First things first, let’s make a marinade for the tri tip.

You’re going to need a food processor for this. If you dont have a food processor you can use a blender. If you don’t have a blender ask your neighbor if you can borrow her’s.

Throw in a good amount of fresh basil, 6 garlic cloves, a generous amount of salt and fresh pepper, and the juice of a fresh lemon.

Smells good already huh?

While your food processor is processing that, slowly drizzle in some olive oil. Use enough to make a thin-ish paste.

Don’t forget to taste your marinade! Does it need more salt? More lemon?

Put your tri tip in a large ziplock bag along with your marinade and let these two happily mingle overnight in the fridge.

I’m not even going to say a few hours is ok for this to marinate, because it won’t be the same. I’m sorry it just won’t!

At least 12 hours later…

Take your meat out of the fridge an hour before you want to cook it to bring it to room temperature. That will help the meat cook more evenly when you place it in your hot oven.  Also if cooking a big piece of beef makes you nervous (undercooking it, or worse overcooking it) put a meat thermometer in the thickest part. Takes all the guess work out!

Place your beautifully marinade tri tip fat side up on a rack and pop into a 450 degree oven. Tri tips are usually cooked on the bbq, but it was cold outside &  I’m kinda girlie when it comes to cold weather.

Besides, this came out great & I would do it again!

For rare let the internal temp get to 120 degrees, for medium 125. Because I was feeding a good amount of kids I let mine get to about 123 degrees and that took about 25 minutes.

Just beautiful! I’m sorry what can I say? I’m a carnivore and perfectly cooked beef makes me a little emotional.

After you take your tri tip out of the oven cover it loosely with foil and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will allow the meat to cook a bit more and will stabilize the juices. Mmmmm, juices….

Because I was cooking for such a large party I cooked three of these bad boys. One trip tip should feed 4 adults and a few of kiddos no problem.

15 minutes later…

Perfection! Slice your meat going with the grain of it. I used my handy dandy electric knife.

Funny story about that knife, it was a wedding present to my parents back in the 70′s! I don’t know how I ended up with it but I’m sure glad I did.

Thanks mom!

Arrange the meat in your dish and whatever garlicky goodness that fell off onto the cutting board put it right back on top of your sliced meat.

I also drizzled a little of the pan juice on top to keep it moist.

I love you pan juice.

Now for the potatoes!

As far as servings go my general rule for any potato dish is a potato and a half per person…

but for the crowd I was cooking for, I washed and diced up the whole stinking bag!

Grab some fresh rosemary and chop that up. If you only have dry rosemary on hand that’s totally ok too.

Arrange your potatoes in a large baking dish and sprinkle with sea salt, fresh pepper, your rosemary, and drizzle with olive oil.

Put in a 350 degree oven for about an hour…

and how easy was that?! Crispy perfection.

Side note: Have you noticed the aluminum baking dishes I have been using here? When ever I bring someone a meal or cook for a large party I use these for two reasons.

1. I like to pretend that I’m a caterer.

2. This way the person you are bringing a meal to doesn’t have to worry about washing and returning your dishes.

Salad, here we go!

Wait, why is there a picture of diced bread when we are talking about salad? I’ll tell you why. We are going to make our own croutons to put on this salad.

How fancy are you?

Grab a half loaf of french bread (sourdough or focaccia works great too!) and dice it up.

Place it in a bowl along with a few cloves of  chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and a good amount of olive oil. You want to make sure your bread is covered in the oil. Not dripping, just well covered.

Place it on a baking sheet and pop into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. I like them to be crunchy, but still slightly soft in the middle. Nothing worse than an over cooked crouton.

CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH!

Mmmmmm. Go ahead taste them. So much better than those creepy little croutons in the bag huh?

Arrange your lettuce in a dish.

I mixed spinach, red baby butter, and some romaine. I like my lettuce to be chock full of good things for me, but I also enjoy the crunch from the romaine.

Dice up a cucumber, a yellow bell pepper, some cherry tomatos, and some marinaded artichoke hearts…

and place on top of your lettuce. Don’t forget those yummy croutons!

Tip: You eat with your eyes first so go ahead and arrange the veggies on top of your lettuce to look beautiful. Toss it right before it gets served. Also don’t put your dressing on your salad until you’re going to eat it. If the dressing sits on the lettuce too long it’ll just get soggy. Ewwww.

There you have it. A party to go! Simple food done well for the people I love.

Hey wait! Whats up with those brownies in the corner?!

Oh, those? Those were so good, they deserved a post of their own. Coming soon…

You absolutely deserve a glass (or a few glasses) of wine after this. Enjoy!

2 Responses to How To Feed An Army

  1. Christi says:

    Melissa, I literally got teary eyed reading this! I don’t know if it was the beef or the smell I made up in my mind as I imagined eating it or the fact you made it for Tammi and sweet little Genevieve that I cannot hold :(

    • Melissa says:

      Christi, you are so sweet!! I wish I could make you a baby meal too! Genevieve is just about the prettiest baby they have ever had. Hopefully you can make it out to Cali soon to meet her. I’m loving your blog mama!

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