dirty clean week night dinners are essential. Being able to throw something together quickly, while starving after having completed a long day at work is both an art and a skill…but can be learned and improved upon. It’s not every night that you’ve got dinner planned out, and when you don’t, take out and/or boneless, skinless chicken breasts don’t have to be the only fall-backs. The key is to pick to cook something that either takes very little prep and cook time, or at least very little active cook time. Also key is to cook something that yields a lot, or that you can scale up easily without sinking much extra time into it. This way you have lunch for the next day, or leftovers for the following night.
When I left work downtown this evening I had no plan for dinner (not unusual). But more troubling was that I had nothing to cook in my fridge. In the fifteen or so minutes it took me to get to Trader Joe’s, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to pull off – a big hunk of meat and some roasted vegetables.
When I walked through the produce section there were some plump, red, on-the-vine tomatoes calling my name. I figured roasted tomatoes went well with red meat (and they come to mind to roast much less often than say, broccoli), and it has probably been since last summer that I’ve eaten a tomato – sold. They would take nearly zero work to prepare…simply heat some oil in an oven safe skillet, toss in the tomatoes, roll around in the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and move to the oven. Done. Feel free to use any kind of tomato here, too.
Though many people may think of tri tip as a big production, summer bbq type of food (it seems that at least 50% of the time I go to my parents house, there is a tri-tip in the smoker out back and a crowd about to descend on it)- for me it is the perfect weeknight dinner. It is a lean cut of meat, cooks relatively quickly (assuming you like it somewhat rare), and will yield enough for at least a few meals (I will most definitely be having a tri tip salad tomorrow for lunch). It also takes well to spice rubs. I often talk about my love of spice rubs because you can pull them together with nearly any combination of spices you have on hand, and they are a great way to quickly infuse a ton of flavor to your meat. After the meat is rubbed, all you have to do is brown each side, toss it in the oven, go take a shower or whatever, and come back and it’s done – and so is your lunch for tomorrow. One of my favorite foods going is Central Coast style parking lot bbq’d tri tip, so that’s what I modeled my rub off of.
So here’s the summary:
Various spices (for this rub I used about a teaspoon of salt, some paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, ground fennel seed, and black pepper)
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in an oven safe skillet. Add the tomatoes, roll to coat in oil, and allow to slightly char. Transfer to oven and cook until soft. Remove and if you’re feeling fancy, top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Combine your spices on a dinner plate. Place the tri tip on the plate and pat with your rub. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat, add the tri tip and brown both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). Transfer to heated oven and cook about 20 minutes, until done.
Enjoy your week night dinner and lunch tomorrow.
Powered by Facebook Comments