A Midsummer Night’s Meal


Fire up the grill for easy and delicious dining al fresco.

By Emily Chavez | Photo by Luis Chavez

Slowing down, lighting up the grill and focusing on the task at hand in the warm summer air affords time to refocus on taking care of self, family and home. Seasonal herbs and fresh fruit star in this surf-and-turf menu balanced with citrus acidity and olive oil and butter richness. Try these uncomplicated recipes for a relaxing and refined summer’s meal.

Herb Butter Ribeye

Serves: 4
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes

•  1 boneless ribeye steak, 2 inches

thick and excess fat trimmed off

• 1 tablespoon each salt and pepper

• 1/4 cup butter, sliced

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

• 4 garlic cloves

• 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

– Coat steak with salt and pepper and place back in the refrigerator, uncovered, on a rack inside a pan to allow for airflow. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

– In a food processor, blend together the butter, ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, garlic and rosemary until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

– Preheat the grill to 450 degrees, leaving the other side off for indirect cooking.

– Place ribeye over direct heat and sear each side for about 2 minutes, then move to the unlit side of the grill.

– Apply half of the butter mixture to the top of the ribeye and cook on
indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.

– Remove from heat and flip to apply remaining butter mixture on the top.

– Let ribeye rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes

• 1/2
pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

• 1/4
cup olive oil

• 1 medium lemon, juiced

• 3/4
  teaspoon salt

• 1/4
  teaspoon pepper

• 1/2
  teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 2 cloves of garlic, pressed

• 1 tablespoon fresh dill for garnish

– Marinate shrimp in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

– Thread the shrimp onto water-soaked skewers and place on the grill.

– Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are pink and opaque then top with dill to serve.


Lemon Dill Potato Salad

Serves: 4
Total Time: 40 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes

• 1 pound small red potatoes

• 3/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

• 1/4 cup finely cut onions, green and red

• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

• 1 medium lemon, juiced

•  1 garlic clove, pressed

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

– Cut the potatoes in half or in quarters depending on size and place in a pot.

– Cover potatoes with water and ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the water and place the potatoes in a large bowl.

– While the potatoes are cooking, add the remaining
¼ teaspoon of salt, plus the dill, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic
and black pepper in a bowl and whisk together.

– Pour dressing over the drained potatoes and let sit for at least
10 minutes so that the warm potatoes can absorb the flavors.

– Serve chilled.


Grilled Elote

Serves: 4
Total Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes

• 4 ears of corn

• 1/4 cup butter

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise

• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

• 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt

• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder

• 2 limes, halved

• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, cut

– Remove corn husks but leave the core attached.

– Grill corn on the direct heat of the grill turning throughout until slightly charred outside and evenly cooked, about 10 minutes. Then remove from the grill.

– Begin spreading the toppings on the hot corn in this order: butter, mayonnaise, Parmesan, salt and cayenne pepper or chili powder.

– Garnish with cilantro and squeezes of lime
to serve.


Spiked Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

Serves: 4
Total Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes

• 3 cups fresh watermelon, chopped

• 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained

• 5 cups sparkling water

• 1 ½ cups vodka

• 1/2 cup water

• 1 cup sugar

• Ice to serve

– In a small saucepan, combine sugar with ½ cup of water, bring to boil and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

– In a food processor, purée the watermelon until smooth and then strain.

– Add watermelon juice, lemon juice, the simple syrup made in Step 1, sparkling water and vodka into a pitcher.

– Stir and serve over ice.