Welcome to the first post from McElroy Sunday Dinner! The site is still under construction, and the full bells and whistles of legitimate blog-dom are coming soon.
Father's Day 2013 was a fair day in Seattle, (where June sun is hardly a guarantee) and, long story short- we ended up having potatoes and watermelon touching each other on the same plate. The results were more comfortable than I would have ever thought, being a person who is not only ambivalent about watermelon, but traditionally opposed to mixing fruits (save the tomat0) into savory scenarios. In fact, when Linda asked me what I thought about "Spicy Pepper and Watermelon Salad," I tried to resist scoffing outright and rolling my eyes too obviously. She might as well have suggested "Spinach and Strawberry," or "Romaine and Raspberries..."
....yet only a week since this meal, I am already nostalgic about that meeting of overly-horseradished potato salad and surprise-zesty watermelon chunks.
All became obvious when I learned that the watermelon salad dressing was primarily composed of SRIRACHA, WHICH GIVES ANY FOOD A NEW LEASE ON LIFE.
Grilled Flank Steak with Spicy Pepper and Watermelon Salad, Creamed Corn with Basil, and Potato Salad with Sour Cream and too much Horseradish (that was my fault.)
The heart of this meal came from a 2008 issue of Bon Appetit, but to make it your own, use whatever steak suits you (rib-eye in this case) and decide what bracing, crumbly cheese you like on watermelon, (as if you are on board with spicy watermelon after my poetic descriptions.) We used goat cheese. Try to make sure that the color of your shirt matches the early summer jubilee jewel tones of the meal, as Matt has done below.
I typically don't even like fresh corn. Corn and watermelon are the two dislikes which bring question to the notion that I am actually American, and I risk embarassment by admitting this publicly. Fortunately, the power of MSD (McElroy Sunday Dinner, remember?) can frequently alchemize and uplift foods you didn't know you liked into refined revelations. Linda McElroy's level of talent with the Sunday Dinner genre simply knows no limitations, after her thirty-some years of practice.
However, having said so much - this purple specked green salad was the star of the meal for me. The lettuce was picked by Matt from his own prolific house garden, which we will soon tour via MSD in the coming month. It had a perky, peppery bite which he paired with a bold viniagrette of sherry, balsamic, shaved garlic, and additional garden picked herbs - lemon thyme, sage and rosemary. I always admire a heavy hand with vinegar - too little, and your salad will smack of subtlety AND snobbery, as if you are at a restaurant where you paid 7.95 for a plate of baby spring mix and olive oil.
|Great meals that start with a simple list...|
Now, every Father's Day, the McElroy's do their best to convince the Patriarch that he does indeed hold a special place at the table. Tom McElroy can be somewhat ambivalent about his own importance. He is not a lover of material possesions or excessive praise, and he claims not to care about eating dessert. If left to his own devices, he would subsist on cottage cheese all day long. But perhaps his peculiar ascetecisms are softening, lately - when pressed on what should follow the meat and potatoes, he was fairly quick to offer "A blueberry tart."
*As always, here on MSD, all recipes available upon request, although we're not always sure if we used Tsp or Tbsp's.....*