I spent this past weekend with some friends at a beautiful property in Calistoga, drinking (too much) wine, playing Boys vs. Girls celebrity, and eating delicious homemade food. We split up the meals over the weekend, and I was in charge of dinner on Saturday night. With one vegetarian, two marathoners, a culinary school grad, and three slightly drunk men – all of whom are foodies – I had quite the meal to prepare. Fortunately, I was able to come up with something that pleased everyone!
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 TB dried oregano
- 1 TB Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 portobello mushrooms
Combine first 6 ingredients and whisk together until combined. Pour over mushrooms in a sealed container or ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2 hours. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side.
Grilled Dijon Peppercorn Flank Steak (serves 8)
- 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
- 3-4 lbs flank steak
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Coat the steaks with the marinade, then transfer to a sealed ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature one hour before grilling. Grill over high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Let sit for 15 minutes, then slice against the grain and transfer to a serving platter.
Rosemary Potatoes (serves 8)
- 6 medium yellow potatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 TB chopped rosemary
- 1 TB chopped thyme
- kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Toss potatoes with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Spread in a single, even layer on a baking sheet (you will need two sheets) and bake for 25 minutes, tossing half way through.
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad (serves 8)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 TB Dijon mustard
- 1 TB chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1/2 tsp
- 2 large bunches of kale, chopped
- 8 oz shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino
- 2 avocados, diced
Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, shallots, garlic, pepper and salt. Let sit for about an hour to let the flavors meld together. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a nonstick pan over a medium-low flame. Add almonds and sauté until toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and wrap in tin foil to keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the lemon-Dijon mixture and whisk until combined into a smooth dressing. In a large salad bowl, combine kale, Brussels sprouts, almonds, Pecorino and avocados. Toss with dressing and serve.
These dishes went great together, and the overall meal had a very clean, warm feel to it. After a toast with sparkling Rosé (naturally), we served a 2006 Napa Cab and a 2008 Super Tuscan blend. Both were big, powerful wines that paired well with the herbaceous flavors. And best of all, I made all my hungry friends very happy!