TSDiner: Summer Grilling, and Fuzzy Strawberries

The thought struck us very much after the fact that a delicious, pretty-easily produced recent meal might make good copy for a TSDiner item (it has been a while).  So forgive the more than half-eaten plate shot below, representing remnants of a grilled New York strip steak with blue cheese, fried corn fritters and watermelon doused with a balsamic glaze.  All washed down with a delicious Rose’ of Pinot Noir from Moshin Vineyards, courtesy of Frank’s Union Wines.

Sure, this is a weird and not necessarily appetizing food shot, but foodie blogs and mags are filled with plenty of perfectly designed, unrealistic photos so we’re hoping TSDiner fans will appreciate us keeping it real.

Nothing terribly complicated about the prep work or cooking here.  You know how to grill a steak.  The corn fritter recipe was inspired, in part, from the July/August Cook’s Illustrated, a household favorite that somehow started showing up in our mailbox a few years ago.  Fantastic publication – must be one of the best written and edited magazines out there (in addition to recipes, they carry hugely helpful features on things like “Our guide to fresh corn,” knife sharpening and reviews of grocery store olive oils). 

Homemade crispy corn fritters

Our summer riff on their “Crispy corn fritter” was to grill three ears of corn, adding those charred kernels to the mashed corn/flour/salt/pepper/cayenne/egg batter that was then dolloped into a blend of hot avocado and canola oil.  A nice sweet and semi-hot offset to the rich beef with pungent Danish blue cheese.


Strawberries with corn flakes sounded very good for breakfast the next morning and fortunately a brand new package of Driscoll’s awaited opening in the fridge.  Sadly – and hardly for the first time – our little red friends had been visited by a downy white fur that pretty much ruined the entire batch.

Strawberries purchased only three days ago

What’s up with that?  Annoying.  These strawberries were just bought a few days ago.  Perhaps they are packing these berries too snugly together after washing; certainly there was a lot of moisture in the package that causes the mold to grow. 

Some do-it-yourselfers have tips for preserving the shelf life of strawberries: They suggest that you inspect the container when you first purchase the strawberries and immediately discard the moldy and soft ones. Rinse the firm ones in a bowl filled with one part vinegar to 3 parts water. Pat dry and store in airtight container. TSD has not yet tested this approach, but proponents insist you will not taste vinegar when you bite into your juicy strawberries for the next two weeks.

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