Sirloin Tip Steak, Asparagus & Bearnaise Butter

I can only assume everyone’s summer has been super busy and flying by as well. We have had something going on 9 out of the last 10 weekends. Between showers, weddings and golfing we managed to also be lucky enough to spend 2 weekends in Montreal and a also a couple of weekends up North. Last weekend was to be spent boating on Winnipesaukee but the weather didn’t cooperate so we will try again sometime later in the summer.

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With all this time being away I really haven’t been cooking like I usually do; and to my surprise I have totally missed it. I mean I love cooking and baking but sometimes I have no ambition to try something new or anything too taxing.

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This weekend our plans fell through last minute so Friday night I started looking through my catalogs and magazines and started making a grocery shopping list so I could make some of the things I came across. Saturday morning I kept looking and writing till my list was now two sided UGH! I haven’t done a true grocery shopping in a long time just picking up stuff for lunches and light dinners during the week.

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So far since last night around 6PM I have made 2 new recipes and I currently have some cookies in the oven and am also getting ready to make some basil pesto. Guess I am making up for lost time in my kitchen.

2 large sprigs fresh tarragon
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbs minced shallot
1 Tbs dry white wine
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs water
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 ½ lb. beef flap meat – aka sirloin tip – cut so they are uniform sized pieces
1 bunch of asparagus – trimmed
T Tbs olive oil

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Bearnaise Butter

Strip the tarragon leaves from the stems, finely chop the leaves; about 2 tsp. And set aside.

In a skillet over medium-low heat melt 1 Tbs butter along with the shallots and the tarragon stems. Cook for a couple of minutes till the shallots are translucent. Add the wine, vinegar and 1 Tbs of water. Increase the heat to medium, and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, remove and discard the stems and let cool complete.

Once cooled add the last 3 Tbs butter, the chopped tarragon, ¼ tsp kosher salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Mix with a fork until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

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Steak and Asparagus

Heat your grill to high about 400’F – 475’F

Using a sheet pan place some plastic wrap down; use one end for the beef and the other for the asparagus. Coat both with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

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Grill the meat turning every 2 minutes. Around 6-8 minutes, you are looking for medium rare 140’F for best flavors.

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Remove plastic wrap place beef on sheet pan cover loosely with foil, while it is resting, cook asparagus turning once till slightly charred 2-3 minutes.

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Thinly slice the meat against the grain, arrange on plates or a platter with the asparagus, top both with dollops of the butter.

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Weeknight Eggplant Parm

Happy Father’s day!!!

This week I started with great intentions; which I like to think we all do; then by Tuesday everything went out the window. As you know by now; well that is if you have read a few of these weekly blogs; I love to cook and bake and I do so very often (except this week) It has been a really nice week here; weather wise so when I got home Tuesday after work I grabbed a glass of sangria went out on the back deck with a magazine and read it cover to cover. That is something pretty rare around here. We usually have so many things going on and things to do; but hey everyone deserves to relax once in awhile right?

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My daughter works a few nights a week, my son is either hanging out with his girlfriend or one of his buddies after work so a lot of nights it is just me and my husband for dinner. When we are all going to be home I really like it when we all sit down for dinner together; just like old times. Never knowing which night it could be I try to have some things in my back pocket that I could throw together for all of us. That is if I am not sitting out on the back deck with a magazine and a glass of sangria. So I finish my glass and magazine and start thinking cool we are all home what can I make. Open the fridge and there are a couple of eggplants I should get to, Oh and there is some leftover risotto that I want to turn into Arancini. OK we’ll have one or the other but I will make both. Can you see where this is heading? So I take everything I need out and get started. It’s already 6:30 OK closer to 7 by now and I think; by the time I get dinner on the table it would be 8:00 or later. Not one of my best ideas; maybe it was the sangria talking?

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The island was covered with my ingredients the clock is ticking and I finally come to my senses and pronounce let’s just have hot dogs and beans. The simple or rather known in my house the no-brainer dinner was enjoyed by all!  I spent the rest of the night in the kitchen making the Arancini and frying up the eggplant which I was finally able to assemble and enjoy the eggplant Parmesan on Friday night; the Arancini are now in the freezer to enjoy other day.

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Here is what I should have made with the eggplant being I had such a late start!

Weeknight Eggplant Parmesan

1 or 2 Medium or whatever you have on hand
1 jar of your favorite jar sauce
Half a package of mozzarella chopped
a sprinkle or two of red pepper flakes adds a little love
serve with fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sprinkled on top

Cut up the eggplant into medium to small size chunks and place in your cooking vessel, I use my cast iron for the grill it works out great

Cover with sauce and mozzarella and then loosely with tinfoil and cook on medium low heat for about 10 minutes.

I love serving it along side some sweet Italian sausage links grilled and sliced up

 

Steak and Arugula Salad

Another typical weekend here in New England – yesterday was sunny gorgeous and 80ish today it is rainy, dreary and 63 degrees. I definitely think; well actually I know that the weather inspires what I feel like making and eating. Last night light and simple, today I am thinking of making soup; crazy right?

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We planted our gardens last weekend, I cannot wait for things to start growing and producing, I am dying for some fresh from the garden tomatoes. The last few years we have planted sunburst and cherry tomatoes; they are super sweet and so flavorful they will continue to be on my growing list. They barely make it into the house before you have to pop a handful in your mouth; my mouth is watering as I write.

The last few years I kept a journal of what worked in the garden and what didn’t. I got a chuckle out of one of my notes “no zucchini – unacceptable” I have had terrible trouble with squash bugs. I still haven’t solved it but I am determined to win the war.

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Last night I wanted something quick, light but filling for dinner last night. One of my husband’s clients gave him a bag full of arugula & mixed greens from her garden; guess she planted a lot earlier than we did. I had a flank steak on hand; BTW it is a great thing to have a skirt or flank steak in the fridge or freezer. They cook up fast, take marinade well or keep it simple with salt and pepper plus they are always tasty a very versatile. The cryovac ones will last longer in the fridge so you cook it when you want it, not when it has to be cooked.

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I made a simple dressing for the greens grilled up the steak and voila instant dinner; light and delicious.

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Flank Steak seasoned on both sides with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Start the grill; while it is heating up make the dressing

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Simple dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed is best
½ tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper

Fresh parmigiano reggiano for shaving

Grill the steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side

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While steak is resting for 5 minutes; dress the arugula and pour yourself a glass of wine of your choice.

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Slice the steak very thin against the grain and lay slices on top of the salad shave a few pieces of good quality parmigiano reggiano cheese and If possible serve alfresco