Moving cooking outdoors

Entertaining

As Memorial Day approaches, it's time to pull out the grill

Entertaining

May 19, 2002|By Betty Rosbottom | By Betty Rosbottom,Special to the Sun

When Memorial Day arrives in late May, bringing warm temperatures, it marks a change in the way I cook and entertain. We open our sun porch, clean all the dusty furniture and set out potted plants. My husband rolls out the grill from the garage, scrubs its grate and rushes off to the store for a season's supply of charcoal. I start to weed and water my herb garden. At last I can move my cooking to the back yard and plan meals that can be eaten there.

Our first official "grill meal" of the season takes place on this holiday weekend, and this year I can't wait to try some new creations along with some old-time favorites. There will be a fresh corn and red pepper relish served with crispy tortilla chips for openers and, as the star attraction, grilled rib-eye steaks garnished with whipped horseradish cream.

Side dishes will include grilled and skewered red-skin potatoes and an avocado, tomato and romaine salad tossed in a light soy sauce-scented vinaigrette. A strawberry refrigerator pie will end our outdoor feast.

The rib-eye steaks, a new dish in my repertoire, are so tender and flavorful that I season them simply with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. But it's the whipped horseradish cream for the meat that makes this main course so special. This garnish is a combination of whipped cream mixed with sour cream, horseradish and mustard. Chopped green onions and capers add more piquancy while fresh minced chives provide a hint of color. Horseradish cream can be prepared three hours ahead and refrigerated so that at serving time all you have to do is grill the steaks, which should take less than 10 minutes.

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, a division of Tribune Media Services.

Rib-Eye Steaks with Whipped Horseradish Cream

Makes 6 servings

WHIPPED HORSERADISH CREAM:

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup sour cream

1 / 4 cup prepared horseradish, drained thoroughly

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped

1 / 4 cup chopped green onions, including 2 inches of green stems

1 / 4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed

1 / 4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives

STEAKS:

oil, for grill rack

6 (8- to 10-ounce) boneless rib-eye steaks, each 3 / 4 to 1 inch thick

kosher salt

coarsely ground black pepper

To prepare whipped horseradish cream, with electric mixer on high speed, whip cream until just firm. Remove from mixer and set aside for a few minutes.

In non-reactive mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, horseradish, mustard, capers, green onions, salt and pepper. Gently fold whipped cream and 1 tablespoon of the chives into mixture.

Taste and, if needed, add more salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to small serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours. Remove from refrigerator 10 minutes before serving and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon chives.

When ready to grill, oil grill rack lightly and arrange 5 inches from heat. Prepare grill. Season steaks generously on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. When grill is hot, grill steaks 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve steaks on heated platter along with bowl of horseradish cream.

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