Albany John and I bought split chicken breasts and chuck steaks at Hannaford. They were on sale ($1/lb for the chicken boobs, $2/lb for the moo cow) and more than likely factory farmed after living terrible lives waiting for the axe. I hold no illusions about such cheap meat being ethically sourced or living happy lives dancing in the country.
BUT THEY WERE ON SALE AND I WANTED TO GRILL SOMETHING. I know, I’m part of the problem with the demand for cheap meat and factory farming.
I think Hannaford is the better chain grocery store in the area. They usually have lower prices, much friendlier staff, and better quality overall.
After trying “good” beef (grain fed, no-hormone, etc), I think their beef tends to be not that great as-is, but it’s fine when it’s got a sauce or marinade on/in it.
I let it sit in a ton of garlic (~3/4 of a head), and a little bit of chili powder, parsley, marjoram, kosher salt, and olive oil.
Albany John made some kind of marinade out of sake, garlic and other stuff for the chicken.
We eventually found a grill in Waterford, NY. Because we. Needed. Charcoal. Grilling. I rather liked it – it had a good view of Peebles Island and some docked boats, sans $6 parking fee. I’ll have to remember it when I think of going to Peebles Island again. It’s right next to it, and you can walk there from the Waterford side.
The chicken took a chicken’s age to cook, but oh man was it nice and charred. Albany John and I tore into a breast while sitting on a bench at sunset. I’m sure we looked like wild hobos tearing maniacally at a piece of food, but in our minds it was a nice snack while waiting for everything else to get to the right temperature.
I did the steak, which was surprisingly easy to cook. Just a few minutes, and then pulled at rare. And man, I love instant-read thermometers. It makes cooking meat much easier for me (in that I don’t overcook it).
We drove home and let the meat rest a little while longer while we showered up. I made a salad from the last of the greens from my garden (some gai lan leaves, the pai tsai that wasn’t eaten by earwigs, and misc lettuces). I had to pull them. They were getting too tall, and the heatwave wasn’t helping either.
I also tossed in some sugar snap peas (man, they also did not like the heat), and some black beans. The black beans are those tiny little buggers in the salad. Who’d have thought black beans are pale green when fresh? I had to peel the pods to get them (trust me, the pods are inedible. way too tough).
They turn black when they dry, which I learned after the heatwave killed an indoor blackbean plant I had growing. But now I have, like, three dried black beans THAT I MADE MYSELF.
I made a garlicky, anchovified Caesar dressing to go along with it. GARLIC OVERLOAD was the theme of the night.
Check it, here’s the only piece of meat I’ve ever cooked rare! Albany John cut everything up and we ate it with some rice. The beef was also really good dipped into the salad dressing.
I’m liking rice more now out of laziness. It’s super easy to make in the rice cooker and heats the house up the least in comparison with other carbs (pasta, potatoes, bread, etc).
Oh yeah, and one more thing:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!