I love trashy TV.
You name it, I’ve watched, am currently watching it or planning to watch it.
Real Housewives? Love every single one.
The Kardashians? What on EARTH is going on with Bruce?
Tori Spelling’s many shows? Seen them all.
But my favorite of all the trashy TV shows? Forever and always – The Bachelor.
What is it about 30 women bickering, backstabbing and fighting for the same man’s attention that draws me in each and every time? This season has been a real doozy so far with some serious crazies. The first woman, who was thankfully sent home a few weeks ago, had me seriously questioning her mental stability, as she was living in a completely alternate universe, and was either off her medication at times, or was severely in need of medication – either way, it made for some great TV. If you were watching, you know who I’m talking about.
I’m pretty sure there’s a legit sociopath lurking amongst the group. Her husband tragically passed away from an unknown heart condition and she uses her “amazing” (her words) story to garner attention in the worst way possible, which is just really really awful to watch.
There’s also an emotional basket case that wears entirely too much makeup, but seems to be the least crazy of the three. Oh! And we can’t forget the girl that apparently refuses to shower…ever. Wouldn’t you think he could smell her by now?
Up until last season, I’d never really watched it with a group of people (my college and high school girlfriends aren’t that into it), but after Kevin and I got married, I started to become friends with his fraternity brothers’ wives and girlfriends, they graciously offered me an invitation to start watching the show with them, and I cheerfully accepted. Each week someone in the group hosts, prepares a bunch of yummy food and we all bring a bottle of bubbly or wine to sip on while we ridicule the show – it’s fantastic.
This week was my turn to host and I wanted to go with a Valentine’s Day theme, seeing as that little love holiday is coming up this weekend, and hello, The Bachelor = love. Kevin and I usually celebrate the day of with a fancy dinner at home; the menu virtually always consisting of filet mignon, a fancy potato of some sort, salad and of course, a chocolate dessert. Obviously that kind of meal isn’t exactly cost effective to serve to eight people, so I thought it would be fun to take our fancy meal and transform it into something a little more casual and wallet-friendly.
Enter: Mini Balsamic Steak Bites with Kale and Roasted Tomatoes.
These little guys pack all of my favorite steak meal components into one seriously flavorful (giant) bite, and my goodness they’re adorable. Tiny bite-sized pieces of sirloin filet are seared until perfectly browned and then coated in sweet and acidic balsamic vinegar. You could of course use the pricier filet mignon, but 16-ounces would probably cost you about forty bucks; if you’re cool with that then go for it. I, am not, plus I had so many other goodies you don’t see here that I had to allocate my budget to (i.e. Mini twice-baked potatoes, kale ceasar salad, these crostini, Bailey’s stuffed strawberries (coming Friday) and chocolate mousse), so I went with the sirloin which is ALMOST as tender as a filet mignon.
While steak is the main draw here, I think my favorite part of the whole ensemble were the tiny roasted tomatoes, just bursting with juiciness and flavor. I tossed them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and then popped them into a super hot oven and let them roast until I could see they were starting to burst from the heat.
For assembly, I got those cute cocktail sticks (you can find “> them here), skewered a tomato first, then a little piece of garlicky kale followed by a piece of steak. For a final fancy touch, I reduced a little bit of balsamic vinegar over the stove until it was super thick and syrupy and drizzled it over the top.
Steakhouse dinner – mini. I die!
- 16 ounces sirloin filet cut into 30 bite-sized pieces
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar, divided
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 30 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cups kale
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Cocktail pics.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss tomatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Pop in the oven and roast until tomatoes are starting to burst.
- Season steak liberally with salt and pepper.
- In a small sauce pan, add balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes until vinegar is thickened. Set aside.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Once the pan is preheated add one tablespoon of canola oil. Add half of steak, sear on all sides. Remove from the pan and repeat with remaining meat. When the second batch is seared, add the other half back to the pan along with the ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 30 seconds until the vinegar reduces. Set aside.
- In another small skillet, heat to a medium-high, add remaining oil. Add in kale and garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble: Skewer a tomato onto the pick, followed by a piece of kale and then a piece of steak. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.
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