Monday, July 09, 2007

Last Dinner Before The Wedding... Beer Can Chicken Redux!

So, for the last Sunday Dinner before next weekend's big Staten Island Ferry wedding, we wanted something simple, but bursting with the flavors of summer.

Beer Can Chicken to the rescue! Initially, I had grand ideas of making pickled okra, chow chow and maybe even cheese straws, but these were quickly tempered by the lack of time and the fact that Zora was out of town until the food was supposed to hit the table. We had 17 hungry kiddies to feed.

It was ungodly hot, (like 94 degrees hot). Everything was going swimmingly until the beer bubbled over the cans and sort of extinguished the coals and the temperature kept dropping. The chickens were beautifully cooked on the inside, but the skin outside made them look like sickly babies. Not so nice.

After a tense conversation that ultimately required Peter to step in as arbitrator, we transferred the boiling ladies from the coal grill to the gas grill and nearly incinerated them with the new, higher heat. I think I recall Peter muttering something about a fire extinguisher, as we watched flame from the chicken grease shoot out the sides of the grill... Ultimately, they looked less sickly and more like burnt babies, but they were perfectly cooked and soooo juicy, because they had cooked for so long on a lower temp. Who knew?

Zora got extra points for showing up with HONEST TO GOD REAL BALTIMORE CRAB CAKES.

There was no overt violence (fork related wounds, eye poking, bite marks or, you know, plain old punching) as there had been in previous attempts to serve crabcakes in an orderly fashion, but they were sure gone in a hurry. These delicious little fuckers were followed by:

Boiled Peanuts -- just like Grammy from Alabammy makes (Not my Grammy, mind you, but someone's Grammy.)

Farm Lettuce Salad With Radishes, Celery, Red Onion and Cucumber in a Buttermilk-Mint Dressing

Our Guilty Secret Cornbread With Paprika Butter

Black Eyed Peas With Jacob's Cattle Beans, Ham Hocks and Slab Bacon

Grilled Treviso With Olive Oil and Salt

Salt Boiled Potatoes

Summer Squash Au Gratin With Salsa Verde, Gruyere In Brown Butter With Breadcrumbs


Jean Halberstam's Deep Fried Peaches for dessert. Good Lord.

Oh, and, of course... all of the wine and beer our systems would permit.

Karl was the kitchen slave of the day and Karine joined also to help. Thank god-- or I never would have made it.

Next time we do this.... we will be joined in holy matrimony.... or something like that!


floozigrl said...

oh i'm so excited to see all the documentations of the dinners!!!! i am definitely getting to one THIS YEAR!
damn those fried peaches look sexy :)

Tamara said...

and they ARE sexy, sister-- they ARE!