A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Memorial Day Weekend Grilling: Skirt Steak with Zucchini and Squash.

This Memorial Day weekend, I'm staying in Atlanta. All I want to do is lay out in the sun, swim, and smell charcoal perfuming the air.  Yes, I love to grill.  I'm particularly partial to cooking two things: my mom's famous filipino chicken kebabs [will post this recipe at a later date!] and grilled steak.  Normally, I love a good rib eye with nothing else but salt, pepper and some canola oil.

Last week, I decided to try my hand at a cheaper cut of meat, the skirt steak.  I've heard this is amazing on the grill, but it absolutely requires a lengthy time marinating to achieve that tender, juicy bite. 

I decided this fairly last minute, so rather than concoct my own marinade, I used this one.  I've had Stubbs BBQ when I've been to Austin and there's a reason it's a Texas staple.  Everything I've ever purchased from their line of sauces and marinades has been pitch perfect with anything I cook. 

For this recipe, I just threw the skirt steak in a ziplock bag with a few glugs of the marinade, and let it sit for several hours [around 3 to 4].  Since I know Stubbs tends to have a spicy marinade, I lightly rinsed the meat afterwards and patted it off with paper towels.  Even with doing this, the meat will still retain all that flavor imparted from the marinade. 

I used some of the remaining marinade and mixed it with canola oil and spread that on sliced zucchini and yellow squash.  The steak took hardly any time at all, about 4-5 on the first side and only 2-3 on the second.  I lowered the heat for the veggies, so they took a bit longer to get that nice, charred exterior. 

Another key to great skirt steak is to allow it to rest for at least 10-15 minutes and then cut it on a bias, or against the grain.  For some reason, this allows the meat to melt in your mouth, to the point where you don't really even need a knife for it.  The family I cook for absolutely loved this steak and since it was so simple, I'm planning on grilling more up this weekend.  

Friday out: Fontaine's Seafood Happy Hour.

I'm always looking for restaurant or bar specials around the city.  It gives me a good excuse to go out and try new places, since I can be pretty set on staying home and inviting friends over for a meal or drinks.  Last Friday, we headed to Fontaines, a local restaurant/bar just a few blocks from my house in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta. 
On Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7, they have a special of half priced oysters, peel and eat shrimp, and crab legs.  Being that seafood is typically pricey, this seemed like a great deal.

I started my meal of with the Orange Blossom Special [$8], which consists of: Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka, Fruitlab Hibiscus liqueur, simple syrup, and lemon juice.  Apparently this drink was invented while the bartenders were listening to Johnny Cash.  Not sure the connection between Johnny Cash and this drink, but it was tasty nonetheless. There was a slight floral taste, but it was definitely an orange based drink, which I really liked.  

Our oysters came first, and we were all pretty disappointed after having a few.  Most of the oysters had bits of shell mixed in, which doesn't provide the best mouthfeel when slurping down an oyster. The taste was fine, but that grittiness left something to be desired.  

Our shrimp, on the other hand were perfectly cooked and easy to peel. You might think otherwise from looking at this photo of my friend, Katy, but they really were good! 

The best part of our meal was absolutely the crab legs, which were perfect with just a bit of clarified butter and lemon juice.  My crab leg cracking abilities have vastly improved over the years, which made them extra enjoyable.  I think I inherited this ability both from my crab obsessed mom and from growing up around seafood in New York.

For three people, our entire meal and drinks with tip was under $50, which was a pretty great deal.  Oyster shucking issues aside, I don't know that I could get seafood of that quality for that price anywhere in Atlanta [but if you do know of some places, please share!].