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Your Memorial Day successes (or failures)?

We were just having a small barbecue but I got kind of inspired this weekend after a few months of cooking malaise. I hit the farmer's market and got a bunch of stuff on Sunday.
Sunday night we just wanted a simple supper before the barbecue, so I made Nigella Lawson's lemon linguini and added some shrimp for protein. It was delicious, and a big hit with my boyfriend who usually doesn't like pronounced lemon flavors.
For the barbecue, I made jalapeno/lime/tequila butter for the steaks we grilled;
Panzanella (Tuscan bread salad), beet/apple/roquefort/walnut salad and potato salad. My son doesn't like fancy viniagrette potato salad, while I don't like mushy mayonaisy boring middle american potato salad. I compromised with a dressing made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, buttermilk and low-fat mayo. A big hit with everyone!
Dessert was homemade apricot/buttermilk ice cream, yum!
What did you make?

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  1. Curried Potato Salad. It had fresh spring English peas, celery, red skinned potatoes, and spring onions. The dressing was a bit of mayo with vinegar, curry powder, and cayanne pepper.

    Then I also made Lemon Bars with fresh meyer lemon juice. Martha Stewart says you can only get them once a year, but tell that to my friend with the meyer lemon trees that bear fruit all year round! The sweet juice from those lemons are like a cross between an orange and a lemon. They really perk up those lemon bars like nothing else.

    3 Replies
    1. re: VirgoBlue

      Could I get a recipe for that potato salad? I can estimate :) but if you already have the magic combination, I'd love it! How did you cook the potatoes? I've been experimenting by grilling potatoes recently, either in foil packets or on a grill pan, after parboiling.

      I wish I could find Meyer lemons after that glowing description. I'm in Rhode Island and I just don't see them around. Maybe I need to step up my investigation.

      1. re: foxy fairy

        You can buy indoor trees. Williams-sonoma sells little ones but we found a nice sized one at a nursery. We gave one to my MIL for mother's day so we'll see how it is with fruit bearing. I was spoiled since a friend of mine in CA had a huge, overflowing tree and now am living for that one lemon.

        1. re: foxy fairy

          Curried Potato Salad with Peas

          1 pound unshelled fresh peas
          3 pounds small creamer potatoes (red or white), washed and quartered w/skins on
          3/4 cup mayonnaise
          1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
          1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
          1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
          3 green onions, chopped
          3 stalks celery, chopped
          Salt and pepper to taste

          INSTRUCTIONS: Boil the potatoes until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain & cool. (Add the peas during the last 2 minutes of boiling and drain w/potatoes.)

          Whisk together the mayo, vinegar, curry powder and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.

          Combine the peas, potatoes, celery, and onions in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate to let flavors marry.

      2. I made a big salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, chunks of red onion, mixed olives from the Middle Eastern grocery in my neighborhood, and some super creamy feta from the same store. I threw in a lot of fresh oregano and made a nice red wine viniagrette. It's a pretty traditional salad, but the addition of the olives and feta took it to a new level.

        1. Saturday was a rain out, so we went for lunch to a Korean BBQ spot in Chicago.

          Sunday, I got 2.5 lbs of skirt steak from my local butcher on Saturday, he ran it through the tenderizer he has at his shop. I marinated the skirt steak in a mixture of lime juice, pineapple juice, minced jalapenos, minced garlic, cumin, salt pepper, and olive oil which I ran through the food processor. I marinated the beef for about 3 hours. I also made guacamole (minced garlic, minced jalapeno, lime juice, salt, pepper, Melindas XXX Hot Sauce) when I was making the marinade. I grilled the skirt steak for 3 minutes each side, and it was a perfect medium rare. I also fired up some tomato and onion Quesadillas on the grill as the meat was resting. I served the beef on a choice of corn, or flour tortillas. A great sucess paired with cold beer, and alot of tequila.

          Monday, The grill was fired up all day, for lunch we had some basic cheeseburgers with Japalpeno jack cheese, and my burger had a fried egg on top as well as diced olives, guacamole, and chopped cherry peppers. For dinner I marinated some cubed pork loin, in a mix of lemon juice, lime juice, minced garlic, Lea & Perrins, Tobasco, rosemary, and olive oil again run through the food processor. I marinated the pork for 3 hours, and then made skewers of pork, green peppers, onion, and pineapple. I basted them towards the end of their cooking time with a bbq sauce thinned out with beer. I served these over some white rice made with chicken stock. A great weekend of grilling, and decent weather.

          1. Something about the first summertime holiday made me think margaritas on Sunday afternoon. Made with frozen limeade, jose cuervo, triple sec and limes. Had smoked cheddar corn tortilla quesadillas with peach salsa on the side to tide us over (um, soak up some alcohol) while grilling chicken tenders marinated 3 hrs in OJ, garlic, S&P.

            Dinner last night was shrimp cocktail and cold beer while watching the sunset at a local beach.

            1. Nice to see all these American inspired dishes on Memorial Day weekend. Yum.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rochfood

                The big hit of the weekend was a whole smoked bluefish. The fish was absolutely fresh, I cured it for a few hours, then smoked it for about 90 minutes. It was heavenly, rich and smoky and succulent. We had a millet, black bean and corn salad dressed with lime, olive oil, chile and cilantro as a side.

                Other new dishes: Israeli couscous with roasted pumpkin, zucchini, golden raisins. We had this with grilled spice-rubbed pork chops. Also a really good meal.

                Other weekend meals include grilled black sea bass, turkey enchiladas. All good eating. The only failure was a wild rice soup which was taking far too long to cook, so it was left out of dinner plans. It tasted good this morning so it may not be a total failure.

                1. re: cheryl_h

                  Hi, Cheryl - haven't seen you posting much of late, but if you're still around I would love some details on how you did your bluefish. I'm hoping to do something similar this weekend.