Monday, January 24, 2011

"Everything Grilled Salad" and Window-Pane Cookies

I've been trying to incorporate a lot of fresh vegetables in my home cooking and making them so yummy, my children cannot resist.
Enter "Everything Grilled Salad" with a homemade pesto vinaigrette sauce.  This meal was absolutely delicious!  I cut up all the vegetables and while the hubby grilled the veggies and flank steak, I chopped fresh parsley and basil and garlic for the pesto sauce.  It really is an easy recipe with a quick clean up... as long as you pull a "Rachel Ray" and keep a "trash bowl" on the side.  :)  And for the fun of it, we grilled some sausage as well for a little spice.

Here was the finished product:

The tomatoes, squash and zucchini slathered in a pesto vinaigrette was the perfect compliment to the steak and sausage.

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) beef flank steak, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 small summer yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (optional)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  1. Heat the grill at the medium-high setting. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the meat (about 7 to 9 minutes per side on a gas grill for medium rare, longer if you prefer medium or well done). Let the steak cool, then cut it in half lengthwise and slice each half across the grain into thin strips.
  2. Meanwhile, brush the yellow squash and zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and season it with salt and pepper. Grill the sliced vegetables, turning them once, until tender (about 2 to 3 minutes). Then cut them into thirds.
  3. In a food processor, combine the parsley, basil, garlic, Dijon, and remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and blend well. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the steak, squash, zucchini, and onion, if desired. Add the dressing and toss to mix. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in the tomatoes and serve. Makes 6 servings.

My kids gobbled the whole thing up so to reward them, I made heart shaped cookies (practicing for Valentine's Day) with a "window-pane" center.  I never knew it was possible to melt a Jolly Rancher in the middle of a cookie while it baked, but it works!  I'm glad I gave it a trial run because I realized I need to make my own dough rather than save time with a store-bought one.  The shape of the cookie just does not hold with the store-bought kind.

I wish the centers kept the heart shape, but I'll work on it and let you know.  Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • Hard candy for cookie center (we used Jolly Ranchers)
  1. To make the dough: Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar. Beat in the egg until evenly mixed, then blend in the vanilla extract and salt.
  2. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the creamed ingredients, about one third at a time, until evenly blended. The dough may seem soft, but it will firm up when refrigerated.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each portion into a disk and seal in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. To create the cookies: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a sturdy baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray. Between 2 sheets of waxed paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet.
  5. Cut out the cookies with a large cookie cutter. Use a spatula to transfer the shapes to the baking sheet, leaving about an inch between cookies. Remove the centers of the cookies with a smaller cookie cutter. (Save the centers to bake later.)
  6. Place a hard candy (we used Jolly Ranchers) in the center of each heart and bake until the cookies start to brown lightly around the edges and the candy is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. To prevent sticking, line your serving plate or tin with waxed paper and place additional waxed paper between layers. Makes 30.

So that's about it.  Hope you try the recipe.  I don't think you'll be the least bit disappointed.  Off to tend to my two sick little men.  Staying home today equals lots of extra attention and love from me.  What are Moms for right?  :)

Have a beautiful Monday!

No comments:

Post a Comment