What's Cooking This Week? Chilled Lobster Salad...Oh, and Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Too

chocolatechippancakes.jpg
Photo by cherrylet
I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredient's I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week -- my weekly meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.

Last week, homemade guacamole was dolloped onto Turkey Tacos and stuffed into a Bacon Panini. This week, I'll get the most out of Marinated Flank Steak and make an Onion Jam that will be served in a Steak Sandwich and on top of a Portobello Burger.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Chilled Lobster Salad w/ Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette
  • Quick Marinated Flank Steak w/ Warm Green Bean Salad
  • Steak Sandwich w/ Onion Jam
  • Chocolate Chip Pancakes w/ Brown Sugar Bacon
  • Grilled Portobello Burgers w/ Cherry Tomato Salad

    Pantry Items
    Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
    Balsamic vinegar
    Red wine vinegar
    Cooking spray
    Flour
    Milk
    Eggs
    Baking powder
    Butter
    Semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Dijon mustard
    Maple syrup
    Brown sugar
    Worcestershire sauce
    Horseradish sauce (or make your own)
    Crushed red pepper
    Grill seasoning (like Montreal)
    Kosher salt
    Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
    2 cooked lobster tails
    1 lb flank steak
    1 package bacon
    2 portobello mushroom caps
    3 red onions
    1 head garlic
    1 package cherry tomatoes
    1 lemon
    8 oz green beans, trimmed
    1 head bibb lettuce
    1 bunch fresh thyme
    1 crusty loaf bread
    2 whole grain buns

    Day 1 -- Chilled Lobster Salad w/ Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette
    *Makes leftover Green Beans for side with Flank Steak

    Heat a large pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil, add green beans and steam until tender but firm, about 3-4 minutes. Set in ice bucket to chill.
    *Set half aside for use in day 2.

    Meanwhile, cook 2-3 slices of chopped bacon. Remove from oil and set aside.

    Remove chilled lobster from shell and cut into large chunks. Sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

    Wash, dry and chop lettuce leaves.

    Whisk together 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

    Toss together lettuce, chopped green beans, thinly sliced red onions, halved cherry tomatoes, lobster, crumbled bacon and Dijon vinaigrette.
    *Reserve a few leaves of lettuce for use in day 5.

    Divide and serve with crushed black pepper.

    Day 2 -- Quick Marinated Flank Steak w/ Warm Green Bean Salad
    *Uses leftover Green Beans and makes leftover Flank Steak for Steak Sandwiches

    In a shallow dish or freezer bag, mix together 2 cloves minced garlic, ½ tbsp grill seasoning, 1 tsp brown sugar, ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Add steak and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper and let marinate for 15 minutes.

    Heat grill pan to high heat. Add steak and cook to desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on size of steak).

    Transfer steak to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
    *Reserve half of steak for use in day 4.

    Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add in 2 tbsp chopped red onion, leftover green beans and 1 clove minced garlic. Season with salt and crushed red pepper.

    Whisk together 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss in green beans to coat.

    Slice steak and serve with green beans and slices of crusty bread to sop up juices (reserving enough bread for 2 sandwiches in day 3).

    Day 3 -- Steak Sandwich w/ Onion Jam
    *Uses leftover Flank Steak and makes leftover Onion Jam for Portobello Burgers

    Remove steak from fridge to remove chill.

    Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with ¼ cup olive oil. Add 2 thinly sliced red onions and ½ tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, until onions have softened, about 10-15 minutes (stirring a few times to keep from sticking). Add ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until onions become jam-like, about 15 minutes.
    *Reserve half for use in day 5.

    Warm sandwich bread and spread tops with horseradish sauce. Spoon onion jam onto bottom half and layer on steak.

    Fold to close, slice and serve.

    Day 4 -- Chocolate Chip Pancakes w/ Brown Sugar Bacon recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a cooling rack inside.

    Arrange bacon slices onto rack and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter and whisk together with 1 egg, and ½ cup milk.

    In a separate bowl, combine ½ + 2 tbsp cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt and ½ tbsp sugar.

    Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in 2-3 oz chocolate chips.

    Heat griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.

    Ladle 3 tbsp of batter for each pancake, and cook until golden brown, flipping when bubbly.

    Serve pancakes with a side of crispy bacon and warm maple syrup.

    Day 5 -- Grilled Portobello Burgers w/ Cherry Tomato Salad
    *Uses leftover Onion Jam

    Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.

    Whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

    Brush mushroom caps with marinade and grill, turning as needed, until browned and tender, about 3-4 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper.

    Meanwhile, lightly toast buns.

    Spread bottoms with warmed onion jam and tops with horseradish sauce. Add Portobello mushroom and lettuce.

    Slice and serve with halved cherry tomatoes tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

    Enjoy!


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