By Emily Jacobs
The Daily Meal
As warm summer temperatures sweep the nation, cooks everywhere are firing up their grills for barbecue season. While some prefer the classic menu of hamburgers and hot dogs, chef Lydia Shire shares with us some of her favorite cookout menu items and her secrets for grilling them perfectly.
Owner and executive chef of Scampo in Boston and recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast, chef Lydia Shire draws her culinary influence from Italy, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. These flavors combine on the grill to form an elegant and one-of-a kind cookout menu. Some of her tips include:
- Lydia's favorite main course to serve at summer cookouts is Cote de Boeuf -- a thick, bone-in rib steak. She recommends marinating the meat overnight in her famed pomegranate marinade (made with pomegranate molasses from Syria), then grilling it with real wood charcoal. Lydia uses a thick-cut prime rib (approximately 3-4-inches thick) for an optimally crisp outside and warm, tender core. Once the meat is seared on all sides, she closes the cover and lets the fire die down so the meat roasts nice and slowly. After letting the meat rest, she cuts it into thin slices (approximately ⅓-inch thick) and serves it with a Roquefort cheese sauce (white wine reduced with heavy cream and equal parts Roquefort and unsalted butter blended in).
- Alongside the dish, she serves a simple arugula salad to achieve a nice balance between the richness of the spicy beef and sharp sauce and the bitterness of the greens.
- She also suggests a quick side of potato salad, made using red bliss potatoes, white vinegar, mayonnaise, scallions, red onion, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Lydia never lets her potato salad near the fridge to maintain the tanginess of the vinegar.
Lydia also likes to refreshing Mai Tais alongside the cookout. Whip up this drink with oregeat syrup, three kinds of rum (white, dark, Mount Gay), Cointreau, and pineapple juice. She recommends making this drink in large batches so guests can serve themselves and you can focus on the grilling and hosting.
Follow some of these tips for a foolproof barbecue and impress your guests with an elevated menu.
-- Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.