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.





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

Grilled Hoisin-Glazed Steak with Vegetables

Hoisin-Glazed steak with grilled vegetables and salad.

Hoisin-Glazed steak with grilled vegetables and salad.

I imagine many families will be gathering around the outdoor grill this weekend to celebrate Father’s Day.  Whether Dad is the one doing the grilling or you’re the one grilling a meal for him, this quick and easy way of cooking steak results in a piece of meat that is tender, juicy and full of flavor.  Along side it on the grill lay some of your, or his, favorite vegetables and you will have most of the meal at your fingertips.  While the grilling is taking place, have someone on kitchen duty making a salad to go with it, and before you know it everyone will be sitting down together to celebrate Dad in the best possible way.

The glaze on the steak calls for hoisin sauce, ginger, and fish sauce, giving it an Asian flair, so I kept that theme going in the meal I prepared by using green and yellow squash, brushed with a little sesame salad dressing as they cooked.  For a salad I made cucumbers and radishes dressed with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce.  The recipes for making this complete meal are given below.Whether you make all of it or only part of it, I think you will enjoy it as much as we did.



Yield:   Serves 4

For the steak:

  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated, fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce  (This adds a rich, savory flavor to the glaze, but it’s OK to omit it if you don’t have it on hand.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1  (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed; or any other tender cut of steak  (I used boneless rib eye steaks)

1.  Preheat the grill to high heat.

2.  Combine hoisin and remaning ingredients ( except steak) in a small bowl.  Brush half this mixture on one side of the steak(s).  Place steak glaze-side down on the hot grill rack and grill about 5-7 minutes.

Lay steak on the grill glazed-side down.

Lay steak on the grill glazed-side down.

Brush top side of steak with remaining glaze mixture and turn steak over.  Grill another 5 -7 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Brush top side of steak(s) and turn over.

Brush top side of steak(s) and turn over.

For the Vegetables:

  • 1 medium size zucchini squash
  • 1 medium size yellow squash
  • 1 bottle commercially made sesame salad dressing

1.  Slice the squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Brush both sides of the squash with the salad dressing.

Squash slices on the grill.

Squash slices on the grill.

2.  Place squash slices directly on hot grill rack or use a fine mesh cooking screen if squash is in danger of falling through the grates.  Cook squash, turning over several times, until nicely marked and just fork tender.

Squash cooked on the grill gets lovely grill marks on it.

Squash cooked on the grill gets lovely grill marks on it.

For the Salad:

  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced finely on the diagonal
  • 1 cup finely sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, or cilantro leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

1.  Combine vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a medium bowl;  add cucumber and radishes.  Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and salt.  Toss gently to coat.


SOURCE:  Adapted from  Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Challenge Day #1: Pan-Seared Steak with Balsamic Onion Sauce

Pan-Seared Strip Steak with Balsamic Onion Sauce.

Pan-Seared Strip Steak with Balsamic Onion Sauce.

Day # 1 without a refrigerator.  I produced a pretty terrific dinner today, and I also made chicken broth for a future soup.  My dinner consisted of Strip Steaks with Balsamic-Glazed onions,  Baked Butternut Squash with Garlic and Herbs, and Hasselback Potatoes.   For today’s recipe I will be telling you how to pan-sear a steak, and a quick way to make caramelized onions.

Whenever we go to our favorite steak-house, I like to order a strip steak with a pile of caramelized onions.  I almost like the onions better than the steak.  They are so rich and glossy, they turn a simple seared steak into something really special.  I had purchased a package of two strip steaks with the thought of trying to recreate this simple dish at home.  Faced with the fact they had started to defrost, I realized the time to give this meal a try was now.

The part of this dish that takes the most time is caramelizing the onions–probably about 45 minutes.  When cooking the steaks only takes about eight to ten minutes, I wanted to speed up cooking the onions as much as I could.  So here’s where I hit upon a short-cut.  I cooked the onions in a little oil for about 8-10 minutes till they started to brown,

Onions browning in a little oil.

Onions browning in a little oil.

and then added balsamic vinegar to the pan.

A nice variety of balsamic, with a hint of pomegranate added.

A nice variety of balsamic, with a hint of pomegranate added.

Two minutes later the onions were soft and fully browned.  How could that be, you ask?  Well, the sugar in the vinegar speeds up the browning process, and the steam generated by the simmering vinegar softens the onions in a flash.  Finally, the vinegar turns the onions brown.  My balsamic onion sauce may not taste exactly like caramelized onions, but it came pretty darn close.


SERVES:   2-3


  • 3 Tbspns vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless 8 – 10 ounce strip steaks
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tspn. minced fresh (or 1/2 tspn. dried) rosemary

1.  Heat 2 Tbspns oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 – 10 minutes.   Transfer onions to a bowl.

2.  Add remaining oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.    For a nicely browned and flavorful crust, pat the steaks dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook steaks, without moving, until browned on first side, 4 – 5 minutes.  Flip steaks and continue to cook until browned on second side, 3 – 4 minutes more.  Transfer steaks to a platter and cover with foil.

3.  Discard fat in skillet, return onions to pan, and set over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add 1/4 cup vinegar, rosemary, and cook, scraping up browned bits, until thick and syrupy, about 2 minutes.  Pour any accumulated steak juices into pan and mix in.  Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Slice steaks crosswise into 1/4 -inch slices and transfer to serving platter.

Slice steaks crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

Slice steaks crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

Spoon onions and sauce over steak.

Steak with Onions and Sauce.

Steak with Onions and Sauce.


Sirloin Tips with Butter Sauce


There are times when I want to prepare a tender cut of beef,  but using our gas grille is not feasible (it’s raining outside, or too cold); or I do not want to use the oven or broiler ( it’s too hot to turn on the oven).  That’s when I turn to this recipe.   You can prepare a very delicious steak, or any other tender cut of beef very quickly.   I particularly like sirloin tips, but I’ve made it with Hanger steak, and with a sirloin steak, and they have all been wonderful.  This requires only  a few ingredients.

In addition to the meat of your choice, have ready:

  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat a large fry pan to very hot.  Do not spray or oil the pan.  A hot pan is required to quickly sear the surface of the meat and seal in the juices.  Add the steak to the dry pan, and cook 4-5 minutes/side.  Turn once only. Cooking time is dependent on your preference for rare, versus more will-done.

Remove meat from pan to a platter.  Season with salt and pepper, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Into the hot pan add chopped shallots, and the butter.  Saute, and scrape up browned bits.  Add the lemon juice, chopped parsley, and any juices which have drained from the hot steak.  Warm through, pour over steak, and serve.

SOURCE:  Cook’s Illustrated