For many of us, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start of another great summer. Thousands will flock to the beaches, lakes, and mountains of our great country to take in the warm sunshine and beautiful weather. Of course, I'll be right there with the rest of you. Readied with a cold beer in one hand and a spatula in the other, I spend the majority of my Memorial Day weekends surrounded by family and friends at our lake house on Georgia's scenic Lake Oconee.
On such weekends, my house typically becomes the center for all of the action. After all, my family is pretty well-known for never meeting a stranger. For instance, if you walked through my backdoor, momma would instantly offer up a variety of home cooked food and drink from her kitchen — quickly followed by an invitation to stick around for supper. I suppose it's true that the acorn doesn't fall too far from the tree. I owe momma a debt of gratitude for my cooking expertise and Southern hospitality.
Since I can't invite you all over for supper, I figured I'd offer up the next best thing: my recipes. Whenever I'm at the lake, I prefer to spend my time outside — just man and grill. These recipes provide an outstanding base of grilled fare for you to enjoy at your holiday cookout.
Most importantly, when you are surrounded by family and friends this weekend, enjoying some of the great recipes below, say a prayer for the members of our armed forces and their families. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Many of them are fighting battles or serving far away from those that they love. May our hearts and prayers be with them until they safely return home.
Bistro Steak Sandwiches + Caramelized Onion + Basil-Balsamic Mayo
Even with such a complicated name, this recipe couldn't be easier. However, don't let the ease of this recipe fool you, as it boasts tons of flavor. Follow my step-by-step instructions for this delicious and hearty favorite. (Prep 15 mins, Cook 45 mins, Serves 4)
Bistro Steak Sandwiches
4 Hamburger Buns (French-style if available) 2 lbs. Skirt/Flank Steak Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Kosher Salt Fresh Cracked Pepper Caramelized Onions (see below) Basil-Balsamic Mayo (see below)
2 Large Yellow Onions, thinly sliced Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Add ingredients into a skillet over medium low heat. Cook onions for 25-35 minutes, stirring often until browned and tender.
1 Cup Mayonnaise 1 Clove Garlic, finely minced Cup Fresh Basil, julienned 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Whisk together ingredients in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.
Cooking and Assembly
Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Slice buns and cook cut-side down over direct heat until slightly charred and toasted. Meanwhile, coat the skirt steak in oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the steaks to the grill over direct heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare/medium (depending on the thickness). Remove steaks from grill, allowing them to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing. Next, thinly slice the steaks on the bias and across the grain every inch or so. Pile the sliced steak high on the bottom side of the bun, while generously coating the top side of the bun with the mayo and onions. Top off the sandwich and serve immediately.
Grilled Beef Kebabs
These juicy, marinated kebabs are perfect for preparing a day or so in advance, and pulling out to quickly grill and serve in a matter of minutes. Packed with tender beef and colorful vegetables, these are sure to be a hit with your guests. (Prep 15 minutes, Marinate 3-4 hours, Cook 15 minutes, Serves 4)
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar 1 Lemon, juiced 10 Garlic Cloves, minced 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, chopped 2 lbs. Top Sirloin Filets, cut into chunks 1 Large Red Onion, cut into chunks Assorted Sweet Peppers, seeded and cut into chunks 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Pepper 3 Pinches Red Pepper Flakes 1 Teaspoon Allspice 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Add all ingredients to a zip-lock bag and marinate for 3-4 hours in the fridge, or overnight. Preheat grill over medium high heat. Skewer ingredients evenly on metal or bamboo skewers (soak prior to using). Place skewers over direct heat, grilling for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium. Remove and rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve.