Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Teriyaki Marinated Beef Steak

By Paul Briand

Sometimes it's nice to let someone else figure out a dinner menu for you, especially when a hurry-up day doesn't give you much time to think about or even prepare a dinner for four.

Lots of grocers have seen the need to help harried consumers and have come up with prepared or semi-prepared meals. I recently tried one from Hannaford, a large grocery store chain in this part of the country. Hannaford describes these meals as "a cooking show to go: everything you need -- fresh, pre-cut and measured for a fantastic meal you make at home."

Meals are offered to cook four or two, the the store provides handouts listing a two-week menu, so that you can decide on Thursday, for example, you might want the chicken thighs with leeks, olives and orzo, or you might want to wait until Saturday for the Caribbean tilapia with toasted cabo coconut with jicama slaw.

I decided to try the teriyaki marinated beef steak with citrus sesame summer slaw. Indeed everything is self-contained. Ingredients are measured and cut, then bagged or put in a container. Then it's all packaged in a convenient, easy-to-carry cardboard box. Cooking instructions are contained within the label that's taped to the box. Here's a look at what was inside (which you could duplicate on your own):

1 1/2 pound beef loin grilling steak, marinating in a 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce
12 ounces sliced Chinese cabbage
2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 small sliced red onion
4 teaspoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons dried ginger
2 teaspoons granted orange peel
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon lime juice
3 ounces wonton crisps

1) On a preheated grill cook the steak 5 - 8 minutes or until medium rare, transfer to cutting board and let sit 10 minutes. (If cooking under an oven broiler, cook 7 minutes per side or until desired level of doneness.);
2) Place vegetables -- cabbage, carrots and onion -- into a large bowl;
3) Combine ginger, orange peel and sesame oil and mix thoroughly then combine with orange juice and lime juice in a small bowl and mix all together;
4) Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to thoroughly coat the slaw;
5) Thinly slice the steak against the grain;
6) Divide slaw among plates, top with sliced beef and wonton crisps.

The directions go so far as to suggest a complementary wine: a Pinot Noir.

This meal was ready in 20 minutes and was a real time saver given the extent of vegetable and dressing ingredients' preparation that would have been necessary had you done this on your own.

All in all it was very tasty, though I thought it was a little heavy on the red onion. I would have used maybe a half a red onion rather than a whole one.

For more information go to: http://www.hannaford.com/cookingshowtogo.

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