Friday, August 21, 2009

Does a Meal Have to Be Fancy to Be Good?

Simplicity really can go a long way to impress your friends, wow your taste buds, and lower your stress levels! Meals don't have to be so complicated that they take you hours to prepare, come with fancy titles, or exotic ingredients. The key to a good meal are quality ingredients. If you make it fresh you can keep it simple!
For me, summers are the essence of fresh & simple meals! When vegetables are freshly plucked from the garden their tastes sizzle with flavor and make your taste buds become food snobs! (My mother's garden has forever ruined me to store bought tomatoes for the rest of my life.)
Tonight's meal is made with fresh carrots and asparagus, with the delicate touch of fresh dill. Here's a tip--you can use any vegetable in place of this, and choose a variety of fresh herbs to dress up the plain and add a subtle touch of aroma.
A Steak Night
Serves 2
8-10 oz sirloin or tenderloin steak
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 lemon, zested and juiced
8 asparagus spears, peeled stems
3 carrots, peeled and sliced in rounds
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dill, cilantro, parsley, sage, oregano, or other favorite herb
S&P to taste
  • Season steaks with salt, pepper, and touch of herbs. Allow to come to room temperature in 30 minutes. While waiting, turn on your grill. Put your back burners on high, and the front burners on medium low. Once the grill gets to 400*F you are ready to go! Grill your steaks for 7-10 minutes per side depending on desired texture and taste. Once you pull your steaks off the grill allow the meat to rest so that the juices return to the muscle instead of all over your plate!
  • Meanwhile, follow rice package directions to prepare. Once prepared, add lemon zest and season with S&P.
  • Note, you don't have to cut off half of your asparagus to enjoy the tender vegetables. Instead, trim off the very tips, and use a vegetable peeler to expose asparagus's tender flesh. See photo above for visual.
  • In a pot, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and add the vegetables for 3 minutes to blanch. Remove and place into ice water for 1 minute to halt the cooking. Remove and pat dry.
  • In a skillet add olive oil and add the blanched vegetables and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until desired texture is achieved. Finish vegetables with fresh herbs and lemon juice.
  • Last, pick your favorite wine, plate your meal, savor the freshness of flavors, and enjoy the simplicity of the night! Cheers!

1 comment:

Anthony Sepe said...

Thanks Wendy Jo for the great article in the Fall 2009 issue of Ventures; I appreicated the many background links offered in the article, too.

PS: Great dinner post!