What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: New York Strip Steak! The secret to a good steak, when grilling, is to crank up the heat. It took years to figure this out because grilling is different than baking. A steak likes to have the outside seared, or even charred, in order to keep those wonderful juices inside. The secret is to get the outside seared as soon as possible. When I asked my husband how high the gas grill was set, he replied, “All the way up!” Next, take your cell phone because you’re going to need a timer. For me, the soft pink center of a medium-rare steak is perfection. Obviously, if you prefer it more well done, you add extra time. Ready? Grilling season is upon us.
NEW YORK STRIP STEAK
1-inch thick New York strip steaks,(for two)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon butter, per steak
Remove steak(s) from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling. Season both sides with sea salt and black pepper. Preheat gas grill to highest setting. When you hold your hand over the grill, you have to pull it back immediately. Place steaks directly on grill for 4 minutes. Close the lid. Flip and sear the remaining side for another 3 minutes, with lid closed. Remove from heat and allow steaks to “rest” on a platter for 5 minutes. Add a pat of butter at this time. Serve steak immediately.
Dining Outside the Home: Hudson Yards Grill in New York, New York! Outside the window stands one of Manhattan’s newest public landmarks called The Vessel. It’s got people talking, which brings visitors to Hudson Yards for shopping and dining. After climbing the giant sculpture of interlocking staircases for a spectacular panoramic view of the Hudson River, Central Railroad, and Hudson Yards neighborhood, you’re bound to be hungry. Look no further than Hudson Yards Grill. Its Pre Fixe meals, Sushi, Salads, and Desserts win raves. And that’s just for lunchtime. Ingredients are fresh, expertly prepared, and served like an artistic masterpiece. Count on coming back for dinner. You deserve it.
Dining Outside the Home: Dos Caminos in Times Square, New York! Perhaps Cinco de Mayo isn’t the best time to try out an authentic Mexican restaurant. But then again, maybe it is. The vibrant cantina was hopping like a fiesta celebration. Shot glasses were slung back and refilled on demand. Traditional guacamole was served in natural molcajete stones with warm tortilla chips. The salsa trio was a bonus. Queso Fundido, piping hot in a black iron skillet, was spot on. Thick with melted cheese, poblano peppers, dark beer, and roasted tomatoes made it a meal. Keep the Cadillac Margaritas coming for an amazing culmination.
Dining Outside the Home: Carlo’s Bakery in New York, New York! He’s the Boss, that’s for sure. Luscious cakes, cream-filled cannolis, chewy cookies, and countless culinary creations will have your head swimming from refrigerated display case to bakery case. Customers in line murmur, “I want this. I’ve had that” as their fingers point to the delicious pastries behind the lighted glass. In no time at all, by the time you snake your way up to the energetic staff, you’ll easily walk away clutching fifty dollars worthy of dreamy confections.
Dining Outside the Home: Bocca di Bacco Theater District in New York, New York! Pay attention when a waiter tells you where he goes for dinner when he’s off work. It’s usually one of those best-kept secrets. If you don’t have a reservation, no worries. Snag a seat at the bar. Bartenders are usually pretty friendly, you can linger over drinks, and when you’re ready for dinner…they happily accommodate. Bocca di Bacco in the Theater District is hip, trendy, popular, and within walking distance of a Manhattan hotel. You’ll realize that as soon as you cross the threshold of this neighborhood trattoria, people flock here for a cozy atmosphere. Distant laughter and glasses clinking are cause for celebration. If Italian small plates are more your style, prepare to be amazed. Not everything is pasta, but it is Italian, so sit back and inhale the aromas.
Dining Outside the Home: Trump Grill in New York, New York! Truth be told, enjoying a meal at a destination restaurant on prestigious Fifth Avenue is all about the experience. The Trump Grill exists to be a lunchtime hotspot for busy shoppers, casual tourists, and thrill-seeking foodies. Located on the Garden Level of the world-class Trump Tower affords visitors a harmonious view of a 60-foot waterfall surrounded by flowers in bloom and unique retail shops. If you’re all in, begin with a signature cocktail like the “You’re Fired” oversized Bloody Mary. It pairs well with the Chopped Cobb entrée salad. The presentation is photo-worthy. The menu is filled with American classics from appetizers to desserts. In the end, relax, chat, linger, and enjoy food for the pleasure of it.
Dining Outside the Home: Nine Fine Fishermen in Las Vegas, Nevada! Experience an original Irish pub that was built in Ireland and shipped to its new home in the New York New York casino in Las Vegas. Not only is the rich woodwork impressive, but the food and spirits are unsurpassed. Don’t believe me? Check out the mile-high corned beef sandwich on toasted marble rye. The Irish chips (French fries) are amazingly scrumptious! But this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Authentic traditions include hearty choices such as Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Banger, Drunken Onion Rings, Fish & Chips, and more. One mustn’t ignore the Happy Hour stouts, ales, lagers, and spirits. It wouldn’t be neighborly to do so. Hang around awhile for friendly conversation and live music. No one is a stranger here.
Every American should make the trek to visit the 9/11 Memorial, in my opinion. Located in New York City, in the area where the Twin Towers used to stand, is a footprint honoring the memory of 2,977 victims who lost their lives as a result of the September 11 terrorists’ attack on our nation. Step into the plaza, a field of shade trees, where the sound of water draws you to those massive gaping footprints. Two very large reflecting pools, containing water that falls into a bottomless black hole, reside there. Edging the Memorial pools are bronze panels inscribed with the names of every person who died, lest we never forget. The Museum, located mostly underground, has been described as an “archaeological site of Ground Zero.” It truly remains a tribute to the past as well as a hope for the future.
A Statue of Atlas on Fifth Avenue will immediately grab your attention before raising your eyes to the 872-foot tower beyond the sunken plaza. This is Rockefeller Center, or more commonly referred to as 30 Rock. It has become a focal point and popular gathering place over the years, especially at Christmastime. You’ll also recognize Rockefeller Center by the 200 flagpoles surrounding the plaza at street level. Taking center stage is the gilded Statue of Prometheus, which practically glows on fire. But that’s only the beginning. Colorful gardens, unique shops, international cafés, art and history, rooftop tours, and more make this national landmark truly memorable.
“I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.” ~ John D. Rockefeller, Jr.