Holy smokes, it has been another b I z z e e week in every direction we turn. Work, school, home and community! We had friends from Platte City in last week and I had such a great time being with them. We ate out, ate in, rode go-carts, shopped, and enjoyed every moment. Then….school started! Two days after was the first home football game with the new turf and scoreboard in place. We won the season opener and it was indeed an exciting night for the Wolves.
Actually it has been so hectic that I have a ‘meal plan/agenda’ on the refrigerator for the next two weeks! At work we are just about to enter Southern Gospel which means LOTS of people and concerts. For the culinary school it’s box suppers on the back porch of the culinary house. We pride ourselves in presenting a phenomenal dinner placed inside a personalized dinner box. All enjoyed while overlooking Echo Hollow and listening to the Gospel artists.
A hearty summer salad with skirt steak will be a good option for the end of August. Those with children are most likely in the scurry mode as in our household. Remember to grill a little extra, make more meat loaves than usual, and plan family dinners in to avoid large restaurant tabs. Personally I would love a week where everything is made and in the freezer! This past week we had large baked potatoes one night. They were so large we had 2-3 extra. I’ve had a good time slicing them and frying them for breakfasts. I even chopped a few into cubes and implemented them into my homemade sausage, egg, cheese and potato burritos.
On the salad you can use your personal choice of Italian Dressing. If you’re not in the mood to make something fresh, in a hurry, accompany with your favorite label. The artichokes (in my opinion) make this salad, I would not omit. Switch out the black olives for green and use your favorite blend of greens. On the red onions soak them in ice water for about 30 minutes before accompanying the salad. Drain and pat dry, it takes some of the ‘bite’ away and the onion doesn’t steal the show. With herb gardens still going strong in the Midwest fresh basil and/or oregano would be a refreshing plus.
On the choice of meat, hm…..let’s have a little discussion. Skirt steak for me has always been a thin cut of meat that’s used for fajitas, etc. When I visit my parents in Northeast Missouri, skirt steak is this big ‘thick’ cut of steak. Just say in…, I can even see thin strips of brisket or Southern Missouri Tri-Tips on top of this salad.
Without the meat this can be an Italian salad served as a side, versus a main entrée.
If you can use freshly shredded mozzarella versus shredded in the bag the salad will hold more appeal. The fresh cheese will be nice and moist, truly adding to the presentation. Keep in mind that all pre-bagged cheese contains cellulose powder to avoid sticking, etc. This is definitely needed, but not always desired in a presentation.
Earlier I mentioned the Box Suppers coming up at the culinary school. As I plan these every year I pay close attention to detail, (thanks mom & dad). It’s not how elaborate you prepare a meal, or how much money you spend in the process. It’s more about the gift of hospitality. It’s the simple touches like flavored creamers for the coffee, real dinner napkins or a short welcome note by the guest bed that make friends & family feel special. Sometimes in life we even have to do these things for ourselves. It’s like a validation that we are worthy. With this lecturette concluded I need to more forward to setting the recipe and heading off to slumber land.
I hope you have an outstanding week friends. Enjoy the flavorful salad.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Italian Beef Salad
Red Onion rings
Tomatoes of choice
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Skirt Steak, barbecued and cut into thin strips
Italian lettuce blend
Options: Change cheese to Roquefort, Asiago, Feta or Bleu Cheese
Add fresh basil or arugula to taste
Grill the steak and allow to cool slightly before slicing into thin strips for the top of the salad. Prepare the greens and then layer the rest of the ingredients in an eye pleasing fashion; add the mozzarella just before the skirt steak is placed on top.
This salad is a wonderful one-dish meal for a warm summer night. Certainly different cuts of beef can be used.
Creamy Italian Dressing
3/4 cup Hellman’s cholesterol free dressing
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced sweet basil, dry
Mix all ingredients with a whisk and chill before serving. Yields about one cup.