Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eat Your Veggies, but Makes Sure There is Brandt Beef Beside it!

On my pilgrimage to Specialty Produce today, I picked up some beautiful Japanese eggplant, yellow peppers and mushrooms for a saute to go along with the Brandt Beef flat iron steaks that I had ordered.  You may have had Brandt beef at a local restaurant; they raise cattle in Brawley, California, in a sustainable way.  The beef is amazing, and we featured it last week at my Farmer's Market Bag class at Great News, and the students' loved it.  You can order the beef with the Farmer's Market Bag from Specialty, and by adding it to the veggies in the bag, you are almost home with your meals for the week.  (You can also add a plethora of other things, including Catalina off-shore fish, Venissimo cheese, and wild rice---check out the Website!)
So, when I got home, after devouring a Sumo Navel orange, I set about making a saute for the vegetables that will go along with the beef. This is a dish that really needs no recipe, you just keep adding until it tastes right, but for those of you who need some coaching, try this out.  Try adding zucchini for the eggplant, and other color peppers. 

Eggplant, Pepper, Onion Saute
Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One large sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced
3 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium yellow or red peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms (your choice--cremini, white, chanterelle, morel)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (the herbs can vary, if you like rosemary, it's terrific in this, so are basil, or oregano)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tomato puree, or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat, and saute the onion, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms and thyme, until the onions begin to color, and turn translucent, about 10 minutes. 

  1. Season with salt and pepper, and add the vinegar, allow the vinegar to evaporate and add the tomatoes and parsley, simmering for another 5 minutes. 
  2. Taste for seasoning and serve as a side dish or garnish for grilled seafood, steak, lamb or chicken.  Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
  3. This is delicious leftover and folded into an omelet with Brie cheese. 

For the beef, I made a marinade with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, thyme, garlic and bay leaf.   

Pour the marinade into a zipper top plastic bag, and add the beef.  Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  
Preheat the gas grill for 10 minutes, and grill for 5 minutes on each side, until rare to medium rare.  Don't overcook this meat, it will be like jerky.

Now you're talking!

Dr. C. was very happy to have this plate tonight.....I sprinkled a bit of Parmigiano over the eggplant saute to give it a bit of personality.  

Day two of week two of the Money Pit ended with tile in the water closet, and all of the master bath area.  Tomorrow tile and glass tiles will go in the shower, and paint in the kids' bathroom.  I'll be back tomorrow with some progress notes, and probably a recipe or two.  Have a great Wednesday!

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