Rosemary Buttermilk Fried Chicken
This fried chicken brined with lemon and rosemary and drizzled with honey is unbelievably delicious! It’s also pretty simple to make; once I get the chicken in the brine, I can just let it sit in the refrigerator, and the brine will flavor the meat while I get work done around the ranch. I use a lot of lemon and 2 tablespoons of rosemary, which add some nice California flavors to the dish. And when I fry the chicken, I dredge it in flour twice—once before I dip it in the buttermilk and once after—so that the crust will be really crisp and bubbly after it’s fried.
Santa Maria Tri-Tip
Grilled tri-tip is the centerpiece of Central California barbecue. It’s an easy, flavorful way to feed a crowd, and we often grill the meat (a triangular cut from the bottom of the sirloin) when we have friends and neighbors over helping with work on the ranch. Around here, tri-tip is cooked over oak and served in thick slices, often with a side of beans. I like to have it with some grilled vegetables and garlic bread and top it with some freshly made salsa. If you can’t find a tri-tip, ask your local butcher; he or she can probably cut it for you. You can get a similar result if you make this dish using the tip of the sirloin or the top block.