Every summer I spend a few weeks in the mountains of North Carolina in a little town called Highlands. My family has been going there for 20 years to escape the heat of the Florida summer and I usually fly in from California for a few weeks in July or August. Highlands NC is a special place. It is very very pretty with waterfalls and lakes and great hiking everywhere. It is also special in the sense that it is almost impossible to get anything that most of us have come to rely on in everyday life working properly. Every year we wrestle with getting the internet connection to work and getting our various computers on the network. The internet connection will just go out and you can have all the techs in the world over to look at it and nobody can figure it out? Huh. This year I just said forget about it and I decided to be twitter,FB and computer free for a couple of weeks. This was hard at first, but then it was like bliss!! I just went dark for a couple of weeks. It was relaxing. Read a lot of books and ate a lot of good food.
Here is one meal I made this summer:
Fresh Silver Queen corn from the field up the street
Dusty’s grocery store is a small little old fashioned southern market right up the street from our house in NC. The butcher Dusty will cut steaks for you any way you like and the primary reason to go to Dusty’s is to get steaks. My family LOVES Dusty’s steaks, they are the most tender, melt in your mouth, steaks you can get. Of course if you can’t hop in your car and drive to North Carolina any good steak will suffice.
I usually order Filet Mignons cut about an inch and a half thick. To prepare the steaks, first take them out of the fridge and season them real good with salt and pepper. I use ALOT of salt and pepper. Then I let them sit on the counter for at least an hour so they get to be room temp. which is a good temp for cooking meat on the grill.
After that I sear them on high heat on an oiled grill for 1 minute then turn down the temp to medium and cook for 3 or 4 minutes per side for medium rare.
The silver queen corn we get up there comes right from a field up the street. It is so good it tastes like candy. You can do no wrong with ths corn. I simply oil it with good olive oil then season with salt and pepper and grill for a few minutes until the corn gets some nice grill marks. Serve with butter and you will be happy campers.
I make a traditional florida style greek salad by serving my salad with some cooked small potatoes on the top. This sounds weird but it is how the Greeks in florida make it. Their is a large Greek population in an area called Tarpon springs and this is how they make their salads. Try it, you’ll be surprised.
Fresh summer tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes
Pitted Calamata olives
Red Onion Sliced thin.
Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 or 3 small yukon gold potatoes
For the dressing:
1/3 cup redwine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1tsp Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves minced
To make the salad combine all the ingredients in a large bowl except potatoes. Boil potatoes until tender but not mushy. Slice and put in a small both. Squeez the juice of 1 lemon and some olive oil over them and chop some parsley up and add to potatoes.
Make the dressing:
Combine all ingredients and emulsify with a fork or whisk.
Add potatoes to top of salad and cover with dressing. Toss. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add S&P if needed.