Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summertime Eating

Hi. My name is Aimee Folse from and I currently live in Orange City, Iowa with my boyfriend and my one year old St. Bernard.

I work in the restaurant business currently, but was blessed to meet Mary and develop a friendship with her when I was looking after her wonderful children, Isabel and Truman. I have a lot of hobbies and they seem to be growing since I have moved to Orange City (there is a lot of free time here), but cooking is one of my favorite.

Mary and I share the love of food and cooking as well as the love for many other creative outlets. She has been an inspiration to me and others with her dedication to her children and her crafts, whatever they may be this week (she has so many).

So when Mary approached me about doing a recipe for her blog, I could not resist, because she is the one who influenced me to do my very own blog, Far From New Orleans, but Still Havin' Fun Dahlin' , so I was honored to contribute to hers and also the perfect recipe came to mind.

When Mary's son Truman turned one year old we gathered at her house for a grill out and this corn salad was the recipe that I brought. It is pretty fitting that I chose this recipe for that reason and of course the Iowa corn relation, but also because almost all of the vegetables or herbs used in these recipes I have growing in my garden. This not only makes this recipe easy, but very inexpensive.

My dinner recipe also involves three separate recipes that can be used to make this one dish, or on their own to make other dishes for the week. I like that a lot- one night of work for three nights of meals, now you can get your evening relaxation in.

This is a great dinner to do with friends or family over the summer. I hope you enjoy as much as we do.

Grilled Flank Steak with a Cilantro Pesto and a Grilled Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

One flank or Skirt Steak
Gallon Ziploc Bag
1/2cup Soy Sauce or Tamari
4tbs Orange Juice
4tbs Worcestershire Sauce
Two Cloves Garlic - Minced

Cilantro Pesto:
6 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
handful of Almonds (or Walnuts)
Olive Oil
2 lemons

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
4 ears of corn (husks removed)
2 tbs of unsalted butter
4 tbs of olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp of fresh thyme
1 bunch of green onions
2-3 cups of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
8 oz of feta cheese- cubed into 1/2" cubes
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs (or as needed for sweetness) of agave nectar or honey
bunch of fresh basil chopped
2 tbs of fresh parsley chopped

First put the Flank Steak into the gallon ziploc bag with all of the rest of the ingredients. Let this marinate for at least one hour, but can rest in there up to eight hours.
Meanwhile, you can make the pesto ahead of time or make it fresh that day. Combine all of the ingredients from the garlic through the almonds in a blender and blend. Remove the top and begin to pour in olive oil until the mixture creates a paste, continuing to pulse or blend. Once the mixture has the right texture, taste it, and add salt and pepper to your liking. The pesto is then done. There will be more than enough to use for this meal, so I usually recommend using the leftovers for pasta or for a sandwich spread. If you don't want to use the rest of the pesto right away freezing it is a great option. It can stay tasting fresh in your freezer for a few months.
Get a large bowl and place the chopped up green onions, halved cherry tomatoes, and cubed feta cheese in it. Meanwhile, once the flank steak has marinated to your liking heat up the grill. Once the grill is hot lay your corn on it, brushing it with butter, salt, and pepper, as it cooks. Allow each side to get some brown coloring on it. This should not take too long. In a separate bowl from the rest of the salad ingredients, hold the corn by the tip and cut the browned kernels off of it, allowing them to fall into the bowl. While the corn is hot, mix with it the chopped garlic and the thyme. Let this mixture cool for a bit. While the corn mixture is cooling place your flank steak on the grill. Grill the steak to your desired temperature of doneness and then let it rest for at least ten minutes. After the meat has rested, slice it into quarter inch slices.
Once that is finished and the corn mixture has cooled, you can add it to the other bowl with the tomato salad mixture. Pour in the lime juice, lemon juice, and agave nectar over the corn and tomato salad. Fold all of the salad ingredients together gently, trying not to break up the feta cheese. Lastly add the basil and parsley and gently fold in right before serving.

(with the left over steak and salad- I get some tortillas and guacamole and make fancy burritos for the next nights dinner)

To serve: Place a few slices of the flank steak on a plate with a dollop of the pesto on top and finish it with a side of the corn and tomato salad. I would suggest a nice fruity sangria or a pinot noir with this if you are having a dinner party, but if it is just a weekly meal even making a refreshing homemade lime-aid would make this supper seem really special.

If you want a dessert to finish this out- place some peaches on the grill. Truly a peach has never tasted so sweet until you have had it grilled, top it with some ice cream or crumbled cookies and you are set.

Thanks I hope you enjoyed this recipe from me and my family...

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