Monday, August 29, 2011

A Healthy Post-fair Meal: Grilled Steak and Grilled Vegetables

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       After pigging out at the state fair all day on Saturday, I felt we needed to repent and eat a healthy dinner of vegetables along with a lean protein for dinner on Sunday.  What exactly would that be?  I remembered that I had some beef tenderloin steaks in the freezer (that I of course had bought when they were on sale).  So I took them out to defrost and then checked the fridge and found a bag of mixed greens.  Then I was off to Trader Joe's for more veg.  I picked up some bell peppers, zucchini, broccolini, portabella mushrooms and red onion.  We were going to grill!

     Grilled vegetables are so easy to make and they taste fantastic!  If you have picky vegetable eaters in your house, it's a great way to get them to try new veggies.  Something magical happens to the veggies when they're grilled, I don't believe I've met a grilled veggie that I didn't like.  They take on the smoke flavor from the grill and they get nice color on them and things like broccoli or broccolini get a kind of nutty flavor to them.  Try it!

     The nice thing about grilling something like beef tenderloin is that you don't have to do much of anything to it.  It's already tender and it has great flavor.  Last night I seasoned them with fresh cracked pepper and truffle salt.  If you've never tried truffle salt (or truffle oil)  you should.  It is sooooo good!  The one down side to it is that it's pricey.  But I think it's well worth the price, a little goes a long way and so it lasts forever.  Truffles (they're a kind of mushroom) have a very distinctive flavor that's really like nothing else, so it's hard to describe.  Once you've had it, though, you will recognize it as soon as you smell it or taste it and it will make you want to lick your plate!  I have found truffle oil at the grocery store and I found truffle salt at Chef's Gallery in Stillwater.

The menu I came up with for Sunday was:
  • Truffled tenderloin steak
  • Grilled  vegetables
  • Mixed greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette (8/22 post)

Grilled vegetables

You can use whatever vegetables you like, in whatever quantity you like.  I made quite a bit so that I would have leftovers.
  • bell peppers
  • zucchini
  • portabella mushrooms
  • broccolini
  • red onion
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper.
Preheat grill to medium high heat
Cut vegetables up into fairly large pieces, so they don't fall throught the grate on the grill.  It works well to slice the onion into about 1/2 inch thick slices and slice the zucchini lengthwise into about 1/4 inch slices.  I just left the broccolini whole as well as the the mushrooms.  I cut the bell peppers into pieces about 2 inches wide

Brush all of the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

A flat pan for the grill works great for onions and peppers, they tend to slip through the grate easily.

Place all of the veggies on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes or until they start to get grill marks and soften up.

Since I had so many veggies, Steve grilled them first and then I put them in an oven set to warm until the steaks were done.

After dinner, I cut up the leftover vegetables and will use them this week for things like a frittata or omelet or top a salad with them.  Check back for details later this week.

Truffled tenderloin steaks

  • Four 6-8 oz beef tenderloin steaks
  • truffle salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

This is what the truffle salt looks like

Grill steaks (1" to 1 1/2" thick) 4 minutes per side for medium rare and 6 minutes per side for medium.  If you want them more done than that, you are on your own. 
Let rest for a few minutes before serving so that the juices have time to redistribute.

It was a delicious meal and one that we didn't have to feel guilty about!

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