Steak and Tomatoes with Roast Potatoes


Steak and  tomatoes with roast potatoes.

Steak and tomatoes with roast potatoes.


Despite what I might say, I do my best cooking on the weekends.  I get no special pleasure out of week night cooking.  Usually it consists of something I can put together in under an hour or it grows out of planned leftovers.

Ideally cooking should be relaxing, a way to unwind at the end of a busy day, with maybe someone in the kitchen with you who enjoys cooking too, and likes to help out, or who might offer to wash the dishes.  Is my end-of-day-cooking like that?   No way!

So in an attempt to find that place where cooking is a pleasure, and I have lots of time to devote to meal preparation, on the weekend I try to plan something a little extra special.  A meal that we can linger over and perhaps enjoy a glass of wine with.   Granted this doesn’t happen as often as I would like it to, but once in a while I can pull it off.


The post today includes a complete menu for just such a meal.  I prepared this on a weekend not long ago.  It took about an hour from when I started prepping the vegetables until it was ready to be served;  not a large investment in time, but a hugh payoff in pleasure.  The steak was perfectly rare, and the tomato topping was exactly right with it.  In addition I made seasoned roast potatoes, and broccoli rabé as side dishes.


If you know someone who loves a good meat and potatoes meal,  make this one for them and watch them swoon first, then praise you for your genius.   ” Oh, it was nothing,  I just threw it together”


Yield:  Serves 4


  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved (Yukon Gold potatoes make a good substitute, cut into wedges.)IMG_8898
  • 2 Tbsp; olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 tsp. ground oregano, divided
  • 1  (1-pound flank steak)
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp.  minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar


1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Combine potatoes, 1 Tbsp; oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a baking sheet, tossing to coat.


Bake at 425*. for 25 minutes or until tender, stirring after 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with 2 tsp. oregano and toss to coat.

3.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Rub steak with 1 tsp. oil;  sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Add steak to pan, cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.  Cut across the grain into thin slices.  Cover with foil to keep warm.




4.  Return pan to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add shallot and garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds.


Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp. oregano and sugar.  Cook 1 minute.


Stir in vinegar.  Spoon tomato mixture evenly over steak.  Serve with potatoes.


For the Broccoli Rabé:

1.  Cut a 1 pound bunch of broccoli rabe into 1-inch pieces.


Add to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain.

2.  Combine the broccoli rabe,  2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a large bowl;  toss to coat.    Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. shaved Parmesan cheese.





Orange Beef and Broccoli

Orange Beef and Broccoli

Orange Beef and Broccoli

On rare occasions we like to order Chinese take-out, and one of our favorite dishes is beef and broccoli.  The rice comes separate and I can limit or not take any rice if I choose not to, so I feel this is probably one of the healthier entrees that is available.

With this recipe I’m woking (pun intended) a little on the wild side, because I haven’t attempted to make this dish before now.  I don’t own a wok as the recipe suggests using, but any large heavy skillet will do fine.  The most time consuming aspect of the recipe is preparing the ingredients.  Have everything chopped, sliced, measured and ready to go before you start cooking, because once you turn on the heat, the cooking goes quickly.


Orange rind and five-spice powder flavor the dish with sweet notes that are countered by a hit of red pepper’s heat.  Decrease the pepper for anyone who would prefer to walk on the mild side.  Serve rice on the side.


I’m really enjoying using the asian seasonings I’ve acquired and now making use of.  They provide salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.   Some essential basic ingredients that you might consider for your pantry are:  Siracha, a spicy chile sauce that saves you the time of working with fresh chiles;  brown sugar, an easy way to add instant caramel notes and some sweetness; lower-sodium soy sauce that provides deep umami notes;  dark sesame oil, intensely tasty oil that coats food with savory richness;  and rice vinegar, more mellow than most vinegars, only a splash brings flavors into balance.

Some basic seasonings for asian cooking.

Some basic seasonings for asian cooking.


Yield:    serves 4


  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed  ( I used a strip steak)
  • 3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1  1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 8 (1-inch) strips orange rindIMG_7301
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium so sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (garnish)
  • 1 package precooked white rice such as Uncle Ben’s


1.  Sprinkle steak evenly with five-spice powder, black pepper and salt.   Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the pan; swirl to coat.  Add steak;  cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.  Remove steak from pan; let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steak across grain into thin slices.


2.  Return pan to high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, swirl.  Add broccoli, onion, rind, and garlic; stir-fry 3 minutes or until lightly browned.


Combine broth and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) in a bowl stirring with a whisk.  Add stock mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

3.  To serve, spoon some rice onto a plate, top with 3/4 cup broccoli mixture and 3 ounces beef.  Sprinkle evenly with green onions and sesame seeds.



SOURCE:   Cooking Light


Grilled Flank Steak with Salad

Grilled Flank Steak and Salad

Grilled Flank Steak and Salad

Big flavor, great color, and easy preparation are the hallmarks of a weeknight entree, and this dish has them all.

Flank steak is the main attraction, but don’t belittle the lowly vegetables that make up the salad.  They are the supporting cast that round out this meal, and they all work beautifully together, just like a perfectly performing dance ensemble.   oooh, excuse the reference, but my competition is coming close, and I’ve got dancing on the brain.   😀

I really like this meal for another reason; it’s a dieter’s dream.   Here, a chile-spiked salad adds zest to simply grilled beef.   Low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, this flank steak supper is filled with beneficial fats, iron, and protein.  There are only 232 calories,  12.4 g fat,  and 6.4 g. carbs.  WOW!   You’re gonna love it!

It cuts like butter!!!

It cuts like butter!!!


Marinate the flank steak in a zip-top bag.

Marinate the flank steak in a zip-top bag.

Yield:   serves 4


For the steak:

  • 1 flank steak, about 1 pound – 1 1/4 lb.
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix everything except the steak together in a large zip-top bag.   Pierce the steak all over on both sides with a long-tined fork.  Add the steak to the bag, rotating to make sure all surfaces of the steak are covered by the marinade.  Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour and up to 4 hours.

For the salad:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

    Fresh and crunchy salad

    Fresh and crunchy salad

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 cups torn Bibb or butter lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion (or sweet onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded serrano chile ( can be omitted).
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1.  Prepare the grill by wiping the grates with a paper towel sprayed with a little olive oil.  Close the cover and get it hot.

2.  Remove steak from the bag, and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle the steak with a little salt and pepper.   Grill about 6 minutes on each side until desired degree of doneness.

Doesn't that look fabulous?

Doesn’t that look fabulous?

Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

3.  To prepare salad:  combine cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and onion in a large bowl.   Combine cilantro and the remaining ingredients.   Drizzle cilantro mixture over the salad vegetables.   Toss gently;  serve with the steak.

4.  Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.   Drizzle any steak juices over slices on the serving platter.

It is fabulous--cooked medium rare.

It is fabulous–cooked medium rare.


SOURCE:   Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Spice-Rubbed Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms

Spice-rubbed steak with sauteed mushrooms.

Spice-rubbed steak with sauteed mushrooms.

What a good spice rub will do for an ordinary cut of meat is amazing.  In this case I use a flank steak, mainly because there is no fat or waste to it, and a 1-pound steak can feed four people, or two with a good amount left over for a salad or lunch.  The spice rub uses readily available seasonings, ones you probably have in your pantry.  That plus the mushrooms elevates this dish to fabulous.


When I make the spice rub, I like to mix up a double or triple (or quadruple) batch to keep on hand because it is good with chicken and firm fish, too. It calls for ancho chile powder, made from poblano peppers, that have a mild, sweet spicy flavor.  This chile powder can be found in the spice section of most large supermarkets.  Other mildly spicy chile powder can be used in its place if you prefer.   Store the mix in a jar or zip-lock baggie in your spice cabinet for an instant dinner solution.

Any type of mushrooms can be used in this recipe, but a combination with some wild mushrooms in the mix really improves the flavor. Also, if cooking with wine is not an option for you, then substitute beef broth for the Madeira in the recipe.


SERVINGS:   about 4


For the rub:

Sliced mushrooms. shallots, and beef broth.

Sliced mushrooms. shallots, garlic and beef broth.

  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix together all the above in a small bowl.

Remaining ingredients

  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • 5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/3 cup Madeira or dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1.  Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.   Rub the spice mixture evenly over both sides of steak and place on the prepared pan;  let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Apply spice rub to both sides of steak.

Apply spice rub to both sides of steak.

2.  Meanwhile, position oven rack 3 – 4 inches below broiler, preheat broiler to high.     Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 1 minute.  Stir in mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown,  8 – 10 minutes.  Pour in Madeira ( or sherry) and cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.  Add broth and cook until almost absorbed 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in parsley and 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper;  cover and keep warm.

3.  Broil the steak 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium.***  Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the steak against the grain and serve with the mushrooms.

Slice steak and serve with mushrooms.

Slice steak and serve with mushrooms.

***An alternate cooking method is on an outdoor grill.  Cook to your desired level of doneness.  If you have a side burner, you can cook the mushrooms on the grill also.   YUM!   We love it this way.

A green vegetable rounds out this meal nicely.

A green vegetable rounds out this meal nicely.

SOURCE:   Eating Well Magazine,  February, 2013