Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Dinner Party Done Easy!

We had a friend for dinner tonight, so I made us something extra tasty!  This meal is not difficult to prepare and full of flavor.  It's really colorful, too, which is a fun and awesome way to bring a little extra excitement to your dinner.

The Meat
 - 1 1/2 pound flank steak
- 1/2 cup port wine
- 1 teaspoon butter, divided into dots
- salt, pepper, marjoram, dill to taste

The Veggies
- 2 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 small purple potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 small yellow potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 turnip, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- salt, pepper, dill, chipotle pepper to taste

- 1 pound spinach
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt, dill to taste

The Garnishes
- 3 slices bacon
- gorgonzola cheese
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 3 mushrooms, sliced
- 7-8 small cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup pecan pieces

Preheat your oven to 380 degrees.

Marinade your flank steak at least 1 hour before cooking.  Simply place the meat in a 2" baking dish and pour the port over the meat.  Spice and let it sit.  I love using port as a marinade because it makes the meat a little sweet without making the meat taste too much like it's been soaking in wine.   I used Prager port, which is not a very sweet port, but full of body and flavor. 

I chopped up my garlic and threw it into an aluminum foil cup I crafted.  I added the 3 tablespoons of butter and the salt and dill, crumpled it up into a very snazzy looking ball, and stuck it in the oven for around an hour.  I love making this infused garlic butter, and this is the third time this week we've had it.  It instantly makes all of my veggies taste SO much better, and is really easy to make.  Also, have I mentioned we are known garlic fiends?

I put my medley of potatoes and turnip into a baking dish with 1/2 a cup of water and the olive oil (I used Spanish olive oil this time, it tastes a little more olive-y than Italian extra virgin olive oil) and the spices.   I baked that uncovered, next to the garlic, for an hour.  

I sauteed up the spinach with the water and lemon juice on low heat for around 8 minutes, then drained it.  Later, when the garlic butter was finished, I tossed it in and made sure to toss it all well so the spinach was evenly coated with wonderful butter. 

With my oven doing its thing, I turned my attention to my garnishes.  I chopped all my ingredients and fried up the bacon.  After the bacon was done, I let it cool and crumbled it.  With the leftover bacon grease, I cooked up the mushrooms on medium heat for a few minutes and then added the tomatoes and pecans. 

I cooked the flank steak on the griddler, similar to last week's big hunk of meat.  This time my flank steak wasn't quite as thick, and only took around 10 minutes to cook until it was medium-done.  

When the steak was finished I sliced it, placed in on the serving tray, and smothered it to heck with my bacon-mushroom-tomato garnish.  I dotted gorgonzola on top and added the green onion.  I served up the spinach and potato/turnip medley in similar dishes and uncorked a bottle of cabernet sauvignon and BOOM.  Dinner party time!

This meal was delicious and everyone was excited to chow down!  I hope you enjoy making this meal for your friends and family - they will certainly love eating it!

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