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Not-Quite-Naked Steaks

gratin potatoes
Potato and Onion Packets with Gruyère

stuffed courgette
Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini (Courgette)

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 6, 2013: Day 2 Recipes

Not-Quite-Naked Steaks
Potato and Onion Packets with Gruyère
Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini (Courgette)

Cooking time:  45 minutes plus 20 earlier      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     One small, round zucchini is perfect for a light stuffing, and, cut in half, makes a cute side dish. You could use a small regular zucchini.

Not-Quite-Naked Steaks                                  Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes
   Small, thick-cut filet mignon are perfect done on the barbecue grill.  A wrap of bacon adds flavor and helps the steak stay moist.  That, plus a light sprinkle of seasoning is all these lovely steaks need.  We like them medium rare.  On a hot grill these will cook very fast - so be mindful!

2 beef tenderloin steaks (fillet mignon), 6oz (180gr) each
2 - 4 slices bacon - enough to wrap around each steak
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

Wrap bacon around steaks and secure with toothpicks.  Mix remaining ingredients and rub on both sides of steaks.  Grill on barbecue over high heat 3 - 5 minutes per side.  If you like rare, remove after two minutes per side, make a small slit in one and check.   If not done to your liking return for another 1 - 2 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and serve - removing bacon is optional...
Note:  Could be broiled for roughly same amount of time - mind the bacon.

Potato and Onion Packets with Gruyère     Preparation and cooking time: 30-45 minutes
   A summer version of Potatoes Savoyard.  It's cooked on the barbecue grill, wrapped in foil.  Use sweet onions if you can get them, otherwise regular yellow onions are fine.  Dried herbs work best in this, use any you like.

2 medium potatoes
1 medium sweet or regular onion
4oz (120gr) Gruyère cheese  or any flavor you like
olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
aluminum foil - heavy duty (or use a double sheet)

Thinly slice potatoes, onions (cut in half first) and cheese - about 1/16 inch. 
Lightly oil 2 square (as long as the package is wide) sheets of aluminum foil.  Place 2 slices of potato side by side, place an onion slice halfway on the potatoes in the middle and 1 slice of cheese on the onion slice.  Overlap 2 more potato slices, onion and cheese - repeating until you have used 1 potato and half the onion and cheese - or until you think you have enough.  You should end up with 2 rows of vegetables - 2 potato slices wide and about 5 inches long.  Sprinkle rosemary over the top.  Fold foil over, the 2 long sides first then the short (don't worry about a tight wrap - we want steam to escape).  Repeat with the other potato. 

Cook packets on barbecue grill for 25 - 30 minutes.  Do NOT turn over.  When done, potatoes and onions should be cooked through and the cheese will have melted and formed a golden crust under the potatoes. To serve carefully slip spatula under cheese - trying not to tear the foil and to maintain the shape of the potato/onion packet.  Lay on plates and enjoy!

Note: Can be baked at 400F for 30 minutes - just put packets on rack in middle of oven... you won't get the nice, crispy cheese, though.

Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini (Courgette)            Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes
   The squash I used was about the size of a tennis ball.  I mixed a bit of Parmesan and breadcrumbs with the tomato to soak up some of the juices from the squash.

1 small, round "8-ball" zucchini (courgette) 
1 small tomato
1 clove garlic
1 tsp dry bread crumbs
1 tsp Parmesan, grated
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tbs (.5oz, 15gr) shredded cheese

Cut the stem end off of the zucchini.  With a small spoon scrape out the seeds and flesh from the center, leaving a shell about 3/8" (1cm) thick.  If they don't sit flat slice a bit off the bottom.
Chop the tomato into small chunks. Mince garlic.  Put the tomato, garlic, paprika, basil, Parmesan and bread crumbs into a small bowl and mix well. Spoon tomato mixture into the zucchini, pressing it in to fill. Put the zucchini into a small baking dish, cover with foil and bake, 400F (200C) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and carefully sprinkle cheese on top. Return to oven and bake until cheese starts to brown, about 10 minutes longer.  Remove, cut in half and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 45 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small bowl, baking dish, barbecue grill, foil

Light/turn on barbecue grill
Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Slice potatoes, onions, cheese
Assemble potato packets, cook
Hollow out zucchini
Chop tomato
Peel garlic, mince
Grate / shred cheeses

Combine ingredients for stuffing
Stuff zucchini, cover with foil, bake
Wrap bacon around steaks
Make rub, rub on steaks
    Pause while potatoes, zucchini cook
Start to cook steak
Remove zucchini, uncover, sprinkle cheese, bake
Remove potatoes, unwrap, plate
Turn steak
Remove zucchini, cut in half, serve
Remove steak

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