About My Dad & Grilled Steak & Potato Salad

Fathers’ Day is coming. A day to celebrate fatherhood, thank our dads and share some time, a few stories and jokes with them. My dad was in sales for years. I suspect that he is a born salesman. He wasn’t a disgruntled, down-on-his-luck, raggle-taggle salesman like Willy Loman. No, never, Dad was loaded with enthusiasm. He was energized, not just by the deal, but by the people he met along the way. You see, my dad is a people person. He is not only charming; he is completely genuine. Dad would never try to convince you that he’s interested in your story. He doesn’t have to; he really is interested in what you have to say.
No matter where he goes, Dad meets people. When we were little, he would roust us out of bed on winter Sunday mornings to get dressed, grab our skis and head to the mountain early. On the way to King Ridge, we would stop for the Sunday papers. We soon learned that if we let Dad disappear into the store to get the newspaper we would be stuck in the cold car for twenty minutes, or at least it seemed that long. As soon as he entered the building he would start talking to someone, anyone. It could have been an old friend or neighbor or the guy who built our house. It could have been a complete stranger. It didn’t matter. He always had at least a few words, more often several, for everyone.

And he still does it. About six weeks ago, I picked Mom and Dad up at the airport. They are snowbirds and were just getting back to New Hampshire. With a few hugs, howdy-dos and a flourish of activity, we loaded suitcases and golf clubs into the car. As we turned onto 93 to head north, I got the lowdown on their seatmates. Since they change planes in Baltimore, they make not one but two new friends.

In the space of an hour or two, Dad can learn a lot about a person and their life story. From take-off to touch-down, he learns about spouses, current, past and future. He gets the scoop on children and grandchildren (most of his seatmates are fellow retirees). By the time the plane lands, he knows where they live now and where they used to live. Maybe it goes without saying, but he’ll also know where their children and grandchildren live. He’ll have the rundown on what they do or used to do, not to mention what their children do. Schools, hobbies, any special interests are all fair game. If it interests you, Dad is delighted to hear about it. Almost without exception, he describes his seatmates as very interesting.

Maybe you’ve sat next to him. He’s that nice white haired man. If you have, you know all about me, my brother and sister. And their families. You know that my brother sells stuff that Dad doesn’t understand but it has something to do with telecommunications or software or something. You know that my sister runs a wonderful nursery school. You found out that their spouses and children are as talented as they are good looking. You know that I used to work for a big computer company and now I write and cook. He probably told you that I used to be Joe Nye’s daughter but now he is Susan Nye’s father. He’s not only a charmer; he is a proud poppa.

Have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Bon appétit!

Grilled Tenderloin Tips  Potatoes with Roquefort Salad
My dad loves his salad with lots of blue cheese. This dish is loaded with steak, potatoes, greens and Roquefort; perfect for any dad on his day. Enjoy!

Serves 6

Bamboo skewers
1 1/2 – 2 pounds new potatoes, whole, halved or quartered depending on the size
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 – 2 pounds tenderloin tips

1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 – 3 ounces Roquefort, crumbled
5 – 6 ounces mixed baby greens
Garnish: fresh chopped chives, parsley and more crumbled Roquefort

Prepare the potatoes and tenderloin tips.

Soak the bamboo skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Fire should be medium hot.

Toss the potatoes in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes, turning once or twice, directly on the grill or in a grill basket (whichever is easiest for you) for about 10 minutes or until they are nicely browned and tender.

Drizzle the tenderloin tips with a little olive oil, toss to lightly coat. Thread the tenderloin onto skewers, season with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers, 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on how you like it done. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the cucumber, tomatoes and onion in a medium bowl, add half of the Roquefort and a little vinaigrette, toss to combine. Put the greens, the remaining Roquefort and enough vinaigrette to coat in a large bowl and toss to combine.

To serve: put the greens on a large platter; arrange the tomatoes, cucumbers and onion around the edges of the greens. Arrange the warm potatoes and tenderloin tips in the center of the salad. Garnish with fresh chopped chives, parsley and more Roquefort.

3 cloves garlic
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Put all of the ingredients except the oil in a blender, process until well combined. Slowly add the olive oil and process until thick and emulsified.

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The nice people at Olivia’s Organics (they sponsor my Eat Well – Do Good dinners) would like to offer all Around the Table readers a coupon good for $1.00 toward the purchase of their favorite Olivia’s product.

Do you have a question? An idea, a few thoughts or an opinion you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

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Feel free to visit my other, cleverly named blog, Susan Nye’s Other Blog, or website  www.susannye.com. You can find more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

1 thought on “About My Dad & Grilled Steak & Potato Salad

  1. Your Dad sounds like mine. Super extravert! I always thought that he'd have made a wonderful spy, as he could spend a bit of time with somebody and come back with their complete life story. But then again, he would probably have told them his own life story in return!

    Bruce Bottomley


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