Easy company dinner

We had a friend over for dinner tonight.  I wasn’t sure whether she could be with us last night or tonight so I swapped the meals.  We had leftover celery soup last night and tonight we had Steak Florentine.  This is such an easy dinner and it is so delicious.  Only a few ingredients and minimal prep make it a perfect dinner for entertaining a friend during the week.  It was so easy that I had time to make a quick batch of brownies for dessert!

Steak Florentine

  • steak of your choice (Graul’s had Porterhouse on sale so I bought 2 small ones for 3 of us)
  • olive oil for the steak
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • arugula
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 additional lemon sliced
  • shaved Parmesan cheese

Rub steak with garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Brush with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  (This can be done ahead of time).  When ready, grill steak to desired doneness, let rest and then slice.  (The Porterhouse is nice because everybody gets some of two kinds of steak.)

In a jar, combine 1/3 cup olive oil with lemon juice and Dijon mustard.  Shake well to combine.  Place arugula on plates and top with dressing.  Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and steak slices.  Serve with sliced lemon.  Squeeze lemon juice onto steak and enjoy.

Steak Florentine

Steak Florentine

Quick brownies

  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate, butter and sugar over low heat, stirring regularly.  Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes.  Stir in flour, eggs and vanilla.  Pour batter into a square baking dish lined with parchment and bake at 350 for 22 minutes.  Cool, cut and serve.

Weekend cooking and Steak Florentine

Those of you who follow my blog know that I come up with the menu plan for the week on Sunday and almost always stick to it for the week.  It makes it easier to get dinner on the table when I get home from work and know what I’m fixing and that I have all of the ingredients that I need.  Weekends are different.

Because I think about food way too much I often start thinking about what to fix for dinner on Saturday night as soon as I wake up on Saturday morning.  I have a lot of cookbooks and binders of recipes that I have clipped from magazines and newspapers over the years.  If I don’t have a particular craving for anything, I’ll often flip through my collection and look for inspiration.

This morning a recipe from the newest book by the Barefoot Contessa (How Easy is That?) for Grilled Steak and Arugula caught my eye.  It looked similar to a recipe that I had clipped from a magazine for Steak Florentine with Arugula Salad.  I like to compare multiple recipes for similar things and then come up with an adaptation that combines elements of both.  In this case, one recipe uses Porterhouse steaks and one uses Rib-eyes and the dressings for the salads are a little bit different.  The concept of both recipes is the same – good steak rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled and served on top of arugula salad.  Both recipes use lemon, olive oil and parmesan cheese.  It’s hard to go wrong with ingredients like that.

We have a couple of Filet Mignons in the freezer (I buy them when they are on sale and stockpile) and I always have olive oil, lemons, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.  The only thing I need from the store is Arugula.  Here is how I’m going to make it.

Steak Florentine with Arugula Salad

  • Steak of your choice (Porterhouse, Rib-eye, Filet or even Flank Steak)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh Ground pepper
  • Arugula
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Lemons

Brush steaks with olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Allow to sit for 15 – 20 minutes and then grill to your preference (I don’t like anything more done than medium rare).  When you remove steaks from grill, squeeze with a little lemon juice and let rest while you prepare salad.

In a small jar shake together 4 TB good olive oil, 1 TB lemon juice, chopped shallot and 1 tsp Dijon mustard.  Wash and dry arugula and toss with dressing.  Top with shaved parmesan cheese.

Carve steak into slices and place atop salad.  Serve with lemon wedges and a pepper mill.  (If it wasn’t January and I wasn’t trying to lose a few pounds I would also serve with good bread – if you’re thin, have at it!)

Sounds like a delicious dinner on a snowy winter day.