FRENCH ONION AND BLACK PEPPER STEAK

Our family has been in a bit of a steak-feeding frenzy since it’s my guys’ favorite and our grocery stores have been rather generous. Shoot, it doesn’t seem that long ago $7.99 a pound made me cringe. Now it’s a great deal. Hmm. Anyway, I toted steak home again, but this time with a different end in mind. What, I wondered, would steak taste like smothered in french onion soup? I found out–yum and yum again!

STEAK:

1-3/4 lb steak (whichever quality steak is on sale–in our case, top sirloin), about 1″ thick

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tsp ground black pepper, divided

2 tsp sea salt, divided

FRENCH ONION SMOTHER:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, quartered and sliced thin (I used a white onion)

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup red wine (I used semi-sweet)

1/4 tsp dry thyme

1 cup croutons (I used Texas Toast brand)

4 slices provolone

1) Crank up grill

2) Rub 1 tbsp olive oil into one side of steak, followed by 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp sea salt; flip and repeat on opposite side; set aside

3) In large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil; add onions and saute 15 minutes until they soften up and begin to caramelize; stir in beef broth, red wine, and thyme; reduce heat to low and cook additional 15 minutes (or roughly equivalent to the length of time it takes to grill your steak–coming up next), stirring occasionally

4) Meanwhile, preheat oven to broil and toss the steak on the grill (for medium, we grilled 7-8 minutes each side); when meat is cooked to your taste, transfer from grill to oven-safe skillet

5) Add croutons to onion mixture and immediately pour over steak in skillet; top with provolone; place in oven and broil 1-2 minutes until cheese melts and begins to go gold; remove from oven, slice into individual portions and enjoy!

Servings: 4

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SIRLOIN BLACK BEAN SOUP

I do believe we are coming out of soup season here in Tennessee, though I won’t be surprised if we get another cold snap before we settle into spring. In the meantime, may I present Sirloin Black Bean Soup–a flavorful dish full of veggies, our favorite black beans, and leftover sirloin steak. Thumbs up!

Sirloin Black Bean Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper (I used orange), cored, seeded, and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1-1/2 tbsp tomato paste

4 cups beef broth

1-12 oz beer (I used non-alcoholic O’Doul’s)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups chopped grilled top sirloin steak (I used leftovers)

1 tbsp parsley

1) To large soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium-high; add onion and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes; add bell pepper, celery, and carrots and cook 8 minutes, stirring often

2) Add cumin, paprika, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste; stirring continuously, cook 2 minutes; stir in beef broth, beer, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and black beans; cook 15 minutes

3) Stir in steak, cook a minute to warm meat through, and remove soup from heat; ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately

Servings: 4

PHILLY CHEESE STEAK

The only problem with a sandwich stuffed this full is the difficulty of getting it from plate to mouth without losing half the filling–and really, you don’t want to miss a single bite of this Philly Cheese Steak. The solution: hollow out top and bottom halves of rolls, then stuff to your heart’s content for a hearty and wonderfully satisfying meal. Gone. All gone!

Philly Cheese Steak

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb flat-iron steak, thinly sliced across the grain

sea salt

ground black pepper

1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin

1 green bell pepper, halved and sliced thin

1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

2 oz provolone cheese, chopped

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp dry mustard

4 hoagie rolls, sliced horizontally and hollowed out (1/2″ thick shell)

1) To large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium-high; add steak and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes until no longer pink; transfer to a bowl and keep warm

2) To same skillet over medium-high (you may need a bit more olive oil), add onion and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes; stir in bell pepper and mushrooms and cook additional 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce; cover with lid to keep warm

3) To saucepan, add flour and gradually whisk in milk; heat over medium and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly thick; stir in provolone and Parmesan cheeses and mustard and remove from heat; continue stirring until sauce is smooth

4) Divide steak mixture between bottom halves of 4 hoagie rolls, drizzle sauce over top, cover with top halves of rolls, and serve!

Serves: 4

STEAK BRUSCHETTA SPINACH SALAD

This Steak Bruschetta Spinach Salad is the first of three salads on my latest 9-dinner menu. It was perfect after a warm, humid day since I fired up the outdoor grill to keep my kitchen cool. Though I whipped up an Apricot-Dijon vinaigrette (pictured), Junior Too chose a Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette and it was tastier. A blue cheese dressing would also be terrific. Enjoy and stay cool!

Steak Bruschetta Spinach Salad

12 slices baguette, about 1/2″ thick

2 tbsp olive oil

sea salt

ground blackĀ pepper

1 lb boneless top sirloin steak

4 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup roasted red peppers (I used bottled), small dice

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (or feta–Senior and Junior Too don’t “do” blue)

1) Fire up your grill

2) Brush both sides of baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; place on grill and grill 1-2 minutes each side until lightly toasted and golden; remove from grill and set aside

3) Place steak on grill and cook to desired doneness

4) Meanwhile, divide spinach between 4 plates and top with baguette slices

5) Remove steak from grill and let sit 5 minutes; slice thin and divide between baguette slices; scatter red peppers and blue cheese crumbles on top; serve with dressing of your choice

Servings: 4

STEAK-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS WITH CRAB AND LEMON SAUCE

My guys were in need of spoiling, so I served up two of their favorites: steak and crab–oh, and lemon! Though the asparagus was for me, from the cleanliness of my guys’ plates, I believe they enjoyed it as well.

Steak and Asparagus with Crab and Lemon Sauce

juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup white cooking wine

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp butter

12 asparagus spears, tough ends cut away

1 lb top sirloin (though I think flank steak would have been easier to wrap), sliced into twelve 1/4″ thick strips (as long as possible)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

sea salt

ground black pepper

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

16 oz pre-cooked lump crabmeat

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

1) In small saucepan, whisk lemon juice, cooking wine, and cornstarch; add butter and heat over medium-high; stirring continuously, bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce thickens; remove from heat and set aside

2) Bring large saucepan of water to a boil; add asparagus spears and cook 2 minutes; remove asparagus from water and set aside

3) Preheat broiler

4) Meanwhile, mix flour, salt, and pepper in shallow bowl; dredge steak strips in flour and wrap around asparagus spears

5) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and olive oil; place steak-wrapped asparagus spears in skillet and cook 7-8 minutes, gently rolling to cook all sides; remove from skillet and place on baking sheet about 1″ apart; spread crabmeat down center of steak-wrapped asparagus spears and pour lemon sauce over crabmeat; broil in oven on rack 4″ from bottom 4-5 minutes until crabmeat is heated through; remove from oven and sprinkle parsley over top; serve to your spoiled loved ones

Servings: 4

MUSTARD-COATED GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH RED ONIONS AND RED POTATOES

Meat and potatoes. What else can I say–other than that my guys were quite pleased šŸ™‚

MUSTARD-COATED GRILLED STEAK WITH RED ONIONS AND POTATOES

1/2 cup grainy mustard (I used a stone-ground dijon)

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp chili powder

2 lbs flank steak, cut into 4 pieces

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

6 small red potatoes, quartered and chopped

1 red onion, quartered and sliced thin

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1/4 cup catsup

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3 tbsp water

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1) In small bowl, mix mustard, cumin, and chili powder; spread mustard mixture over both sides of steak, place on plate, and refrigerate one hour

2) 10 minutes prior to grilling steak, heat 2 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp) in large skillet over medium-high heat and add potatoes and red onion; season to taste with salt and pepper and cook 10 minutes, stirring often; reduce heat to medium, add parsley, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (while grilling steak)

3) To grill pan (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat, add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil; place steaks in grill pan and grill both sides to desired doneness (we opted for medium, which translated to about 5 minutes each side)

4) Meanwhile, to small saucepan over medium heat, add: catsup, honey, red wine vinegar, water, rosemary, salt, and pepper; stir well to combine and bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat to simmer

5) Remove steaks from pan, place in center of plates, arrange potato-onion mixture around, and drizzle catsup-honey-vinegar over steaks and potatoes; serve

Servings: 4

SURF AND TURF SALAD WITH GRILLED PURPLE, RED, AND WHITE POTATOES

A double-birthday celebration calls for a doubly good salad. I chose flat-iron steak and lobster. Mind you, lobster is rarely on our menu, expensive buggers that they are, but my favorite grocery store had a special buy on the small ones and I couldn’t resist. Thumbs up times four!

Olive oil

1 lb mixed mini potatoes (I used “Celebration” purple, red, and white potatoes), cleaned and quartered

sea salt

ground black pepper

1-3/4 lb Flat-Iron Steak

6 cups chopped iceberg lettuce

2 cups baby spinach

2 Roma tomatoes, quartered and slice thin

3 green onions, sliced thin

1/2 cup shredded italian blend cheese (parmesan, romano, asiago)

7 tbsp butter, divided

1 tbsp lemon juice

6 small lobster tails (shelled, deveined, and chopped coarsely)

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees for warming; preheat outdoor grill for steak (if you prefer to use a stovetop grill pan, heat 5 minutes or so before you grill steak)

2) Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large grill pan over medium heat; add potatoes and cook 12-15 minutes, stirring often, until just done; add salt and pepper to taste and place in oven to keep warm

3) Rub 1 tbsp olive oil into steak (top, bottom, and sides) and grill until you reach desired doneness (for a 1-1/2″ thick medium rare, I grilled about 8 minutes each side)

4) While steak grills, assemble salad on 4 plates as follows: iceberg lettuce and spinach scattered over plate; tomatoes layered in one corner and sprinkled with green onions; potatoes piled in opposite corner; cheese sprinkled over entire salad; set aside

5) Remove steak from grill and let sit on cutting board 5-10 minutes

6) Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter (reserving 6 tbsp); add lobster pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes until cooked through; remove from heat and set aside

7) Melt reserved 6 tbsp butter in small bowl in microwave on low heat (about 1 minute); stir in lemon juice and set aside

8) Thinly slice steak; divide steak between salads, placing down center of each plate; scatter lobster pieces over steak; drizzle melted lemon-butter over steak and lobster and potatoes; scatter parsley over salad and serve with your favorite dressing (don’t forget to sing “Happy Birthday”)

Servings: 4