Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fresh Fast

I have a really tight schedule now, and I have to scramble to get all of the things done that I need to.  I work six days a week as a manager of a cafe & bakery.  I have two teenagers, one of which isn't old enough to drive yet and stays late at school every other day for cross country. Obviously I cook a lot and blog too, so I really have to be organized.  I have really been focused on quick weeknight meals so I can have a little bit of downtime.

We love steaks around here, and my husband is a huge fan of fresh tomatoes.  I saw a recipe somewhere that someone made a quick sauce out of cherry tomatoes, and the lightbulb came on.  How about Strip Steaks with a Burst Tomato Sauce!  My absolute best kitchen tool is my cast iron skillet. Sure, I have several pieces, but this big one in the picture is the one we use the most.  It spreads the heat well, is virtually a nonstick surface, and works great for steaks.  They really aren't that huge of an investment, so if you can buy one, you should.

These steaks turned out so great.  It was quick and easy. I used grape tomatoes and fresh lemon juice and parsley.  It was fantastic!  Quick, easy, and darn tasty!

1 lb strip steaks
2 T butter
Olive oil
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 C water
Red chili flakes, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chopped Italian parsley
1 lemon

NOTES:  You can really use any steaks you like here.  I used strip steaks because they cook quickly and are very tender. The sugar added to the tomatoes is to help caramelize the tomatoes and sweeten them slightly and it helps balance the acidity of the lemon.  If your tomatoes are already sweet, you can omit the sugar. 

Melt the butter on medium high heat in a large skillet (cast iron is preferable) and drizzle in some olive oil.  Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper.  Sear the steaks until well browned on one side, about 3-4 minutes.  Flip the steaks and sear the other side until they reach your desired doneness, 3-5 minutes.  Remove the steaks to a plate and cover them with foil to keep them warm.  

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and add in the water, sugar and chili flakes, to taste.  Cook and stir the tomatoes, crushing them slightly, until they are soft and they create a sauce in the pan, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic to the skillet and cook and stir for about 1 minute.  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Zest the lemon into the tomato sauce and then squeeze the juice from the lemon into the pan.  Stir in the parsley.  Slice the steaks and serve the sauce over the steaks.

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

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