Sunday, August 24, 2008

Best Dinner Yet

Carl decided he wanted to have his parents over for dinner. I obliged and said we should make a rockin dinner. That we did. I don't think I've ever had a dinner with so much flavor. The IL's kept saying they felt like they were eating at a restaurant :) The menu consisted of Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese & Herb Butter, Mediterranean Orzo Salad and Roasted Potato Bites. First up...the beef.

Blue Cheese & Herb Butter
1/4 c butter, softened
2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
2 tsp chopped green onion with top
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 beef ribeye steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

For Blue Cheese and Herb Butter, place butter and blue cheese in a small bowl. Add green onion, lemon juice and black pepper and mix until well blended.

Prepare grill for cooking at medium temperature. For steaks, press garlic cloves and spread over both sides of the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place steaks on grid of grill. Grill uncovered, 6-8 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally. Top steaks with Blue Cheese & Herb Butter.

Notes: I was more in the mood for a we did that instead. Because of that, the cooking time was more like 12 minutes due to the thickness of the steaks. Other than that...we left it all the same. OMG- so good! (Lindsay, my fellow blue cheese lover,...if you are reading this- make it now!

Next up: Roasted Potato Bites
12 small red potatoes, unpeeled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese spread
3 tbsp sour cream

Optional toppings such as grated cheddar cheese, bacon bits and snipped fresh chives.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut potatoes in half crosswise. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each potato half. Carefully scoop out a small amount of pulp from each potato half. In medium mixing bowl combine oil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Add potato halves and toss to coat.

Place potato halves, hollowed side down, on a bar pan or cookie sheet. Bake 30-32 minutes or until deep golden brown and tender. Remove from oven, cool slightly.

In small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese spread and sour cream; whisk until smooth. Spoon a dab onto each potato and top with optional toppings.

Notes: I just used 8 potatoes because there were only 4 of us, but I still just made the normal amount of everything. That worked out well as the sour cream and cream cheese mixture was so good I wanted to use WAY more than it called for on each potato. These were seriously so good. I could have made a meal out of them alone.

And Last: Mediterranean Orzo Salad

(Monica...this one is for you :) )
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and in 1 inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper optional
3/4 c uncooked orzo pasta
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c pitted whole kalamata olives
1/2 c snipped fresh parsley
1/4 c prepared Greek vinaigrette dressing

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine asparagus, bell pepper, onion and oil in a medium mixing bowl. Press garlic into mixing bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Arrange vegetables on a bar pan (or cookie sheet). Bake 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and deep golden brown. Remove from oven; cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions, drain and rinse under cold running water. Place orzo in large mixing bowl, add vegetable mixture, beans, feta cheese, olives, parsley and salad dressing. Toss gently and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

My Notes: Soooo much flavor. And since I had to send Carl on a mad search for orzo, I did things a little out of order- but it worked fine. It made enough for about 12 people- this could be a great dish to take to a gathering. The salad definitely got better the longer it sat in the fridge and I'm pretty anxious to see how good it is after sitting overnight. Yum.

I was honestly pretty proud of this meal- it took a good hour and half or so, but it was worth the time and energy!! Oh and sorry...the pic isn't really the greatest. I was too excited to eat it!


monica said...

Yum! You're totally right, its definitely for me! I will be trying this one!

(Note the excitement.. exclamation marks at the end of each sentence. Usually I try to scale it back.)

Shelly said...

look at you fancy pants!

Mrs.C said...

I came across your blog at the bump a while back and tried out the roasted potato bites today and just wanted to say that they were delicious! What great recipes you have :)

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