Grilled flank steak – two options

Flank steak is terrific for leftovers.  As noted, we have a super busy week this week.  So I’m giving you two options on the flank steak.  The easy option is to use McCormick’s Meat Marinade and fix according to package directions.  If you’re feeling more ambitious – the marinade below is delicious.  Pair with grilled asparagus and you have an easy dinner.

Lemony garlic flank steak

  • 8 – 10 peeled garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • flank steak
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Put garlic and oil in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 25 – 30 minutes.  Garlic should be tender and light brown.  Pour oil through a strainer and reserve.  Mash garlic with about 1 TB of kosher salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  Poke flank steak with a fork to tenderize and then spread with most of the garlic paste.

Add zest from 1 lemon and juice from 4 lemons to the garlic oil.  Pour 3/4 of marinade over steak and let stand for an hour.

Remove steaks from marinade and grill over high heat 5 minutes on first side and 3 on second.  Spread with remaining garlic paste and pour remaining marinade over steak.  Let stand for 5 minutes and thinly carve against the grain.  Resist the temptation to eat it all so you’ll have leftovers for salad.

Lemon Garlic Flank steak

One of the advantages of building in the lag is that I have a bit more flexibility in when I add my posts.  We had this lemon garlic flank steak last Sunday night and I have it planned for you tomorrow night.  With the holiday weekend, I have more time to tell you about it now.  This was a new recipe for me, inspired by a recipe I found in a magazine.  We love flank steak and tend to rely on the McCormick Meat Marinade (which is delicious).  I wanted something different and this has great flavor.  Plan on enough for leftovers to put on a salad.

I’ll admit to a cheat for one of the sides.  Grail’s has started carrying these wonderful potatoes from The Little Potato Company.  I don’t like a lot of packaged foods as they tend to be high in sodium and chemicals.  These potatoes are excellent and easy.  I get the oven ready kit and we prefer the garlic and herb.  You open the package, add 2 TB of olive oil and the contents of the seasoning kit and stick in the oven.  That gave me time to experiment with the tempura green beans!

Lemony garlic flank steak

  • 8 – 10 peeled garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • flank steak
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Put garlic and oil in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 25 – 30 minutes.  Garlic should be tender and light brown.  Pour oil through a strainer and reserve.  Mash garlic with about 1 TB of kosher salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  Poke flank steak with a fork to tenderize and then spread with most of the garlic paste.

Add zest from 1 lemon and juice from 4 lemons to the garlic oil.  Pour 3/4 of marinade over steak and let stand for an hour.

Remove steaks from marinade and grill over high heat 5 minutes on first side and 3 on second.  Spread with remaining garlic paste and pour remaining marinade over steak.  Let stand for 5 minutes and thinly carve against the grain.  Resist the temptation to eat it all so you’ll have leftovers for salad.  Serve with potatoes and

Old Bay Tempura Green beans

  • 1/2 green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 TB cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • vegetable oil

Pour about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a wide saucepan and heat to simmering.  Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder and Old Bay in a bowl.  Whisk in club soda.  In batches, dip beans into batter and fry in oil for about 3 minutes.  Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels and sprinkle with Old Bay.  (Mine clumped together because the pan that I used wasn’t big enough but they were still delicious.)

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The disappearing weekend

We have had an insanely busy weekend.  I feel like it just started and it has vanished.  It was productive (yard work and car shopping), fun (our niece’s high school musical) and interesting (tour of the Walter’s Art Museum after church with a docent and lunch at a Turkish restaurant) but I am tired.  That means an easy dinner – steak on the grill, baked sweet potato and salad.

Steak

Pick any steak you like – we had that bone-in ribeye a few weeks ago and it was so good I bought an extra one while they were on sale and froze it.  Graul’s always has some type of steak on sale.  I’ve gotten interested in rubs since making that one (which we are still enjoying) but there are also lots of good rubs and marinades on the market.  If in doubt, just put some Worcestershire sauce on the meat and then grill.  We like ours medium rare.

Potato

We have gotten to the point where we almost never eat baked potatoes other than sweet potatoes anymore.  (If you’re feeling slightly more ambitious, you can make the sweet potato fries I have blogged before.)  Wash well, poke with holes and bake at 400 for a solid hour.

Salad

I got some mache to mix with greens from the salad bar.  I’ll toss in some avocado, tomato, sprouts and little bit of crumbled cheese.  A quick vinaigrette can be assembled in a glass jar by tossing a minced shallot, a TB of sherry or balsamic vinegar and 3 – 4 TB of olive oil.  You can vary that by adding some Dijon mustard, some herbs or an egg.  Chop your salad well and toss with the dressing.

The perfect meal for a night when you want something delicious but are feeling like there isn’t enough weekend left for elaborate cooking!

Healthy and make ahead

My husband and I have decided that we really need to work on losing weight.  We joined a health club and we are both trying to find time to exercise.  I want to support that effort by making some healthy meals.  If you have tried to cook from Weight Watchers or Cooking Light one of the things you may have noticed is that there is a lot of prep time.  The dishes get their flavor from lots of good things like ginger, garlic, etc. which can lead to a fair amount of chopping.  The bright side is that much of it can be done ahead.  This beef is a great example.  Marinate it the night before and the flavor is even better and your dinner is almost done.

Spicy beef

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 TB minced ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass chopped or 1 tsp dried lemongrass
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 flank steak, sliced diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 TB chopped cashews
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients except flank steak and then toss with flank steak slices.  Marinate overnight. Skewer the beef and grill a few minutes on each side (or broil) and serve over rice with some chopped scallions and a few chopped cashews.  (The nuts are high in calories but when you chop them it allows a few nuts to give flavor to the whole dish.)

Experimenting with brussel sprouts

Tonight we had marinated flank steak.  We both love flank steak and although I have experimented with a number of marinades, my old reliable is McCormick’s Meat Marinade.  You mix one packet with 1/4 cup of oil (I use olive oil), 2 TB vinegar (I use white wine vinegar) and 1 TB of water.  I poke holes in the steak with a fork and then marinate the steak for a few hours or up to overnight.  Grilled and sliced thin it is delicious and leftovers are wonderful on a salad or in a sandwich.  I decided to try a brussel sprouts experiment with them.  We went out to dinner last year with Christie and Kevin and had an appetizer of roasted mustard brussel sprouts that were fabulous.  I decided to see how close I could come to recreating them –  a challenge given that it has been almost a year since I tried them.  Here was my first pass and my comments about what I’ll do differently next time:

Mustard Brussels sprouts

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsps whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400.  Whisk together olive oil with mustards and lemon juice.  Put brussel sprouts in a ceramic baking dish and toss with a little kosher salt and pepper.  Pour olive oil and mustard mixture over brussels sprouts and toss well to combine.  Roast for 40 minutes, tossing after about 20 minutes.  Serve.

I didn’t want the mustard flavor to be overwhelming but I will increase the quantity next time and cut the olive oil to 1/4 cup.  Cooking time was perfect – sprouts were cooked through and the leaves were crispy.  They had a nice flavor with the flank steak and the mustard is probably a little healthier than the pancetta!  🙂

My brussels sprouts experiment

My brussels sprouts experiment

Subtle changes

Last night we had the flank steak and grilled squash.  For the flank steak, I have tried a variety of marinades but I often return to the McCormick Meat Marinade.  One way to vary the result is to change the type of  vinegar you use.  I made it with sherry vinegar in place of the white wine vinegar I usually use.  (I have also used red wine vinegar.)  The difference in the vinegar is subtle, yet noticeable.  We served the flank steak with grilled squash.

Grilled squash

  • 1 zucchini squash per person, washed, dried and sliced horizontally
  • 1 yellow squash per person, washed, dried and sliced horizontally
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Whisk olive oil, red pepper and garlic powder together and brush on both sides of squash.  Grill until done.  Serve with flank steak (or chicken or whatever protein).

Grilled flank steak and grilled vegetable salad

Tonight’s dinner is a nice one for company – grilled flank steak and grilled vegetable salad.  If you have followed blog for a while you have seen the salad before.  It is one of my favorites.  It will be even better in another month or two when the local tomatoes start getting good but we haven’t had it since last summer and I couldn’t wait any more.  Here are the recipes:

Rosemary red wine flank steak

  • 1 flank steak, stabbed with a fork a number of times to tenderize and sprinkled with salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate steak for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.  Grill to desired doneness and slice thinly on the diagonal.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Eggplant, sliced
  • 2 Zuchini, sliced
  • 3 Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange), sliced
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 6 slices French Bread or your choice (I’m using a few slices each of Semolina Batard and Olive Batard)
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • Salad greens (I’m using mache)
  • 2 TB Basil, chopped
  • 2 TB Chives, chopped
  • 1 TB Marjoram, chopped
  • 4 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Brush eggplant, zucchini, onion and pepper slices with oil and vinegar mix and season to taste with salt and pepper and grill.  (Reserve remaining marinade.)  Brush bread slices with olive oil and grill.

Spread salad greens on a platter.  Top with tomato slices and then grilled vegetables.  Sprinkle with goat cheese and chopped herbs.  Pour reserved oil and vinegar over salad and grate parmesan cheese over all.  Top with grilled bread slices and serve with tongs.

Easy Entertaining

We are having company for dinner tonight – a family whose children go to school with our daughter.  Their 6 year old son is in her class and their daughter is a little older.  I wanted to keep things simple.  We’ll feed the kids chicken tenders and let them watch a movie while we eat.  Here is the menu for the grown ups:

Grilled flank steak, potato gratin and green salad

I made a new marinade for the flank steak

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 minced shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 TB rosemary, chopped

Combine all ingredients together.  Poke holes in the flank steak using a fork.  Sprinkle steak with kosher salt.  Rub marinade into steak on both sides and refrigerate until ready to grill.  When ready to grill, wipe off marinade so it doesn’t burn and grill until done.

Potato Gratin

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (a food processor speeds the process)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup of cream

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut garlic clove in half and rub shallow porcelain dish with garlic.  Spread half of the potatoes in dish.  Top with half of cheese and half of cream.  Spread with remaining potatoes and top with remaining cheese and cream.  Sprinkle with pepper.

Bake 50 – 60 minutes.  Gratin should be golden on top.

We’ll have a simple green salad (after the potatoes, we need something with fewer calories!) and I made the Barefoot Contessa’s Orange poundcake for dessert.

Looking forward to a relaxing evening!

Steak and orange vegetables

After years of using the McCormick Meat Marinade on flank steak (which I still love and is delicious), I have been branching out a little.  I tried the rosemary and red wine marinade a few weeks ago and thought it was excellent so when I saw a Dijon marinade I decided to give it a whirl.  We liked this one also although it was milder than I expected it to be – I think next time I’ll add a little more Dijon and use red wine instead of white.  Here is how I fixed it tonight:

Dijon marinated flank steak

  • 1 flank steak
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Stab steak with a fork a number of times to tenderize it.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and marinate steak overnight.  Pour off marinade and grill 5 minutes per side.  Serve with:

Oven roasted vegetables

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into approximately 1 inch chunks
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped into approximately 1 inch chunks (if you are skeptic and have never had parsnips, take the plunge – they sound weird but they are delicious!)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into approximately 1 inch chunks
  • 1 package chopped butternut squash
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients together in a glass baking pan.  Preheat oven to 425 and roast for 50 – 60 minutes, tossing several times.  They are such a beautiful color.  Leftovers are delicious as is or pureed with chicken stock to make soup!

Sunday night dinner

Tonight we had flank steak and a salad.  The leftover flank steak will go on Caesar Salad on Wednesday night.  I love McCormick’s Meat Marinade on flank steak and a 5 year old is a great helper when it comes to tenderizing flank steak by stabbing it repeatedly with a fork!

I’m giving you the salad ingredients that I used but don’t be bound by them.  Get creative and look around in your fridge or pantry for things that can get thrown in.

Salad

  • Greens (I used Mache and the leftover watercress from the tuna burgers)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • hard cheese of your choice (I found a Dutch balsamic cheese that was delicious)
  • croutons (I had a few leftover rosemary garlic croutons)
  • nuts (I had some candied walnuts)
  • 4 TB good olive oil
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 1 minced shallot

Wash lettuce and spin dry.  Put in a salad bowl with toppings and chop.  Put olive oil, vinegar and shallot in a small jar and shake to combine.  Pour over salad and toss well.