Summer Date Night

 

This is the first post of a series developed by Casetta Kitchen. Casetta Kitchen is a Madison, WI-based counter style Italian American deli, owned by Elizabeth's brother, Tommy Gering, and childhood best friend, James Juedes. Many of the recipes used in their deli have been created around the family table in their cabin in northern Wisconsin; Casetta meaning "little house" is their ode to the Northwoods.  

 

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri

Not much is better than a Northwoods summer date night (or double date) to enjoy the fresh air and tasty summer flavors from the grill. We love to heat up the grill, put together a vegetable side, and of course, create a dessert. This is a menu that we created for any party size group because it is easy, delicious, and won’t break the bank.

Casetta Kitchen's Suggested Wine Pairing
Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, Valle de Uco or Lujan de Cuyo Region
Find Tinto Negro Malbec from Lujan de Cuyo Region at The Wine + Beer Barn

 

 

Flat Iron with Chimichurri

One of our all time favorite steaks is Flat Iron - a flavorful cut from the shoulder that is always a great price. Popularity is growing for this cut of meat and can be seen at all of the best restaurants. Lake Tomahawk Meat Market has flat iron for $7.99 a pound, and they get SO excited when you come in to buy it. A portion size of meat is around 6 ounces per person, so grab however many pounds apply to your party size.

 

Ingredients:
flat iron steaks
salt and pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbs oregano leaves (if you do not have fresh, sprinkle some dried oregano)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup olive oil

Method:
By hand, chop the parsley, garlic, oregano, garlic, and mix in the vinegar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil. You can also mix all of this in the food processor but I like the texture chopped up!
Take about ¼ cup out from the bowl and place the rest in a serving bowl.
In a Ziploc bag add the reserved ¼ cup of the chimichurri and add the flat iron steaks, marinade for as long as you have time, up to a full day.
Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, until medium rare, about 135 degrees (We love using a meat thermometer for temping steaks).
Let rest, slice in thin strips across the grain of the meat.
Serve with chimichurri.

 

Broccoli with pine nuts + parmesan

Serves 2, double it for 4 people.

Broccoli is beginning to pop up at the farmers market. This easy side pairs beautifully with the chimichurri and can be prepped ahead of time so it is ready to serve once the broccoli is cooked. We love throwing it in the oven, that way you can spend more time with your date than over the grill! You can also substitute any summer vegetable (such as squash, peas, etc). If you choose to grill the broccoli, we recommend blanching in water for a couple minutes before grilling that way it doesn’t burn before it has a chance to become tender. 

 

Ingredients:
1 pound broccoli
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lemon zested & juiced
2 Tbs pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
any fresh herb that you have on hand, sliced thin

Method:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Cut the broccoli into florets and place on a sheet pan, toss with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.
Crisp in the oven about 10 - 15 minutes until tender and a bit browned (the charred color will be really tasty)
Remove from the oven and place into a bowl and toss with the rest of the ingredients (pine nuts, parmesan, lemon zest & juice) and garnish with fresh herbs, serve!

 

Strawberries & Cream

Freshly picked strawberries are beyond delicious. We love to simply prepare them with just a touch of whipped cream to compliment the flavor. You can also serve this dessert over ice cream, pound cake, or biscuits. After a long day in the sun, this is the perfect dessert to end the night in a light way, with no shortage of flavor. There will be extra whipped cream but that can be saved for more berries or late night snacking (that means finger dipping in our house!).

 

Ingredients:
2 cups of strawberries, washed and cut in half or quarters
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs powdered sugar

Method:
Cut the strawberries and place into two serving bowls, you can add a little sugar and toss if desired
In a Kitchenaid or hand mixer begin to whip cold heavy cream and once it starts to thicken slowly add in powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
Dollop the whipped cream over the strawberries.

 

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