A Small Plates Lunch

Italian pepperoncini peppers, Iberico cheese, and assorted olives
Asian Beef Roll-Ups (recipe included) with fresh green onions
Salt-Crusted Shrimp (no recipe, sorry - was too salty!)

We often like to snack on assorted nuts, cheeses and fruits in the afternoon, but today we opted for a lunch of small plates:

  • A small plate of assorted olives, our favorite Spanish cheese - Iberico - and Italian pepperoncini peppers
  • A small plate of Asian Beef Roll-Ups and fresh green onions
  • A small plate of salt-crusted shrimp with a spicy cocktail sauce

It's fun to do that sometimes. Just gather up whatever veggies, fruits, etc. you have on hand and make a relish tray. Maybe make a cheese, salami and cracker tray. And one of my favorites is to put a wedge of Maytag blue cheese on a plate and surround with thin slices of pear - yummm.

To make it more of a meal, just add a few substantial items like - miniature meatballs, crab wontons (why didn't I make these today?!), or whatever you fancy.

Soooo... on to the things I did make today... Asian Beef Roll-Ups and Salt-Crusted Shrimp. The Asian Beef Roll-Ups are right off the pages of my brand new 5 Ingredient Fix cookbook by Claire Robinson. I'm just starting to dig into this cookbook and this first recipe was quite enjoyable. The beef was marinated in a sweet and spicy soy sauce and was complemented nicely by the crunchy green onions I served alongside.

The Salt-Crusted Shrimp was from a recipe I saw in Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine and I'm sorry to say it didn't quite meet my expectations so no point in sharing the recipe. Unfortunately, it was just way too salty. To salvage the dish, I ended up rinsing the shrimp after it was cooked and then it sort of became similar to shrimp cocktail but with way more work. We ate it anyway but I wouldn't care to make it again.

As for Claire's recipe for Asian Beef Roll-Ups - here you go:

Asian Beef Roll-Ups
Adapted from Claire Robinson

Serves 6-8

Juice of 2 limes
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce (like Huy Fong or even better - make your own: Homemade Sriracha Sauce)
1 pound flank steak

In large glass bowl whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha sauce.

Slice the flank steak across the grain into very thin slices and place into bowl with lime juice mixture. Toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap and leave out on counter for 15 minutes.

slice across the grain into thin slices (grain is running left to right)
be sure to use a cover for your cutting board when cutting raw meats

Heat a nonstick grill pan over high heat and place strips of marinated beef in the very hot pan. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side.

Meanwhile pour the marinade into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened.

Roll each cooked strip of beef and spear with a toothpick or small skewer. Arrange on plate and drizzle each with cooked and thickened sauce. I recommend not skipping this step as the sauce did add quite a bit of flavor. Serve with fresh green onions. The green onions also complemented the beef extremely well.


  1. Christina AngeloneOctober 23, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    I am a HUGE fan of small snack plates. It's my favorite way to eat. Keep sharing...and feel free to suggest a wine pairing with your meals. :)

  2. Oh my those Asian beef roll ups look soooo good! YUM! I love the idea for a small plates lunch. Your photos are so beautiful too! :)

  3. Christina - I think I'm gonna need some help with the wine pairings or I need to start spending some time up in Napa!

    Thank you Lindsey - your chocolate pumpkin mousse tart looks amazing, too!!

    Thanks Briarrose!

  4. i love little dishes like these- they are perfect for get togethers or wine nights with the girls!

  5. Thanks Debbie!

    Claire - I couldn't agree more!!