Monday, June 27, 2011

Protein Packed

 Red Wine Steak and Roasted Tomato Cannellini Beans
I've been on a pantry-cleaning kick lately, trying to purge the cupboards of the remaining this and that in the hopes of some day having well-organized shelves. I've had a bag of dried cannellini beans left over from a winter chili recipe and a flank steak sitting vacuum-packed in the freezer for who-knows how long, and it was definitely their time to shine. I made this entire protein-packed Italian dinner with pantry items and little leftover bits in the fridge. The beans were definitely a hit and could easily be a great side dish for a number of meals. While the meal may seem a bit time consuming, the steps are very easy and can be done while doing other things (ie. roasting the tomatoes or marinating the meat). In terms of timing the meal out, soak the beans and prepare the tomatoes ahead of time. The steak can be marinated overnight so it's ready to broil while preparing the beans. It's worth the effort!

- 2 c. dried cannellini beans (Italian white beans)
- 6 Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" pieces
- 2 c. chicken broth
- dried oregano and basil
- olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 Italian parsley, minced
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- 1/2 c. red wine (such as a Chianti)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- juice from 1 lemon
-  1 2 lb. flank steak, scored diagonally on both sides in a diamond pattern
- salt and pepper

Put beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak over night. Drain before preparing.

To roast the tomatoes, preheat oven to 425˚F and cover a large baking sheet with foil and then spritz lightly with cooking spray to prevent the tomatoes from sticking. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on foil. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper and about 1 Tbsp. each of dried basil and oregano. Drizzle tomatoes with about 3 Tbsp. or so of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place in oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes until tomatoes are softened and begin to brown around the edges. Don't dry out too much. Allow tomatoes to cool slightly, then remove from baking sheet and place them and any juices left over on the sheet in a bowl, set aside until ready to use.

Place soaked beans in a medium sauce pan and add chicken broth and about a tsp. of salt and fresh ground pepper. Add roasted tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Remove beans from heat and stir in chopped Italian parsley. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve!

To make the marinade whisk together red wine, minced garlic, lemon juice, about 1 Tbsp. each of dried oregano and basil, and about 1/4 c. olive oil. Set aside. Score steak diagonally on both sides into a diamond pattern- this keeps the steak from curling up while broiling. Sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper  and lay out flat in an oven proof baking dish. Pour marinade evenly over steak. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight. Before broiling remove steak from refrigerator and bring to room temperature for about and hour. 

Place steak under hot broiler for 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from oven and place on a plate. Pour juices from pan onto steak, tent with foil, and allow meat to rest for ten minutes before slicing. Slice into pieces across the grain and serve with beans and a nice glass of wine to wash it down. Heck yeah!

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