As promised, I did try a couple of new recipes last night for dinner. The first was from Williams – Sonoma and covered the main entrée for the evening, which was grilled steaks with cherry tomatoes and basil. It was pretty easy to make, although using the indoor grill pan always causes a problem around here with the smoke detector. After a few minutes of wrangling with this smoke detector, everything else was just fine.
Grilled Steaks with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
2 New York strip steaks, each about 1 1/4 pound and 1 1/2 inches thick
8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Brush a cast-iron grill pan with the oil and heat over medium high heat until hot. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, the 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the 2 teaspoons of salt. Rub the spice mixture evenly onto both sides of the steaks. In another bowl, combine that tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the steaks on the grill pan and cook, turning once, until nicely grill marked, approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare, or a grill in till they are done to your specific liking. Add the tomato mixture to the pan during the last two minutes of cooking. Transfer the steaks to a carving board and let rest for five minutes. Transfer of the tomatoes to what warmed platter. Cut the steak crosswise into 1/4 inch strips and arrange on the platter with that tomatoes.
This would be a good meal for you to cook on your outdoor grill as well. If you have the proper tools to cook that tomatoes right on the grill you can do them outside as well. I cooked the steaks to him about medium, which is the way we prefer to have it. These spice rub that is applied to the steaks adds great flavor and seems to go very well with the tomatoes and basil.
As a side dish, I decided I wanted to make some risotto. I looked around for a few different recipes, and I wanted to try to find one that would make good use of some of the spring vegetables that are around right now. The best one I found came from Marcus Samuelsson on his website at Food Republic. It was for a spring peak risotto and sounded really good.
Spring Pea Risotto
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 bunch asparagus stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh peas, shelled
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small sauce pan, heat the chicken stock to a warmed simmer. In a large stock pot, or any heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium low heat. Add the minced shallots and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the shallots are translucent. Add the rice, stir for about one minute until the grains begin to become translucent around the edges.
Pour in the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add one ladle of stock at a time, stirring frequently until all the liquid is absorbed. Add another ladle of stock, and stir frequently until liquid is absorbed again. Repeat this process until almost all the stock has been used in the rice is cooked but still al–dente. The entire process should take about twenty minutes.
About five minutes before the rice is done cooking, stir in the asparagus and the peas. Add more chicken stock as necessary to continue cooking the rice. Once the rice has achieved the desired texture, stir in the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Admittedly, making risotto is a lot of work. It requires constant attention and stirring on the stove. While it can be taxing, it is certainly worth the work that you put into it. I especially liked this recipe because of the fresh peas and asparagus that are used. It is the perfect time of year to try to incorporate some of the your spring vegetables into a dish like this and they tasted great. I would certainly make this dish again.
Those of the recipes for today. Tonight, I do plan to make some type of chicken and I have a couple of different recipes to choose from. Check back tomorrow and see which one I have decided to go with and see if you like the recipe yourself. I do have a couple of recipes for later on in the week that I plan to make. One is for another chicken dish, the other is for a strawberry rhubarb pie. I think both will be pretty good. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!