Monday, April 26, 2010

For 2: Steak, Potatoes, Veggies: Simple and Delicious!

From time to time I am hit with a red meat craving, and nothing satisfies it like a steak cooked medium rare right off the grill. Yesterday afternoon a friend of mine was telling me how she had pulled a steak out of the freezer the night before and was going to have it for dinner. In an instant the craving was there, after a great weekend attending a beautiful wedding and partaking in multiple wine and champagne toasts then playing tennis while slightly hung over I knew I also had to have steak for dinner. There was no food in my house since I had been out of town over the weekend so when I walked into the grocery I was looking for inspiration and since I was so hungry I was hoping to find some short cuts…lucky for me it all worked out…

In the produce section I found a package of two premade veggies skewers with squash, zucchini, onion, red yellow and green bell peppers, and mushrooms. The size was perfect because the boyfriend was coming for dinner too. The package was also extremely convenient, not because chopping some fresh veggies and putting them on a skewer would have been really hard, but because I couldn’t have created them with as much variety without having a ton of extra veggies. Also, the less prep work the better, I was hungry…after the gold mind find of the veggie skewers I grabbed two baking potatoes and two tenderloin steaks and headed home. Side note – the steaks were marked down to $11 from $19; Sunday evenings are great times to find deals at the grocery as they like to clear out the older stuff to make room for the fresh deliveries the next day.

The secret to a baked potato is salt. I like to pull a square of aluminum foil out, set the cleaned potato on it and season the outside of the potato with a little olive oil and a good amount of salt; I rub the grainy mixture all over the potato and then wrap it in the aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour or until the potato is soft to the touch, cut a slit down the middle and fill with your favorite toppings: butter, sour cream, chives, cheese….The olive oil and salt give the potato skin a slight crunchy texture that is delicious and surprisingly nutritious.

I seasoned both the veggies skewers and steaks with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides. I grilled the skewers for about 20 minutes and the steak for 4 minutes on each side, on a cast iron grill pan that had preheated over medium-high. The vegetables were cut into large chunks and the steaks were pretty thick, hence the semi long cooking times. At the end of a weekend of fun with friends and a toasty afternoon on the tennis court the mix of carbs, veggies, and red meat hit the spot.

I realize this post doesn’t really have a set recipe, but I wanted to share how a simple meal even when prepared with short cuts can be just as delicious as something you work on for hours, and I hope you remember and use the baked potato procedure and Sunday evening shopping tips.


  1. Where did you get the cast iron grill at? I am assuming it is one that you put over the range.

    I normally sear my steaks in a skillet over very high heat for 1 minute on each side and then immediately put them under the broiler for a minute or two on each side depending on how think the steaks are.

    Do you have to have a gas range to use the cast iron skillet? My range is smooth top and electric so I am thinking I cannot use skillet/griddle.

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  3. Pratik - I found my cast iron grill pan at Target. It is reversible grill on one side and griddle on the other. The one I have is most similiar to the "Lodge reversible grid/iron grill" which is about 4 rows down on the following link
    Since you have the smooth top, I am not sure this would work on your stove, but I would recommend the Kitchen Essentials from Calphalon grill pan (second row) as it will work on all cooking surfaces. Cast iron is always going to get hotter than any other skillet and retain a more even heat. Additionally a grill pan is nice because it leaves the cool "grill marks"