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Friday, November 27, 2009

Grilled Italian Steak with Winter Caprese Salad

Are we "turkeyed out" yet?  It is just the day after Thanksgiving so I have yet to make my turkey sandwich's or turkey pot pies.  I know in a few days I will be completely "turkeyed out" and will want to make something as far away from turkey as possible.  If you too have these feelings, please try this menu that I made for my husband and I the night before Thanksgiving.  It involved RED MEAT and not turkey!  I made a simple Grilled Italian Steak on our indoor cast iron grill and a Winter Caprese Salad served with some Herbed Couscous.  It was simple and delicious!  Try it out if you are "turkeyed out"!


 * When it comes to steaks my husband and I like to keep it simple.  When we were in Florence, Italy, a restaraunt there served a t-bone steak done "florence style".  They served it with a squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil and a touch of fresh basil!  Simple and delicious!
  • 2 new york strip steaks (or any other cut of meat)
  • olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon cut into two wedges
  • 1 TB. thin sliced fresh basil
  1. Place steak on a plate.  Drizzle each side with olive oil and season each side with salt and pepper.
  2. Place in fridge for about 1/2 hour
  3. Spray an indoor grill pan with cooking spray.  Heat up pan to a med high heat. 
  4. Place steaks on grill and cook on each side about 2-3 minutes on each side - to serve rare.  If you want the steaks more well done cook for more time on each side.
  5. Take steaks off grill and place on each plate.  Squeeze a lemon wedge over each steak.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil over each steak.  Sprinkle about 1/2 TB. of basil over each steak. 
  6. Serve immediately


* I don't know about you, but we love, love, love a fresh Caprese Salad.  You cannot go wrong with the ingredients of fresh tomatoes, mozerella cheese, oilve oil and basil!  This recipe from Bon Appetite combines all these ingredients into a winter version of the summer caprese salad.  The tomatoes are roasted which gives this recipe a distinct roasted flavor.  The recipe calls to cool the tomatoes completely, but I served them warm.  The juices and flavor from the warm tomatoes went great with the steak and couscous.  I loved this recipe so gave me some ideas for a Roasted Tomato Sauce that I plan to make in the for it on a future blog post.

  • 1 lb. plum or caprese tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 2 Tb. balsalmic vinegar
  • Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle of oven
  2. Toss tomatoes with 2 TB of oil and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.  Roast tomatoes, cut sides up, in 1 layer on a baking sheet until skins are wrinkled and beginning to brown on bottom, about 45 minutes
  3. Cool completely
  4. Cut basil into very fine shreds.  Arrange mozzarrella and tomatoes on plates and sprinkle with the basil.  Drizzle with vinegar and remaining oil.  Season with pepper.
*Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appetite


* We love couscous!  It is so versatile and not as heavy as a pasta and more fun than rice!  You can buy couscous that comes with flavors in the package, but it is really high in sodium.  We like to make the plain couscous and season it with our own herbs and cook it in chicken broth for some flavor.  High in flavor and low in sodium!

  • 1 package plain couscous
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • Chicken broth (read directions on couscous package - use chicken broth in place of water- usually about 2 or so cups)
  • 1 TB. chopped fresh basil ( can substitute dried)
  • 1/2 TB. chopped fresh oregano (can substitute dried)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • hot red pepper flakes (just a bit for flavor)
  1. In a sauce pan place the chicken broth, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  2. Bring this to a boil. 
  3. Add the couscous and stir well.
  4. Turn heat off and place cover on the sauce pan.  Let sit for 10 minutes. 
  5. Take cover off and fluff with for.
  6. Serve immediately.

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