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Weekday Dinner Inspirations: Asian-Flavored Flank Steak and more

Mon | Be a forager

Didn't get to the grocery store this weekend? Start your hunt for dinner in the freezer. Look for the lone chicken breast, single sausage, one thick pork chop and bits of ground meat to form into patties: the makings of a mixed grill plate. Now head to the pantry. A-ha! Bowtie pasta. Cook to al dente (in the last few minutes of cooking, add the frozen spinach you discovered), then toss with olive oil, a bit of butter and Parmesan cheese. Two ripe tomatoes on the counter? Slice and season with salt and pepper. Dinner in a pinch. Not bad at all.

Tues | Light as spring

Asparagus looks good these days. Use it in a fluffy Spring Frittata served with a green salad. Saute chopped onion in olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet. While onion is cooking, chop asparagus into 1-inch lengths; grate 1 cup of Swiss or Gruyere cheese; and whisk 5 eggs in a bowl. Add asparagus to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes; add eggs, cooking on medium until almost set. Sprinkle cheese over all and broil until eggs are set and cheese is melted.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Carve up the bird and serve a mess of grilled vegetables alongside. Cook them on the grill outside or inside on a grill pan. Brush onions, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, peppers and whatever else you'd like with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I like a swipe or two of balsamic vinegar. Grill until soft and heap in a big bowl. Some quick-cooking wild or brown rice would be a substantial accompaniment.

Thurs | Rays night

Settle in for tonight's ball game with your very own hot dog bar. Cook up your dogs of choice (we like Ball Parks on the grill) and set out bowls of condiments: sauerkraut, chili, shredded cheese, onions, relish, mustard, you know the rest. Macaroni salad and chips on the side.

Fri | Against the grain

Flank steak isn't super tender, but it has a boatload of flavor and even more in Asian-Flavored Flank Steak (recipe below) Slice it in thin strips against the grain for best results. Cook rice and toss in some chopped asparagus in the last five minutes of cooking.

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Asian-Flavored Flank Steak

Cooking spray

½ cup chopped scallions

3 minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon minced ginger

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 pound flank steak

Coat broiler pan with cooking spray.

Combine scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey and rice vinegar in a baking dish large enough to hold the flank steak. Whisk until the honey is dissolved. Place the meat in the marinade for 5 minutes; turn, and let it sit another 5 minutes. (You can marinate it longer in the fridge.)

Transfer the steak to the broiler pan and broil for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through to desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. (The steak can also be grilled.)

While the steak is cooking, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes (to kill harmful bacteria).

Cut meat across the grain on the diagonal into very thin slices. Drizzle with sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: If you can't see the "grain" to determine the direction in which to cut, try turning the steak over: It is often more noticeable on one side than the other.

Source: Marge Perry, Newsday

Weekday Dinner Inspirations: Asian-Flavored Flank Steak and more 04/21/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:37am]
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