Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick Fixes

It's not always possible to spend hours (or even one hour) in the kitchen on summer evenings . . . but you can still have a good meal! Here are two of our most recent quick dinners:

1) Kabobs

What makes these kabobs special? We used pre-seasoned skewers, which are awesome! I found them at Main Street Kitchen in Hannibal (check in your favorite kitchen store or upscale grocery store). The kabobs above are on the honey bourbon flavored skewer. I would not recommend placing tomatoes on honey bourbon skewers - it resulted in a . . . weird taste. The skewers are especially good for chicken and shrimp, which usually need a little more flavor boost than beef (in my opinion).

I didn't use the seasoned skewer for the bread (if I had used the garlic herb flavor, I would have!) . . . if you have never put bread on a kabob - try it! To make the bread kabob, I cut baguette slices in half, brushed them with olive oil, and sprinkled a little sea salt on them. We placed them directly on top of the meat skewers for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking (which as you can tell, was a few minutes too long in this case!). Yummmmm!

2) Skirt steak with crispy garlic potatoes & asparagus

Skirt steak & garlic potatoes
2 garlic cloves
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound red new potatoes, sliced 1 inch thick
12-14 oz.skirt steak, cut into 2 equal pieces

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Finely chop garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Using a chef's knife, press flat side of blade back and forth across garlic to make a paste. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in thyme and 1 tablespoon oil. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with garlic mixture; bake until browned on underside, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or grill pan over high. Season steaks with salt and pepper, and cook until medium, 4 to 6 minutes per side (depending on thickness of steak). Transfer to a plate to rest (allow ~10 minutes before serving).
- Adapted from Everyday Food

For asparagus:
Wash asparagus; snap off ends. Place on foil-lined baking sheet; toss with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (depending on how much asparagus you use). Sprinkle with coarse salt. Add to 450-475 degree oven for 5-6 minutes (my asparagus was thin - it came out perfectly tender, yet crisp, after 5 minutes). Optional: add freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. I love freshly-grated Parmesan and added it to the potatoes as well . . .

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