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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

At my MIL's house, steak and asparagus

My in-law's are big on steak, and I love them for it. 1 rib-eye at their house can easily feed me, my husband and one of our kids. They also do an incredibly simple seasoning and marinade routine that I think everyone should know about.

Season steaks all over with Montreal Steak Seasoning Blend, then marinate the steaks in half Worcestershire sauce and half soy sauce. Turn the steaks half way through whatever marinating time you have as little as an hour even, though these are really great the longer you marinate them. I think I accidentally marinated them for 2 days once and they were delectable!

So the steaks were seared in a hot pan and cooked on the stove-top and were great, as usual. The real star of the show was this new asparagus recipe my MIL wanted me to try and make. She got it from Pier 1 and it called for some ingredients that come from the Pier 1 store. Well, we didn't have any of the ingredients, so here is the recipe with notes on what I subbed in for the missing stuff.

Grilled Asparagus

1 bag of Pier 1 Apple Cider (yield 2 cups) -- I used 2 C apple juice
1/3 C Pier 1 Apricots in White Vinegar (use a few pieces of apricot) -- I used my MIL's homemade pickled peaches
1/4 C fresh squeezed orange juice -- I used 2 rounded tablespoons of OJ concentrate
1 TB fresh thyme chopped -- I used 1 tsp of dried ground thyme
3 TB sugar
1 TB salt
1 tsp pepper
32 stalks of asparagus (are you KIDDING me? I used 2 packages that totaled about 2 pounds. Who has time to COUNT asparagus??)
Oil to coat
Garnish with organic baby greens, feta (we used bleu cheese) and orange segments (didn't have any, skipped it.)

Make apple cider with 2 C of water, let steep for 10 minutes. (I put the juice right in the blender.) In blender combine cider, vinegar with apricots (vinegar with peaches), OJ, thyme, salt, sugar, and pepper. Puree and reserve. Grill asparagus for desired amount of tenderness (4-5 minutes). (I cooked my asparagus on the stove top in olive oil and butter with a dash of coarse grained salt.) Place on serving tray and pour vinaigrette over them, garnish with greens cheese and orange.

These were possibly my favorite asparagus of all time and I LOVE asparagus. They are so tasty and awesome it is worth having funny smelling pee later. The lovely little mesclun salad on top with the creamy, dreamy bleu cheese was a wonderful combination of tastes, textures and temperatures. I literally could not get enough of the stuff. I did not pour the dressing over all as I like to let people add their dressing to taste, so I think you could safely halve this recipe and have plenty to put a few tablespoons over each portion. As it is we had lots of leftovers, but we are going to put it in the fridge for a salad tomorrow. What a treat! A great new side-dish for dinner and freshly made salad dressing for the next day! SCORE!

****If I were doing a vegetarian meal with this, I'd pair the asparagus salad with a nice warm rice pilaf and some crusty bread and call it a day!! ****


  1. Looks awesome. I don't like feta, and bleu cheese might be out now that I'm trying to cut calories, but it sounds tasty with the oranges, or maybe more apricots. I'm now into looking for ways to make things more Weight Watchers friendly, but I need something on my veggies or I will pass them by. I'm terrible! And you are so funny...COUNTING asparagus! I'm loving your blog.

  2. You know it was just a tiny bit of bleu cheese crumbles, and some vegetables are better absorbed when they are prepared with a small, sensible amount of fat. But I hear your concerns!! The citrus vinaigrette could be made with HALF the amount of sugar the recipe called for and not lose much in the translation in my opinion. Not that it was too sweet tonight (really not) but that it seems to me unless you are baking (where sugar does complex processes, such as browning or taking up moisture) or you are a "super-taster" that your taste buds will not notice the difference.