Just A Little Casual Get-Together

Larry has been itching to smoke another big batch of beef, and of course when we do that, we have to have friends over to help us enjoy the fruits of his labor. So we had a little casual get-together with our friends Eric and Shannon. Unfortunately though, I think the smoker has died. We inherited the smoker from one of Larry’s brothers when he bought a new one, and it was already old then, and we have had it for a few years. I think it smoked its last bit of meat though, and it is now time for Larry to buy a new one. It has lived a good long life. But when the smoker doesn’t work, put it on the grill. It’s always good to have a plan B.

Larry did an excellent job on the meat. It came out just perfect. It was seared perfectly on the outside and deliciously tender and juicy and medium rare on the inside. It literally just melted in our mouths.

But we cannot live on meat alone. Of course we had side dishes too. I made some spinach mushrooms, garlic, shallots and tomatoes for a Tuscan topping, or side, along with some roasted potato rounds and a very springy Mediterranean salad. Shannon brought some gluten-free brownies for dessert. We went gluten-free for the evening. As you can see, it was just a simple little dinner enjoyed by the four of us.

For the salad, I used some red leaf and green leaf lettuce, mixed with artichoke hearts, tomatoes and hearts of palm and toasted almonds. I tossed it all together with a fresh, lemony vinaigrette. YUM!

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil

2-3 TBSP lemon olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

2-3 TBSP lemon balsamic vinegar

1-2 tsp garlic

1 shallot, minced fine

salt & pepper to taste

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

Whisk everything together until well blended and set aside until ready to use. I usually do not put my dressings on my salads until just before I am ready to serve them.

We love getting together with friends and family. We really don’t need any excuses to do so either, but it always makes it fun to create a reason to share good food with good company. Food, after all, is meant to be shared.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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