April 9th Dinner Review
  Re: (...)
I LOVED THIS MENU!! All my notes are at home, but maybe I can remember.... here's what we were to cook -

Here's a suggestion but now that I'm at home and not going to school I'm came for anything! Woot

It's a more casual menu.

Seared Flank Steak w/Shallot-Mustard Sauce
Oven Fries with Lemon-Fennel Salt
Green Salad with Feta and Fresh Fruit

Now I can only hope for good weather so we can enjoy this dinner outside with a nice bottle of wine.

1 flank steak, about 1-1/2 lb.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. corn oil
6 Tbs. cold unsalted butter (4 Tbs. cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
3 Tbs. finely minced shallot
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup low-salt beef broth
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat an ovenproof 12-inch sauté pan over high heat until very hot. Add the oil to coat the pan and sear the steak on one side until well browned, about 1-1/2 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook until the second side is well browned, about another 2 minutes. Put the pan in the oven and roast until the steak is cooked to your liking, 5 to 7 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest, lightly covered with foil, while you make the sauce.
Set the same skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbs. of the butter. When the butter melts, add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and translucent but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium high, and boil until syrupy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and thyme and boil until about 1/3 cup of liquid remains, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the mustard. (Don’t let the sauce boil after the mustard is added.) Stir in the 4 Tbs. butter cubes, a few at a time. Stir in half the tarragon and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
With a sharp knife, slice the steak thinly across the grain on the diagonal, drizzle with the sauce, and sprinkle with remaining tarragon.

Oven Fries

2 lg russet potatoes about 1 3/4 pounds peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4 -1/2” sticks.
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon-Fennel Salt

Put the sliced potatoes in cold water to rinse off starch. Remove potatoes after about a minute and drain. Dump water and refill with enough to cover the potatoes by 1 1/2 inches and add some kosher salt. Put a baking sheet in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 450. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil turn the heat down so they simmer for about 3 minutes. Gently drain and place on paper towels to dry. Place in a bowl and gently toss with the olive oil. Remove pan from oven and arrange the potatoes quickly on the sheet pan leaving about 1/2 inch between slices. Roast for about 15 minutes, turn fries over and roast again for about 6-8 minutes and turn again till nicely brown. Total cook time is about 30 minutes. Finish with Lemon Fennel Salt.

Lemon Fennel Salt –

1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 heaping tsp. white peppercorns
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toast fennel, coriander and peppercorns in a small dry skillet over med. heat until fragrant, about 2 mins. Pour into a mortar or spice grinder and grind till a fine powder. In a small dish combine the lemon zest and salt with the spices.

Green Salad
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch white sugar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 avocados - peeled, pitted, and cubed
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, parsley, lemon juice and garlic. Add the avocado, and stir to coat with the dressing.
2. Just before serving, add the salad greens, and toss to coat with dressing. Sprinkle sliced almonds and feta cheese over the top.
You can add sliced pears or tangerines supremes.

I'm excited about preparing the planned dinner, although if I doing a full dinner menu, I find it fun to do a dessert too. May I suggest a dessert to add to the menu for those who would like to prepare it? Here it is (it is actually a Cuisine at Home recipe):


1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs flour
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla extract

minced zest and juice of 1 lemon
pinch of Salt

One 9-inch unbaked pie shell

¼ cup honey
juice of 1 lime
2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Prepare filling: Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until blended. Pour into pie shell and place on a baking sheet. Bake until filling is just set, yet still a bit jiggly, 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature; chill if not serving right away. (Let chilled pie stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.)

3. Prepare topping: Heat honey and lime juice until melted. Pour over berries and let stand at least 5 minutes. Just before serving, arrange on pie with a slotted spoon. Top individual servings with whipped cream.

Yield: One 9-inch pie

Cooking Tips
*Don't top the pie until just before serving or the filling will collapse. You could serve the berries on the side also.

Recipe Source:
Cuisine at Home

Loved the sauce for the steak - mine was about 1" thick, so I did put in the oven, but for a very short time, because we like it rare.

The potatoes! also loved the spice blend tossed into the fries.

Salad was nice...

Lemon Buttermilk Pie with mascerated strawberries - oh my, this was so good (made it a 2nd time for Easter yesterday!) The combination of honey and lime is just great with the berries. The first time I didn't do whipped cream, not a real fan, but yesterday I did and the guys really liked it.

I'd give the dinner a strong 8 - but, remember the dinner I'm coming off..... Can't compare...

Did anyone else do the dinner?
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: April 9th Dinner Review by cjs (I LOVED THIS MENU!! ...)
Okay---copied and printed for future----sorry could not join in on this one!!!

What's NEXT???
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by Roxanne 21 (Okay---copied and pr...)
I wasn't able to join in this one either, but have it on my short list [along with about 20 other recipes ].
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.

  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by Roxanne 21 (Okay---copied and pr...)
"What's NEXT???" - Ethiopian?? We were discussing that the other day - but, I'm open for whatever anyone wants to do. Just name it!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by cjs ("What's NEXT???" - E...)
As I shrink into my corner---AGAIN!!!!! Sorry---that CRS is rampant again!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by cjs ("What's NEXT???" - E...)
I'm really hoping you all go with the Ethiopian. Heading into Ottawa this weekend to visit that store. Can I pick somehting up for you???
Empress for Life
  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by farnfam (I'm really hoping yo...)
Yeah!!! How 'Bout EVERYTHING!!!! Gotta pass on this one---don't have the stuff---- Next time??!!??
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: April 9th Dinner Review by cjs (I LOVED THIS MENU!! ...)
My first dinner with you guys- thanks for the invite

We have some friends in from out of town, so they were my guinea pigs last night.

Let me preface my review of the recipes with the statement that I am extremely hard on myself when it comes to cooking, and I'm pretty picky about my selection of what I view to be really good recipes. I find it difficult to find good restaurants too! Picky me.

FLANK STEAK: The sauce was good. I didn't care for the method of cooking the flank steak- searing and then baking. I just didn't think that it came out nearly as good as when I grill it. I have some other recipes for marinated flank steak that I prefer.

FRIES: LOVED these! I made a boo boo when I started the recipe. The directions were to boil the potatoes for three minutes and then pull them out and put them on a hot baking sheet to bake for a bit. Well... I got to drinking some wine and visiting with my friends and realized that I forgot about the potatoes. They were ALMOST mashed potatoes by the time I got them out of the water. I really thought that they wouldn't work out, but the baking process really crisped them up very nicely and I loved the seasoning too. This recipe I will make again.

SALAD: This was a basic recipe, and I made the dressing as directed. The dressing was terribly salty and pretty much ruined the salad. I guess I should have added it gradually and tasted.

PIE: My husband and guests raved about the pie. I thought it was just ok. I guess it's a keeper too.

I went out and got myself a mortar/pestle that work fantastic and look very cute in my kitchen. My excuse was that the spices used for the fries called for fine grinding. All being said, it was lots of fun to participate and I look forward to doing it again. I'm always up for the challenge of cooking what is suggested

"Everything tastes better with wine"
  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by Roxanne 21 (Yeah!!! How 'Bout E...)
Hang on Rox, you might be surprised at the ingredients needed - so far whatever has been called for (of the recipes I've checked out) there is also a substitution offered. So, you might be able to join us.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: April 9th Dinner Review by cjs (Hang on Rox, you mig...)
Ok, we just finished our dinner, and it was wonderful! I didn't make the dessert because I did too much cheating on my diet yesterday. The sauce for the flank steak was fantastic...so thick and flavorful (lol..was it supposed to be thick?)! We all just loved it.

The fries were so good! I left them in the oven a little longer than the recipe said because they needed just a little more browning...then I forgot them and some of them got just a little too brown...but they were still really good.

And I can't believe how much we all loved the salad...we're not really veggie people, and we all made yummy noises over that salad. I used orange segments in there and oh, it was just so good! My husband said he'd be happy to have just a big bowl of that salad for dinner.

I did have an unexpected guest in the salad though. I rinsed the lettuce (it was a spring mix) and dried it in the salad spinner. As I began to dump it into the bowl, a little lady bug fell out! It must've been pretty dizzy with all that spinning. I took it outside to set it free and the darn thing took so long to get off of me that I almost reduced my sauce too much!

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