When we got back from our Thanksgiving in Minnesota and North Dakota, I was more than ready to pull out the Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, I don't have much decor other than what goes on the tree. We're planning on getting a real tree this year, (yipee!) but won't be getting it until this weekend at the earliest. So I did what I could and put a few things up. I cranked the Christmas music and set a few things simmering over the stove so my house was filled with the smells of Christmas, even if there wasn't snow on the ground and no lights were lit. Hopefully I'll be sharing that simple recipe with you soon.
I'm trying my best to be uber-organized this year. My goal this week is to figure out what I'll be doing for gifts. We already nailed down our Christmas budget, so we're already ahead. I'm trying to do more homemade gifts this year. Since I come from a big family, it can be hard to buy gifts for everyone, but doing homemade makes it way more affordable. Plus, rather than buying a gift for everyone, we exchange names and the rules are homemade or used. There have been some REALLY interesting gifts in the past; used nut cup, a gift that disintegrated when opened, sweat-stained hockey helmet. Some of the boys don't play and buy things brand-new, but most comply and the name gifts are the best to watch being opened Christmas morning.
I normally add salt and pepper to my salad dressings, but between the olives, steak, and blue cheese, you'll have plenty of seasoning.
Grilled Steak Salad with Green Beans and Blue Cheese
Based on a Bon Appetit recipe
2 1-pound steaks, about 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil (coconut oil is preferred since it's more stable at high temps)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces Haricots verts (or the thinnest green beans you can find), trimmed and halved
6 cups mixed baby greens
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives in olive oil, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Bring the steaks to room temperature, drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the surface with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Fill a large bowl about halfway with water and a few ice cubes.
Using a steaming basket in a medium pot over high heat, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the Haricots verts, cover, and steam for about 5 minutes. Transfer the beans to the ice water until cool. Drain and allow to dry.
In a large bowl, combine the beans, greens, tomatoes, and olives.
Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil.
Turn your oven on to broil and set a cast iron skillet in it to heat up. After about 3 minutes, turn a burner to high, place the heated skillet on it (use a very well insulated mitt when moving the skillet!) and place the steaks in the skillet. Cook each side for 30 seconds (there may be a lot of smoke created during this part, so be sure to have windows open), flipping with tongs.
After 1 minute on the burner, turn the burner off, move the skillet into the oven and cook each side for 2 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer steak to a cutting board. Cover with a heat-proof bowl and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut steaks thinly against the grain.
Distribute the vegetables between 6 plates, cover with steak slices, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with blue cheese.
I'm linking up this recipe at Real Food Wednesday and Something Swanky.
A while ago I contributed this recipe to my super-talented sister's magazine which just came out. She's got a shop and blog primarily based on home decor and country living. If that's your thing, the magazine can be seen below. There is also a printed copy available for purchase as well as the full digital version. Hopefully if you're not already, this will get you in the Christmas spirit!