Yesterday evening was our last Zentangle® class before summer break. I’m going to miss this group over the summer – they’re so creative and enthusiastic. I just hope they return recharged after a great summer break, ready to pick up their pens where we left off last night.
Since it was a class night, preparing a dinner that would be quick to get on the table when I returned home presented its usual challenge. What could I set up with minimal effort before class, that would be ready within a half hour upon my return? I decided to pick up prepared potato salad and to use the mixed green salad I already had in the refrigerator as my no-time-at-all side dishes. Then I turned to Joe for a suggestion of something he’d like to grill since I knew the weather was going to cooperate, and hoped that he would too by manning the grill. He requested a London Broil, which could just as easily have been a flank steak or other cut of beef. I took him literally and purchased a London Broil.
While I have prepared many flank steaks, and know how quick and turnkey they are for a delicious main protein, I haven’t prepared many London Broils. I should have checked on cooking suggestions instead of flying by the seat of my pants. My gut said that it would be a good idea to marinate it while I was out teaching, so I looked through the salad dressings in the refrigerator to see if there were any almost-finished bottles that could be used as an easy marinade and would serve the double purpose of clearing some space. Yep, that’s just how thoughtful I am sometimes, about the flavors of our meals.
I found a dressing that had been sitting there for too long, so long that it just reeked of old and stale when I opened the cap, and I quickly dumped it down the drain, resulting in more space, but no marinade. Then I discovered two open bottles of hoisin sauce, and figured that using one of them would further my cleaning/purging effort. See, I’m always multi-tasking! Mentally preparing for class, preparing dinner, cleaning the refrigerator, all at the same time. Sometimes I wonder how my family got so lucky! I even took Pepper out for a walk before I left. Wonder Woman at her best.
Anyway, enough self-congratulations because pretty soon I’ll be mea-culpa-ing. Not a real word, I know, but you know where I’m going.
I put the piece of London Broil into a large zipper bag and poured the hoisin sauce over it. Since things didn’t look sauce-y enough I poured in a little olive oil and added some salt and pepper, ending with a little massage of the beef to mix it all together. I placed the bag in the refrigerator and gave Louisa the instructions to tell Joe to start the grill around 7:00 and begin to cook the meat. I hoped dinner would be ready when I returned. A girl can dream, don’t laugh.
The best plans rarely materialize the way we want, do they? Nope, Joe had his own after work plans that didn’t involved jumping on the grill at my specified time. When I returned home, I was tasked with getting Joe to cook the meat. Ah, the suffering.
Once he was out there grill-side, he got into the process and even took the photo you see of this lovely piece of beef sizzling on the grill. When it was done, he sliced it up while I set the table and put out the side dishes.
Joe cooked it perfectly. Unfortunately, my marinade wasn’t as perfect because this very lean cut of beef just didn’t tenderize enough from my quick and dirty mixture. While it wasn’t tough, it also wasn’t juicy and falling apart. In hindsight, my marinade really needed more vinegar, which is minimal in Hoisin sauce. Instead of pouring in olive oil, I should have pulled out the red wine vinegar.
Perhaps I should use my free Monday nights and take some cooking classes this summer.