Monday, March 9, 2009

Food for Friends

I had a ridiculously busy week last week work-wise, with jobs that trickled into my real life, so that's reason number one for not posting much. The second reason is that I realized I am three months away from getting married: there's no problem in the man department, he's one-in-a-billion, but the planning stuff -- the invitations, the color schemes, the centerpieces, well I'm not too good at figuring everything out. So once I realized that my "to do" list was significantly longer than my "done" list I got a wee-bit stressed. So, this weekend I still had work to do, but I also made time to do some yoga, take a bootcamp workout class (I'm still sore) and have some friends over. Nothing relieves stress for me more than cooking and friends, so I'm feeling back to my old self. On the menu for my pals was marinated flank steak (I was able to grill is because it was actually warm out!), bacon and spinach salad, grilled asparagus and roasted red potatoes. Oh, and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. The flank steak and salad require actual recipes, but the grilled asparagus was simply that (grilled on a panini press for about three minutes with fresh lemon squeezed on top) and the roasted potatoes were red potatoes, cut into small wedges, drizzled with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted at 375 for thirty minutes, turning once mid-way. The photos taken are of the leftovers; I failed to take photos during the actual meal.

Marinated Flank Steak (gluten-free, dairy-free)

(serves four)

1 large flank steak
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce (Lea and Perrins is gluten-free)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

Place the worcestershire sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper in a large zip-loc bag, add the flank steak and marinate for one and a half hours (the longer, the better). Grill the steak, about five minutes on each side over medium heat. Let rest before serving and cut against the grain into slices.

Warm Bacon and Spinach Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free)

(serves four)

1 bag of baby spinach
1/3 of a red onion
6 pieces of bacon, fried with bacon fat reserved
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
freshly cracked salt and pepper

Place the bacon fat in a small saucepan on low heat, whisk in the vinegar, mustard, and agave. Toss in a large bowl with the spinach, onion and crumbled bacon and add freshly ground salt and pepper.

This is a rare moment: Henry is not at all interested in the steak near him. I'm guessing there was a squirrel outside.


jill elise said...

ugh ugh ugh my wedding is less than 3 months and I CANT HANDLE IT I don't know how to do all these things. Ughhhhhhhhh.
I know whatever happens will be fine, but still.

Ricki said...

My mom used to make flank steak all the time! Nice memories. :) . . and your salad looks great!

Gina said...

This looks amazing! I love flank steak as well as spinach salad. It's a very good-looking and impressive dinner you served for your guests!

Jenny said...

Liz please let me know if you need help, this is what I do!!

Liz said...

I hear ya Jill! Is your date June 6th too by any chance??

Thanks Ricki! Flank steak is one of those great less-expensive proteins.

Thanks Gina! The bacon in the spinach salad really makes it :)

Thanks so much Jenny! I will surely be looking for your help soon :)

jill elise said...

June 6, are we really getting married the same day? That's nuts!!!! IT'S SO CLOSE! Also, to add to the coincidence, I'm getting married in MA too. Which I guess isn't really as much of a coincidence, since we're both from there. I really don't know how to handle all this stuff, I just keep believing that everything will be fine once we get there...

Linda said...

It all sounds so delicious. I'm definitely going to try the spinach salad and the flank steak.

Henry does have that "I see a squirrel" look.

Anonymous said...

That is the perfect meal. Not a lot of time and effort, but all delicious.

Anonymous said...

Delicious! Love steak, love spinach salad and asparagus to boot! You've got me pegged :)

Melanie (Allergy Family) said...

It looks very good. I'll have to definitly try this recipe.
Your puppy is cute and yeah looks like he is watching a squirrel. My kitties do the same thing all the time.

thewholegang said...

I love steak. I'm trying to cut down but I find it hard to do. I love that it's fast to cook, gluten and dairy free and easy to eat out. Oh well, I think I'll join you for a steak!