Flank Steak with Red Wine Sauce

I don’t have any words.

Okay, that’s a lie.  Obviously I have words because you are sitting on your side of the screen reading them, but I have no words that actually mean anything.  Do you ever have those times where you want to blog – you want to share – but find there is nothing to share?  Nothing to say?

It’s not entirely true to say that I have nothing to share.  This week has been full of life’s little hijinks.  The big law school event that I’m helping plan went through it’s third venue change.  I competed in a client counseling competition and didn’t hate it.  I even made some beef stroganoff that I neglected to take a single picture of.  A lot has happened, but I can’t really find anything in particular to elaborate on.

So, I will go straight to the recipe.  No witty lead up or pointless anecdote here.  Just a recipe with a poorly lit picture I took with my iPhone.

Clearly I take this food blogging thing really seriously.

I will, however, take a moment to complain about how this flank steak cost me 18 dollars.  I don’t understand this because flank steak is one of the more economical cuts of meat, yet it was priced like it fraternized with filet.  Anyhoo, my menu was set and there’s nothing I hate more than an un-set menu.

Oh!  I actually DO have a funny anecdote for this.  The red wine sauce is strained in this recipe, and me being an idiot strained the sauce directly into the sink.  I didn’t even realize what I was doing until half the sauce was gone and I jumped back with this huge cast-iron skillet.  It’s a wonder I don’t injure myself more when I cook.

Anyhoo, to end this very much stream of conscious post (sorry…I’m not sorry) you should make this steak.  Because it SHOULD be on the cheaper end.  It’s flavorful.  And it makes delightful leftovers.

Flank Steak with Red Wine Sauce

Photo: Flank steak with red wine sauce

Ingredients:

6 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 1/2 cups dry red wine

salt/pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 (2-pound) flank steak

Directions:

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large sauce pan.  Add the onion, and sauté until tender.  Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Whisk in the wine.  Simmer until sauce reduces by half, 10 minutes.  Strain the sauce into a small bowl and discard the solids.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Add the steak and cook until done, roughly 8 minutes per side.  Remove skillet from the heat and let the steak rest for 10 minutes.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and slice thinly on a diagonal.  Plate and drizzle with the sauce.

Source:  Giada’s Family Dinners

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Parsley-Panko Crusted Tilapia

My mind is a hot mess right now.

A HOT MESS, you hear?!

Classes start tomorrow and in between buying books, reading said books and planning lunches for the week – which I forgot is really difficult, I don’t know how moms do it – I finally have a minute to sit down and blog.  Which then of course leads to me spending a long time staring at a blank page because nothing really exciting has happened in the past few days since my last post, and I sort of misplaced my camera and can’t figure out how to get my pictures from Instagram on here.  I swear I followed the step-by-step and this site just responded by giving me the bird.  And by giving me the bird, I mean only a link appeared and not the picture.

Thanks for nothing, WordPress.

So, I’m doing what I always do when I can’t think of something to post.  I went back to the old Tip Top Shape (over on Blogger) and pulled up one of my favorite recipes to share.  I was all excited to share a cookie recipe.  Because, let’s face it, nothing is really more exciting than that over here.  But then I came upon this tilapia recipe and before I knew it I hopped back here and began typing the title.

Parsley-Panko Crusted Tilapia.

Just the name makes my heart go pitter-patter.  The thing that I love about tilapia is that it is literally the easiest thing to make.  Just thaw it, bake for about 15-20 minutes, and you have this amazing and healthy dinner.  This is the perfect weeknight meal.  It’s simple and elegant.

Parsley-Panko Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients:
2 tilapia filets (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg beat
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
dried parsley
lemon juice
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place a cooling rack (like you would use for cookies) on a cookie sheet and set aside.
 
If defrosting the tilapia, place in a strainer and run cold water over the filets until thawed.  Pat the filets dry.  In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside.  In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and parsley.
 
Dip the tilapia in the egg, shaking off any excess, and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place the filets on the cooling rack and slide the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Finish off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

What’s your favorite weeknight meal?

Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries

I had Taco Bell for the first time yesterday.  I ordered the XXL steak nachos after my final and proceeded to chow down watching One Tree Hill.  It started out okay, but then the more fake cheese I ingested the more I kept thinking, “This is not that good.”  And then I ate some more.  Had the same thought.  Ate even more.  And then I finished the entire 1 lb platter (yes, I mean platter) of nachos.

When I end up being 800 pounds and following fashion tips from Mama Honey Boo Boo I have only myself to blame.

In an attempt to counter the Taco Bell I am going to post perhaps one of the classiest recipes from the old blog.  For those of you who are not acquainted with panna cotta — there is no time like the present.  Panna cotta is a cooked Italian cream originating in Northern Italy.  It also has three cups of heavy whipping cream.

I said it was classy not healthy.

I made this for the first time over the summer for a small dinner party I hosted with some friends.  It is the perfect ending to a meal because despite the heavy duty ingredients, it’s a relatively light dessert.  Serve it with some cut up fruit for a delightful close to your meal.

Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries

Panna CottaIngredients:

2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup strawberries, chopped

Directions:

In a saucepan, mix together the milk and powdered gelatin.  Let sit for 5 minutes, softening the gelatin. Put the saucepan over medium heat, and whisk for 5 minutes.  Do not let the mixture boil.  Remove from heat and add mix in heavy whipping cream, honey and sugar, about 2 minutes.  Pour into either ramekins or wine glasses and let cool before covering and putting in the refrigerator.  Set either over night or for at least 6 hours.  Add the berries and serve.

Source:  Everyday Italian

Mediterranean Couscous with Olives and Artichokes

Study groups are a big deal in law school.  Like, a big-Rod-Burgundy-deal.  Everyone talks about them.  Every information session about how to succeed in law school, blah-blah-blah, talks about them.  Naturally, I formed a study group only to find out a few meetings (okay, more like one meeting) later that study groups and me do not mix.  I didn’t want to leave the group, though, because I had pushed to form it in the first place and it was made up of all of my friends.  Plus, we watched a lot of fun Youtube videos.

I finally bit the bullet yesterday, though, and told them that I would be leaving the study group.  Funny enough, I felt like I was going through a break-up.  I was all uncomfortable and no-it’s-not-you-it’s-me.  I saw one of them in the hallway later that day and thought, Do I say hi?  Do I wave?  My hands, what do I do with my hands?!

It was freeing to finally admit that the study group wasn’t working for me, though.  I tried to stick with it because everyone else was in study groups, and I had this feeling that if I wasn’t in a study group then I wasn’t doing something right.  I had a chat with a friend earlier this week about the constant need to measure up to everyone else here, and it was really enlightening.  He told me that we all needed to stop comparing ourselves to others and run our own race.  Simple words, but they struck a chord.  I love it here and I love the people, but I do sometimes find myself comparing my work and progress with other people.  Sometimes it doesn’t faze me.    Sometimes it makes me reach for anti-acids.  The bottom line is that I don’t want to do it anymore.  What works for one person might not work for me.  I need to find my own way.

I need to run my own race.

One thing that I’ve learned I absolutely need here is to cook.  I love coming home after a lllooonnnggg day at the law school and parking myself in front of the stove.  It’s relaxing.  It’s comforting.  And then I get to eat afterwards.  I mean, I really can’t think of a better way to unwind.  This is a great dinner to make because it’s quick and nutritious.  Most of the ingredients were straight out of the refrigerator or pantry and it made enough for a few days.  Added bonus — the leftovers taste even better because all the flavors have a chance to meld.

Mediterranean Couscous with Olives and Artichokes

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup Israeli couscous
1 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed
5 artichoke hearts, quartered 
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt/pepper

Directions:
Cook couscous according to directions on package.

Combine all the ingredients, up to the balsamic vinegar.  In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic and olive oil until emulsified.  Pour into the couscous mixture and toss to coat.  Serve either on its own or with a main dish.

Frittata with Fontina Cheese

It’s no surprise that I love feeding people.  It’s the little old Italian grandmother in me that gets a ridiculous amount of satisfaction from making food and sharing it with the people in my life.  My neighbors must love this about me because I feed them about every other day.  Okay, slight exaggeration, but we do get together for dinner every week and one of us cooks.

Last week I invited them over for some pork chops midweek, but had neglected to think of a side dish.  I ALWAYS do this.  Maybe its’ just a weird Liz thing, but I will have the entire main dish planned and then five minutes before I start cooking go, “A side dish!  What the hell do I make for a side dish?!”  Not wanting to go through an entire bag of frozen vegetables, I decided that a frittata was really the only way to go.  When in doubt, go with a frittata.  Words to live by, folks.

For those of you are unfamiliar with frittatas (the horror!) it’s basically an Italian omelette.  Instead of dealing with flipping and all that jazz, though, the added ingredients (i.e. meat, cheese and veggies) are baked right into the egg.  It starts out on the stove and then finishes up in the broiler for a nice golden top.

Btw — any New Girl fans out there?  I pretty much died when Schmidt made the frittata reference last night.

“Are you cooking a frittata in a sauce pan?  What is this, prison?”

You gotta ❤ Schmidt.  Seriously.

Frittata with Fontina Cheese

Ingredients:

5 eggs

1 tbsp milk

4 oz fontina cheese, cubed

parmesan cheese

Directions:

Crack and beat the eggs in a bowl.  Pour in the milk and fontina cheese, and mix until combined.  Meanwhile, heat an oven-safe saute pan over medium heat.  Pour in the egg mixture and top with parmesan cheese.  Cook until the egg is set, 10-15 minutes.  Turn on the broiler and put in the pan for 3-4 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Cut into wedges and serve.