There's Really No Reason To Go Out For Dinner....If You Happen To Be Friends With Executive Chef Andrew Buffalino! Check Out The Incredible Meal We Shared Last Night..
KDH is such a foodie, and we absolutely love to see an amazing chef in action at home. Last night, Doc and I went over to my friend Rita Schrager’s Southampton house for a summer BBQ that our friend Andrew Buffalino was cooking up. Andrew is the Executive Chef at LT Burger in Sag Harbor which is a favorite haunt of KDH. If you are one of the few people who haven’t been to LT already~ GO! Andrew makes the best burger, pulled pork sandwich, fried pickles, and sinful ice cream shakes!! Even though this super chef basically works seven days a week, as he was driving home from preparing lunch at LT yesterday he smelled the smoke of a family BBQ, and said “I’ll be damned if I don’t have a BBQ tonight too!”
Because chef was already in Southampton, he popped into Schmits to gather everything he needed, and called KDH and said “Grab the doc and come on over to Rita’s, we’re having a BBQ!” Andrew says there are two meats you can never go wrong with: skirt steak and chicken wings, which he picked up along with any other produce marked ‘local’. “I like to cook with ingredients that are naturally sweet and salty, so you need to add a balance of citrus, and a nice white wine.”
Like every great chef I have known, Andrew can rifle through any kitchen cabinet and create a magnificent marinade or dressing. For the chicken, he whipped together a bowl of ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, tarragon, and vinegar, with a touch of honey and let the wings sit in it for about two hours.
Next up was his red leaf lettuce salad [see ingredients above]. “I chose to add salami instead of cheese, because I couldn’t resist making an additional simple caprese salad with these amazing local yellow tomatoes!” Chefs tip: Andrew says “balsamic vinegar should always be aged at least 20 years for the best flavor.”
This chef likes to keep things old school and uses a simple bubble shaped Weber BBQ grill which he strategic fills with pockets of crumble up newspaper and charred wood chips [which you can get at Herricks or IGA]. “Start by placing the small chips in first, then the larger pieces on top and tuck pockets of the paper in the side of chip pile. A great fire needs air, blow slowly to build the flames. I like my grill to get to about 350 degrees. Make sure the vents are on, cook the wings for a half hour, then add the steak on and cook it all for 15 more minutes. The hardest part of preparing the dinner is lighting the grill!”
Back in the kitchen, Andrew’s tip for the best corn is to boil the water on low heat for 25 minutes, in water with 2bsp salt, and a quarter stick of butter.
After chef takes the steak off the grill, he let it ‘rest’ before adding more of the same marinade, and then sliced it lengthwise, super thin, against the grain with a Global 8 inch blade. Once sliced, Andrew laid the steak on a bed of watercress “because the bitterness cuts the fat.”
Rita Shrager is the best hostess because she is so carefree and has the best taste. She set a chic table top and we all relaxed watching the sunset as Andrew power grilled!
The dinner was perfection and just how you wish you could eat every night. We all had seconds and then glided over to the comfy sofas on the porch after dinner in a peaceful food coma as Rita served up her secret dessert pleaser: Haagen Daz vanilla bean ice cream with drizzled balsamic vinegar and champagne grapes! Trust me, it’s soo good!
We thanked Andrew for cooking on his one night away from the restaurant to which he replied, “Tonight I got to relax, and share my food. Cooking and eating great food solidifies my life, and that makes me feel like I had a true day off.”
Thanks Andrew & Rita! xo