Grilled boneless short ribs (?!); eggplant caponata; Thai jasmine rice – 16 June 2012

Wanted to do something special for Saturday night dinner… also had smelled all this grilling going on around the neighborhood… so I looked in one of my Weber books for something to do with beef.

Anticipating this, I had bought some “short ribs” at Costco on Friday – oddly, boneless (that’s a pretty short rib, to be sure). I actually chose the recipe for the side, which is something Weber is especially good at, and then adapted the meat part to this cut. The side was eggplant caponata, which takes 1/2″ slices of eggplant and onion, brushed with oil, grilled, and diced, adds capers, minced garlic, kalamata olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. The recipe was for T-bone steak. I used herbes de Provence – basing the mixture partly on six recipes online (all different) and partly on what dried herbs we actually had on hand. Those were: fennel seeds, marjoram (from our own plant), basil, lavender, rosemary, and thyme. I used 1/4 tsp of each, and D crushed them in a mortar with perhaps 1/2 tsp salt (though he was guessing and didn’t measure it). I pressed the herbs onto the meat before leaving it to sit at room temperature for a half hour or so.

I neglected to oil the meat, but did so later, and the herbs seemed ok with having oil patted onto them. I grilled this 1″ or 1 1/2″ thick piece of meat about 4 mins on one side and 3 mins on the other, then served over the caponata and Thai jasmine rice. It was very good though the meat needed more salt.

D chose an excellent wine from V. Sattui: Crow Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel, 2006. A notation on the back said to drink after June 2010, so we were good. I would not have recognized this as a Sattui wine, though. The “Sattui taste” that was so recognizable and totally inviting for the early years we used to go there is long gone. I’m told that Daryl Sattui was the winemaker then. I wish he would go back to that, as he made much more distinctive wines than anyone at the winery since.

 

Lunch:

We ate in the sunroom, it being a remarkably hot day for here (in the 80s).

We had the leftover cheeses from Tuesday evening when we went to City Council, a baguette D bought on the way home from our workout, some pitted and pitful picholine olives from Cheese Board and Berkeley Bowl, respectively, and a cucumber salad from Thai Street Food one of the world’s most beautiful cookbooks.

The salad starts with a mixture of white vinegar, water, sugar, and salt, boiled to dissolve the solids, and then cooled. Very thin sliced cucumbers and shallots, and diced pepper (this a Fresno) are mixed in, and that’s it. I first found it in Saveur, and made it for dinner last year, though the original does not have cilantro. Interesting.

We had the rest of the bottle of the Hayes Riesling from … Thursday?… but were not a lot more impressed with it than we were then, unfortunately. Perfectly fine, just not a fabulous Thai-food-wine, which is what we were looking for.

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