Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dinner from the Fridge...

Time for an improv dinner/post it seems. Per usual we ended up with various tidbits in the fridge and they all need to get used up. I use to be not so good (read that:bad) at utilizing all my groceries and we would end up tossing rotten food. That is a bad Zube! So now I make sure to run the fridge dry before the end of the week. Then we start fresh!

Through my work I ended up chatting with a fella from Pineland Farms in New Gloucester and more specifically from their meat department a.k.a. Wolfe's Neck Beef. It turns out that Wolfe's Neck is a humane, mostly grass-fed, beef source that Hannaford packages as their "Nature's Place" brand. I read something recently about Wolfe's Neck that did raise some question marks as to how earth-huggingily friendly they are or aren't, but I don't remember the details. Either way the fella provided great info as to how they are certified and and accredited for being antibiotic and hormone free! So the Zube household may find itself getting the occasional Nature's Place beef at Hannaford. We mainly try to give our business to Windy Hill Farms as they are VERY local and good folk!

To get back on topic, we had some Wolfe's Neck bistro steaks on hand. The bistro comes from the shoulder (I am pretty sure) and looks vaguely like a little filet mignon, but has much more flavor albeit not as tender. That is how it goes with beef by the way; the more tender, the less flavor, and vice-versa. I love flank steak for its deep, rich, beefy flavor, but a lot of people don't care for it due to chewiness.

After a quick forage through the supplies we came up with asparagus, red peppers, yellow onions, zucchini, and spaghetti squash. I also keep some pesto frozen for moments just like this! The squash needs to be roasted and will take about 30 minutes in a 300F oven, but what to do with the rest? Hmmm. It is almost 50 degrees outside, so let's grill 'em up! So the official name went from "semi-random stuff in fridge" to "Pesto Spaghetti Squash with char-grilled vegetables and Wolfe's Neck Beef bisto steak". The first name makes you wonder if you should eat it and the second name will get you $25 bucks a plate in a restaurant...

To roast the squash simply cut it in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Give the cut edge a little rub-down with oil, salt/pepper it, and place it cut side down on a sheet pan. If you wanted to be a little fancier you could put some herbs, garlic, or lemon underneath the squash in the hollowed out part. For this dish I am going to skip that since the pesto is going to be a pretty strong flavor and would overpower anything else. To test for doneness I simply poke the outside and see if it has gotten somewhat soft. When it has I take it out, let it cool a bit, and then use a fork to scrape the "spaghetti" out. Mix it with pesto and ka-blam!

Do I want the bistros to be plain or should I add some flavor? I want more flavor so I consult my pantry of usual supplies. Rosemary, oil, salt, garlic. I don't know about you, but to me that screams yummy delicious flavor. I roughly chop up the rosemary and garlic, combine with a couple tablespoons of oil and some salt, and put in a baggie with the bistros for a couple of hours.

The veggies get cut into slices or strips depending on which one, salted, and then simply grilled. I chop them up a bit after the grilling to make them more manageable, but you could keep 'em whole for a different presentation. You can't see the onions in the photo, but I assure you they are there.

The steak grills with the veg so we are ready to chow down and smack our lips! Total busy time for this is what? 20 minutes maybe? Easy, tasty, and pretty darn healthy to boot. See you soon!


  1. Love the spaghetti squash with pesto idea. I definitely want to make that when Ali and I get together next. She and I appreciate any gluten free ideas.
    What do you use for pesto? Do you make your own?

  2. I have made my own on occasion, but that is usually when I am making a non-basil pesto. I love arugula pesto. We use Armanino pesto and it is nut free. Good for those with allergies and easy enough to fix by sprinkling the nut of your choice around. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I promise to be more prompt in the future! :)

  3. I never tried arugula pesto. That sounds great!