and relaxing by the pool, and when the evening rolled around, we were treated to a delicious dinner. To date, all of my posts have been made by me, but this was such a great meal in such a wonderful setting, that I wanted to feature my friend's parent's meal as a thank you for their impeccable hospitality.

We started the meal with a lovely assortment of dips, cheeses and meatballs. My friend's father had whipped up some spiced, bite size meatballs, and we dipped them in the various dips which were dill, roasted red pepper, and a french onion style dip. Once we finished our hors d'oeuvres and drinks, we moved inside for dinner.

We had an amazing long island tomato salad with basil, olive oil, and pomegranate balsamic vinegar. The tomatoes were amazingly ripe and beautiful, and they tasted simple and delicious.

We also had a grilled zucchini salad. This was a very simple salad which they made by grilling some zucchini, chopping green onion, and mixing it all with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Again, very simple and clean, featuring a wonderful summer taste.

To complete the salad trifecta, they made an orzo salad with cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. The salad was tossed with olive oil and lemon, and continued the simple, delicious trend of the meal. All of the salads were so naturally flavorful, and they really showed how ripe, fresh ingredients make dishes amazing.

The centerpiece around all of these salads was a marinated, grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. The steak marinated in salt, pepper, olive oil, and cilantro, and was grilled to medium rare perfection over charcoal. It was served with a bright and spicy chimmichurri sauce made of onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, crushed red pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper. All of the ingredients were minced, and when served with the steak, the sauce was perfect to offset the rich warm flavor of the beef.

The meal was wonderful, and the company was even better. We had a really great weekend, visiting vineyards, eating delicious food, laughing, and breathing in the final wisps of summer.

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