Monday, June 4, 2012

Sunday Summer Suppers

It seems that even though the days are longer than any other time of year, that each one is so full it's hard to get everything finished by the time that the sun goes down. Most evenings, I have paperwork and events to attend and cover. But, Sunday afternoons and nights are the exception. As a rule, I use this time to experiment with/create new recipes just for us. No guests or fancy tables to set... but instead a focus on healthy, fresh and flavorful fare to be enjoyed at the end of the weekend.

This week, inspired by all of the grilling focuses on the Food Network and Cooking  channels and my favorite entertaining magazines, it was all about creating the perfect marinade for a flank steak. I sent my husband out for the basics Saturday morning, and made sure to get started early. I wanted to let it bask in flavor for 24+ hours so that our Sunday night dinner would be perfect. So, I did a bit of prep work and left the rest for the next day.

 I like getting al of my ingredients out and in full view. And, I have fun using the adorable ceramic measuring cups from Anthropologie  that special friends gave me as a wedding/housewarming gift...

The perfect simple marinade for a 1.5-2 lb. flank/skirt steak. I found this one in the June issue of Bon Appetit Magazine (if you haven't picked this up, get it-- there are 60+ fab grilling recipes). It was from the talented blogger and cookbook author, Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner: A Love Story fame. I altered her version of 'Tony's Steak' to make it a bit less sweet to suit our tastes.


6 green onions thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup soy low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, place steak in a gallon zip lock bag, pour in with mixture. "Squish" around to coat and refrigerate overnight. Really work it, and flip the sides every few hours so it really get's infused. When its time to cook, take out and place on a well-oiled grill for 6-7 minutes on each side. TIP: I like grilling extra portion sizes, so that there are slices left over for tacos later in the week.

Zucchini Squash hot from the grill

This time of year, I prefer simple sides. A staple for us in early summer is zucchini and/or yellow squash sliced in half lengthwise, slathered in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I lay this on the grill right beside whatever meat is on the menu and pull it off when it looks like it's becoming soft.
The finished product.... delicious and perfectly charred.

One thing that I love on Sunday is to visit the Farmer's Market,  neighborhood stand or Fresh Market and see what's fresh and inviting. My side dishes usually revolve around what looks/smells best. This seasonal salsa/spicy fruit salad was the result of my findings. Looked beautiful... and will be on the menu all week, long after Sunday has slipped away.


1/2 Small Watermelon, cubed
1/2 Cantaloupe, cubed
1 mango, chopped 
1 very small red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 avocado, chopped into bite size pieces

1 Serrano or Jalepeno Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp Agave Syrup
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all chopped fruits and herbs in a tupperware container. Stir dressing ingredients, pour over fruit mixture. Mix well and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 

Melons, peppers and red onion are an ideal compliment to the skirt steak

Another thing that we can't forget on the weekends is the COCKTAIL! I found a fantastic concoction idea in Southern Living  ( I know, of all places for libations, right??) This issue is also where I found inspiration for the fruit salad. This was in a section from the June issue... all about peaches. It delivers just the right kick, but packed with sweetness. Again, I altered their recipe a bit to suit us.


1 medium yellow peach
1 medium white peach
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups of Bacardi  White Rum
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 liter bottle club soda

Slice and loosely dice peaches (but don't peel) and place into blender with sugar and lemon juice. Blend well. Muddle mint leaves in a glass  pitcher. Pour in rum, then peach mixture. Top with club soda. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach wedge and mint sprig. Every last drop was gone. I suggest making these first to enjoy during the grilling process. 

The finished product, a healthy delicious dinner.... my husband can't
 wait to see what I will come up with to top it next Sunday!