● By Wendy Sipple
Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make
by Rima Barkett and Claudia Pruett (Mega Productions; $34.95)
- 1 pound tri-tip, cut in 1/4-inch slices
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, rinsed and chopped
- 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 2 cups potato chips
- 2 tbsp. parsley (optional)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Dash freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Prepare the Steak:
Prepare a hot grill. Sprinkle the slices of tri-tip generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Place meat on the grill and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Prepare the Dressing:
Combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisking continuously, slowly add the olive oil until it is thoroughly blended with the vinegar. (You can also use a hand-held mixer or blender.) Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Prepare the Salad:
Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing. Add tomatoes, blue cheese and grilled tri-tip. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Garnish with potato chips and parsley, and serve immediately. Yields approximately 4 servings.
Lazy Days and Beach Blankets
(Ryland Peters & Small; $29.95)
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 stick plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. concentrated lavender extract or 1 tbsp. finely chopped dried lavender flowers
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch, ground rice, or fine semolina
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put the sugar and butter in a food processor and process until light and fluffy (or beat together with an electric hand-held whisk). Add the lavender extract or flowers and whiz again. Add half the flour and pulse to incorporate, then add the remaining flour and pulse again. Add the cornstarch and pulse again until incorporated. Tip the mixture into a shallow, 11 x 7-inch baking pan and spread out until even. Mark the shortbread with a sharp knife, dividing it into 18 squares, and prick lightly with the prongs of a fork.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes until pale gold in color. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, put back in the oven, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, set aside for 10 minutes, and then cut along the lines you’ve marked again. Remove the shortbread squares carefully with a palate knife and lay on a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight tin. Yields approximately 18 shortbreads.