Friday nights are great nights for kicking back, firing up the grill and relaxing after a long week. Part of the challenge with that ‘process’ this time of year is that it’s still 100 degrees plus at 8 o’clock at night . . not exactly the kind of weather that’s conducive to deck time on a Friday night. The grill part, on the other hand, is always a good option and after finding some steaks on sale at our local H-E-B, we decided that tonight would be a good reason to cook them up. We like to fix roasted potatoes when we grill steak . . . using some nice red potatoes well cut them into bite-size pieces and cut up some red onion and we like adding red, yellow or orange sweet peppers. Mixing all three together in a bowl with some olive oil and seasoning, put them into a 9 x 12 baking dish – – or if you’ve got stoneware, like is offered from Pampered Chef, use that – a great tool for cooking, and finally into the oven at 375 degrees for–initially–20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, stir them up, turn the dish around and put another 25 minutes on the timer. In the meantime, we’ve picked up some beautiful, fresh green beans…long, great color and they have a great snap – – after cleaning them and soaking them in some water, we like to add just a hint of bacon grease or two or three slices of bacon to the pan with some water just covering the top of the beans. After bringing them to a boil, we’ll simmer them on medium to low for 15 minutes at which time, we’ll pour in a third of a bottle of Italian salad dressing. Put the lid back on, turn down the heat to low and let cook for another 20-25 minutes.
These two vegetables combined with the steak made for a nice way to wrap up the week – along with daughter #1 and Bruce Wayne(who is in for a weekend visit) – but it wouldn’t be complete without some wine, and tonight we opened at 2011 Into Zin Zinfandel from Oak Ridge Winery…the same folks that make one of our favorite everyday Zins, OZV and Maggio! They’re located in Lodi, California…a superb part of the state for growing zinfandel grapes. While this Zin isn’t going to set any records for awards or get rated by Parker, it did earn a gold medal at the 2012 Alameda County Fair…not sure if that means anything, but even as a value-priced entry, it’s not bad. But, it’s probably not going to make us go out and scoop up mass quantities of it either…the nose is certainly typical zin…peppery, dark fruit, a little leathery. The taste was –well, just a little too tart for us. We like a zin to have that warm, spicy taste and a finish that allows you to taste the fruit and other characteristics of the wine. Even as the wine had some time open up, it didn’t deliver anything that made us jump for joy. So, while some of the Oak Ridge products are among our favorite everyday-type wines, this one won’t be joining them.
Fortunately, good food is just that…good food and we enjoyed the meal immensely, but the wine, while disappointing, is a great way to enjoy good food. We hope you have a terrific weekend and as you enjoy your favorite wine, we hope that you’ll do so responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.