HICKORY-GRILLED RIB-EYE STEAKS WITH BACON-MOLASSES BUTTER
Sweet cherry tomatoes make an easy appetizer. What to drink: Top off glasses of cold lemonade with a splash of bourbon, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs. For wine drinkers, offer a California Pinot Noir.
6 thick bacon slices
1/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
6 rib-eye steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line small baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon slices on foil; brush bacon with all of molasses, then sprinkle with pepper. Bake until bacon is cooked through but not crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer bacon to work surface; cool. Chop bacon; transfer to small bowl. Add butter and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). When coals are white, spread wood chips in 8x8-inch disposable aluminum foil pan; place pan directly atop coals. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. When chips are smoking, place steaks on grill rack. Cover grill and cook steaks to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plates. Spoon bacon-molasses butter atop each and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
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