Friday, May 14, 2010

Dinner on A Deadline: Week 2

Granted, my posts have gotten less frequent since the baby arrived, but I am still committed to Dinner on A Deadline.  Homework for this week was "planning."  Never my strong suit, being a right brained, creative type, but like Frank Sinatra, I did it "My Way."  

At the beginning of the week I had the conversation with hubby on scheduling - what nights will he be home and what nights he has meetings or other obligations.  He told me he would be home Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, and on Tuesday we would have our big city friend, Rufus, joining us and it's a tradition that they barbecue.  Easy enough.

Now, to scan the freezer.  We had chicken, and steak.  Perfect for barbecue.  I have a simple marinade that I use for chicken.  I know I could use a bottle of italian dressing, but have you read the ingredient list on most of the bottles?  I swear I can't pronounce most of it, so I have a basic marinade I use and "doctor" it up depending on what herbs I might have around.  Here are the ingredients for the basic marinade:

Olive oil - I don't use Extra Virgin here because it's just going to get cooked. Save the good stuff for your salad dressing!
Vinegar - here I used White Balsamic, but be creative - if you're grilling pork, an apple cider vinegar would be nice, or red wine vinegar is good for flank steak
Salt - here is used Mediterranean Sea Salt, but Kosher is great, too
Pepper - I like freshly ground

My proportions are as follows - there is no science to this
A "count" of olive oil for each piece you are grilling - i.e. 4 pieces of chicken, you pour as you're counting 1, 2, 3, 4  (I made this up, but it works)
I did about double the count of vinegar - it pours slower, but really did it until it equaled a little over 1/3 cup  (again, NOT science)
Salt - about 7 cranks on the grinder (if I were using Kosher I would have used 1t. for this amount)
Pepper - about 7-8 turns of the grinder
There's a reason recipes say "season to taste"  It's OK to "wing it!"

Add any herbs that might go with what you are grilling - in the summer I love basil with this, but also know that the marinade is good just as is, extremely cheap to make and takes almost less time than opening a bottle of salad dressing, and you know EXACTLY what's in it!

Next, I pour this over the chicken in a plastic bag and let it sit for at least 30 minutes like this:
You can even mix the marinade in the bag if you like!

Next for the steak - here's my trick.  I watch for beef tenderloin to be on sale at our local market - no kidding, I think I got this for $3.69/lb.  Then, have the butcher cut it into filets - thickness of your choice - I usually do about an inch, which makes for a perfect serving size.  Then I portion into quart size freezer bags and take out what I need.  I also label them so I know how many are in the bag and when I froze them....
Oops!  These have been here a while, but guess what, they were surprisingly fresh looking when thawed, so luckily no freezer burn.  All the more reason to plan your dinners!
A tender cut like this gets simple treatment - a little olive oil and salt & pepper.  That's it.
I tossed a mixed green salad with strawberries & goat cheese, used a basically the same mix for the marinade for the simple salad dressing and we were set!
Uncle Rufus was a happy camper!  And so was Mary-Claire!

My Wednesday dinner was shrimp from the freezer, linguine from the pantry and jarred pasta sauce.  Not fancy, not pretty, but I did it!  And we liked it!

Now awaiting my next assignment from Dinner On A Deadline!  

Have a great weekend!

The Real Housewife of Sheboygan County




3 comments:

  1. It looks like Mommyhood is suiting you just fine. I am so in need of a eating plan for our family. I should check into this challenge. She sure looks like a Sweetie Kristi, crochet hook and all.
    Dana
    PS I'm very happy with my Canon Xti but I also know many people like the Nikon. My camera makes taking good pictures very easy.

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  2. You are so cute! I can hear your voice when I read your post! My oldest is graduating from High School in two weeks and my youngest had to help with cheer clinic (she made JV...whew!) this weekend. I went to a yoga/wine tasting event! Anyway the two of them busy with their High School stuff reminds me of when we were in High School, doesn't seem that long ago! Take Care! Anne Alexander Gross

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  3. I love that you "shopped" from your freezer -- I think you're going to be a step ahead of the game when this week's assignment comes out :)

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Comments are always welcome!

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