Easy, Elegant Summer Meal Ideas……

Those of you who know me well know that I am not so fond of “cooking” ( or preparing meals) on a day to day basis. I love to do it when I’m entertaining but the day in day out stuff…not so much! As a result, I tend to look for easy “recipes”(…and I use that term loosely as I rarely follow actual recipes unless I am baking) that are simple, changeable, quick and delicious, sound good so far?! I thought so!
A fortunate thing is that these meals I do prepare always seem to get rave reviews, on occasion there is a flop or two but not often. Over the next few weeks I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you so that you can adapt them to suit your tastes and maybe add a new dish or two to your summertime menus.

I’m going to share my absolute favorite with you first….Prince Charming and I have this meal at least once a week (actually all year round, we like it so much) and it’s a favorite of our guests. We both like a nice lean steak and this is like having your meat, potatoes and salad all layered on one dish!

Steak Salad

(as I mentioned, I rarely follow exact recipes so this will be kind of a “loose” recipe)
We start with a nice tender, lean, thick cut steak such as New York Strip or Delmonico, usually around 3/4 lb. or so and we use one good size steak for two salads. Put the steak in a ziploc bag with 4 or 5 squirts (don’t laugh!) of Gazebo Room greek salad dressing and about 1/2 cup of a good merlot or cabernet (I like Clos Du Bois). Let it marinate at least a full day, we prefer overnight.
You will also need:
mixed greens, tomatoechunked up, cuke-sliced, shredded cheese (we use the mexican blend-unseasoned) frozen french fries (we prefer Ore Ida extra crispy fast food fries) enough to put a handful on each salad, and your favorite dressing, ours for this is Spicy Ranch.
As Prince Charming cooks the fries for 6 minutes under the broiler, I prepare the salad part, laying the greens on each plate, then the cuke and tomatoe and a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
He then takes the fries out and cooks the steaks the way we like them, medium rare (about 5 to 6 minutes on each side when the steaks are 1″ to 1 1/4″ thick) and while the steaks are “resting” for about 5 minutes he cooks the fries for another 5 to 6 minutes.
When the fries are done I scoop them onto each plate, on top of the shredded cheese, which then begins to melt slightly….Mmmmmm. Prince Charming is slicing the steak into thin bite-size pieces during this time and then we divide the steak and put it on top of the fries. The final step is the dressing and salt and pepper.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?! Now I wish I had a steak marinating in the fridge…..hmmm….
Let me know how you like it!

Leave a Comment

  • Sarah June 12, 2008, 3:20 pm

    I remember you talking about this last summer…. I still need to try it! Maybe next week. I always think steak is expensive but compared to eating out….. everything in perspective!

    Reply
  • brannabee June 19, 2008, 10:57 am

    don’t forget the fresh herbs – making a tasty meal even tastier – and a little different each time!

    Reply
  • Kathleen Ellis June 19, 2008, 11:06 am

    Thank you, ladies, for your comments….Sarah, you are right…for a fraction of the cost of eating out even at a moderately priced restaurant, you can have a “restaurant meal” prepared exactly as you like it, in the atmosphere you’ve created…and no tip necessary!

    Brandie, your suggestion for fresh herbs is thymely! You’re right…they add incredible flavor plus they are so easy to grow….talk about “gourmet”! It is really easy to make meals special and affordable!

    Reply
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