This is what I like to call third date food.

And I know you’re thinking. Steak? Third date? Don’t you think that’s a little…much?

Well. Hear me out. There is logic behind this argument. (True, it’s deranged single girl logic. But logic nonetheless.)

Let’s start from the beginning.

The first date. You’re cute, you’re bubbly. You enrapture him with your sharp-as-a-tack wit, your snarky comments, and your laugh-out-loud stories about medical school and cadavers and all of the other quirky things that your life seems to revolve around at the moment. You mention that you happen to cook. Relentlessly. (Which is really what gets you your “in” for the second date. All that other stuff is nice. But that image of you that flashes through his head. In the kitchen. Wearing nothing but an apron. Priceless.) A little bit of flirtation. A few beers. And he is kissing you good night (okay. Making out with you good night.). And you have this glowing feeling that you. Are. In.

Three days later. He calls. (What is so special about the number three? Can someone enlighten me? Do you guys get a rule book that specifies that you can only do things in units of three? Harumph.)

Second date. The real moment of truth. Sure the first date gives a first impression and that’s important. But as long as you’re somewhat adorable, most guys are willing to go to the second date. From here on out, though. You are walking on thin ice.

He will be watching your every move. Subconsciously (or consciously…who knows what goes on in there) asking himself, Is she third date material?

Because there is something about that third date that really scares guys. It is the date of Commitment. (With a capital “C”). Time is money, as they say in the biz, and the third date seems to be where the cost-benefit analysis starts to kick in. You’ve already spent somewhere around 8 hours together. That third date will cross into the double digits. Meaning that, if you ask for it, you are basically saying. I’m all in.
And let me tell you. Getting a guy to say that he’s all in. Is like pulling teeth.

Let me put it this way. I’ve been on quite a few first and second dates in the past year. And not a single third. (Granted, a few of these were because I didn’t want the commitment. But still.)

And so I firmly believe that any guy who commits to a third date. Deserves some kind of reward.

(It’s all about positive reinforcement people. Even if it doesn’t work out with the two of you. At least now you’ve shown him that the third date will not necessarily lead to the apocalypse (which I swear is what they think). But to really. Good. Food.)

Hence the steak.

Plus it doesn’t hurt that he won’t be able to resist falling just a bit in love with you when he bites into this. It’s that good.

Yup. You’ve just guaranteed yourself a fourth, fifth, and sixth date sister. So rock on.
Lola Steak Sauce
Makes 1 cup, adapted from Live To Cook

2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp celery salt (I left this out. Hate celery.)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped

Combine the balsamic and red wine vinegars, raisins, onion, garlic, brown sugar, cloves, cumin, celery salt, rosemary, and anchovies in a large nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has reduced by one third. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer twice or until you have a nice smooth sauce; discard the solids. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate in a jar for up to 1 month.

Lola Fries With Rosemary
Serves 4, adapted from Live To Cook

These were originally supposed to be deep fried. And if you think I did that. Then you have not been reading this blog for very long.

2 pounds russet potatoes
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Cut the potatoes into fries about 1/4 inch thick. Preheat the oven to 450. Place the potatoes on a pan. Spray them with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary and bake for 45 minutes.

Grilled Hanger Steak with Steak Sauce
Serves 6, adapted from Live To Cook

1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp ancho chile powder
4 lb hanger steak, trimmed of fat and connective tissue
Lola Steak Sauce

(Note – we were also supposed to make pickled chilies with these. But mine came out really bad for some reason. So I couldn’t ruin the steak by topping it with them. Instead, I chopped up a tomato and mixed it with some salt and cilantro and called it a day. I’m pretty sure it was something I did because others have given the recipe rave reviews, so take that with a grain of salt.)

Combine the salt, sugar, coriander, and chile powder in a small bowl and coat the steaks with the mixture. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to cook them.

Build a hot fire for your grill (or turn on your broiler). Grill for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the grill and let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes. (The broiler will take longer to cook them. Just keep checking them.)

Slice the steaks against the grain, divide among six plates, and top with the salad and a drizzle of steak sauce.

This is my submission to Symon Sundays! I am also sending the fries in to Reeni for her Side Dish Showdown!

Regional Recipes: Vietnam. YOU HAVE SEVEN DAYS! Send me in your entries. PRONTO.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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75 Responses to Grilled Hanger Steak with Lola Steak Sauce and Lola Fries with Rosemary – Symon Sundays

  1. 🙂 Dating. Sighs….I think I go for your yummy steak and ovenbaked fries…these are more reliable.
    The sauce is the winner!

  2. You are hysterical! Love the rational for sharing such a brilliant recipe… the steak sauce is wonderful Joanne… takes A-1 out of the picture forever!

  3. Ashlee says:

    Love your dating breakdown… lol. I’m no steak girl, but I did enjoy this one!

  4. I like Lola:) The steak and especially the fries look delish!


  5. Barbara says:

    I’m well out of the dating game these days (thank heaven) and I don’t need to please a husband (double thank heaven) so I will pass on the steak but those fries! Love ’em.

  6. Pam says:

    Yum! This is one fantastic meal! I don’t know which looks best, the steak or the fries, so I will have to try them both!

  7. You freaking crack me up, and this looks delicious! Now I’m craving red meat, yums!

  8. I’m sitting here at 9 am on a rainy Sunday morning trying to write my personal statement and study at the same time and all I can think about is how much I want a steak right now.

    Thanks a lot.

  9. Jen says:

    yum, I love steak! I would need a bit more fries though, lol. 🙂 how are you? school is over for the semester, and you?

  10. M D says:

    Yum! You have a neat site with great looking photos and recipes!

  11. Amy says:

    If I would have made steak for Paul on our third date, he would have married me right there in the kitchen. Instead I made pesto risotto with shrimp…I don’t even think he knew what it was. He still married me (remember the dill pickle potato chips? Ya, that sealed the deal.) It all worked out.

  12. You always make me laugh with your writing! That dating post is hilarious! so is it really that critical the third date? I thought it was the first one that was! If I am bored stiff after the first date or in the middle of it, forget it!!!!!
    Anyway, love your meal! Yummm.

  13. Katerina says:

    Back in the days of dating for me most important was the first date. Usually the first impression I got from someone was the correct one. Anytime I gave it a second chance I got to regret it dramatically. Even though I am out of dating now and hopefully for ever, this steak looks a very good idea for my husband. I am sure he will appreciate it.

  14. still waiting for DATE NUMBER 2! no making out on my first date either!!!! lol.
    i hope i madea good impression on the first date! =D

    i know…re: the texts. i thought you’d like them. in my case…B TOTALLY went there.

  15. Kristen says:

    Any guy would fall in love with a dinner like that! Too bad I can’t set you up with my brother. He is a cancer researcher for MD Anderson in Houston, loves to cook, run, worries about eating delicious but good for him food…really, it’s a shame you two are a country apart.

  16. Mari says:

    HA I would go on three dates with you if I knew this would be on the plate! hahaha

    I miss ya!

  17. Chris says:

    Any woman that would fire up the grill for me would win my heart immediately, so yeah, this is third date serious.

    But the last time I wore my apron only, the neighbors called the police;)

    Great looking steak, Joanne! Who was the lucky benefactor, Mr. Third Date?

  18. Faith says:

    Loved this post, Joanne! I can absolutely see how this meal would assure 4th, 5th, and 6th dates. 😉

  19. lol..guys do love their steak…good one!

  20. Foodycat says:

    I’d go on 3 dates with you for that steak! The sauce sounds amazing!

  21. Mary says:

    What a great meal! I’d marry you if you made that for me:-). That is a gorgeous looking steak. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  22. Cynthia says:

    Maybe the reason guys are so scared is because they know that once they get a taste of your food, that’s it for them, and they’re not ready to make that kind of commitment yet. Because you do have to be committed to good food. Like, really committed. And no guy wants to commit. So maybe you should serve it to them on the first date, and then boom – that’s it for them! Then you’ll have an infinite number of dates…all with you cooking delicious homemade meals, like this one.

  23. Lea Ann says:

    Did you fail to tell him that you’re an avid food blogger on purpose? I’m sure they would picture themselves in bed with you propped up on a pillow with your lap top. 🙂 Maybe the 10th date is best for that.

  24. sweetlife says:

    third date??? hmm I figured you would have them lined aorund the block with your fab cooking….my hubby would love this,


  25. Kelsey says:

    no way, i find it hard to believe u havent had ur fair share of 3rd dates. i wouldve imagined guys swooning over you 🙂

    totally love the idea of steak versus another type of pleasure in order to keep a guy around haha… lol

    mm and i love rosemary on potatoes- the combination seem to bring out the best in eachother. im a total herb/spice fanatic <3

    have a great night girl! <3

  26. Eliana says:

    This is too cute but so right 🙂 Love this elegant meal.

  27. Marisa says:

    That sauce will definitely get me to stick around for quite a few more dates!

  28. Joanne, nice grilled steak with perfect sauce dear.. My Hubby like the steak n ribs very much we usually have it in restaurants never tried at my home,,sure hv to try to cook by myself for my hubby..

  29. Simply Life says:

    Oh my gosh, can I just have a huge plate of those fries?! They look sooo good!

  30. Stella says:

    Hey Joanne, I would have to say that your logic is probably pretty good. Certainly it is not the logic of a crazed single person. In fact, I would say the logic of someone who is ‘smart’ enough to see how it is!
    Ooh, and your’e right. This meal would cause for a 4th and 5th date. Hope the 3rd date has already or will happen if you really like someone right now. I’ll do a spell if you want me to (smile & kidding)…

  31. Duchess says:

    Love it! I can’t wait to try it and see if he sticks around for longer LOL

  32. Susan says:

    I’ve been married almost four years now, and reading this reminds me just how much I don’t miss the dating. (They never stop loving steak, BTW, even if you’re a vegetarian! ; }) Fun post. Those fries look great!

  33. love this joanne! yes steak is good for the 3rd day- i see your logic….now tell me did you wear a cute apron as you cooked?

  34. Suman says:

    YUM…thats a delicious looking platter…especially the fries…so tempting joanne…love it!

  35. Erica says:

    I love steak!!! The sauce sounds delicious.Delicious meal.

  36. Great post. Interesting read. I love your steak dish. You would be my kind of woman. I dig a woman that actually will EAT on a date.


  37. Oh my god, I think I just fell in love, with that sauce, with you, and your blog. Guess who your newest follower is?!?!?! But please tell me, with all you have going on in your life, how on earth you have time to blog??? You’re my hero!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What’s For Dinner

  38. Pam says:

    I think your date logic is right on… I am so glad I am out of the dating game! This meal will for sure guarantee you date 4, 5, & 6. The steak sauce sounds especially good.

  39. Although I’m not qualified to play this dating game, it’s great to know more about it (as it may apply to my son in future). Your dish looks too good to stop at date 3. Simply gorgeous!

  40. I’m laughing. Some of this is quite true. I also think that the second date is way more telling than a first. Everyone tries to put their best foot forward on the first date but it’s 3, 4, 5, where true colors really start to come out!

  41. Laurie says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. teresa says:

    i am so entranced with that sauce, i really think i’m going to have to try it, soon!

    this was so great, i remember the dating game. the one guy that finally made it to the third date was my husband!

  43. Juliana says:

    Joanne, this steak looks delicious, love the sauce with raisin 😉 Have to try it soon. Love the pictures as well…they all look so yummie!

  44. Raina says:

    You are so funny. I love your take on dating. After tasting that meal, I bet he is head over heels for you, actually probably was from the moment he met you. Fourth date and on is a definite!

    This is a wonderful dish. Love that you baked the potatoes instead of frying. It all sounds delish!

  45. RamblingTart says:

    Oh girl, I’m grinning so big. 🙂 You crack me up! And you’re absolutely right, of course. 🙂 Love it!

  46. Maria says:

    Wow! That looks delicious! Great steak dish and the fries look incredible.

  47. Gulmohar says:

    Can’t take my eyes from the steak !

  48. Gurl , u sure have somebody super special gng to swoon over u sonnnnnnnnnnnnn…
    Amd with the deliciously , now famous blog, the day aint too far!
    I love what Chaya wrote about u and am on the same page with that ,and i think u should link it to ur next post and let all ur fans here read it too!!!
    Chaya write so beautifully as well!
    Hey i did loveeeeeeeeeeee ur vanilla cuppys and i love that baby blue frosting too:-)))
    Its sooooooooooo cute!!!
    Happy birthday Daniel!!
    And aint a vanilla bean so so so excitn….

    Hope u did get thru the business cards and if not , lemme know and i will get back to the blogger ok!!

  49. Bridgett says:

    Oooh love the steak, love the fries and your dating breakdown! I just love your posts.

  50. creampuff says:

    Love it! I think lots of guys would ask for a third date based simply on the sight of those steak and fries … and the sauce … luscious!

  51. Julie says:

    and all along i couldn’t figure out why i’m still single. it’s because i don’t like steak.

    i guess i’ll never get to the third date.

  52. Julie says:

    Life is short, have it on the first date 🙂

  53. I’m literally drooling at this! Love Michael Symon!

  54. Hmmm was my first date in…KFC? (lol) the steak look lovely and I adoreee the rustic fries

  55. You definitely know the way to a man’s heart. It looks like a perfect third date meal.

  56. Little Inbox says:

    Hey, I’m glad that you already received the Casserole. I hope you like it!

  57. Deborah says:

    I think your reasoning makes perfect sense!!

  58. Sook says:

    I don’t usually like steaks.. but seriously, your steak looks so delicious with that sauce!

  59. Kim says:

    Steak is definitely the way to a man’s heart and this one sounds fabulous with the ancho chile rub and that homemade steak sauce! I’m loving these Michael Symon recipes. I’m hoping to eat at one of his restaurants when we travel up to Ohio this summer. Bar Symon is only about 15 minutes from my Dad’s house.

  60. I so wish it was this meal instead of what I prepared for my husband on our third date (I haven’t decided yet if I’m ever publicly telling this embarrassing story). I have to try your Lola Steak Sauce, it sounds awesome!

  61. theUngourmet says:

    Sometimes I miss dating. Not really. 😀

    The whole darn meal looks fantastic! I am especially loving those fries. I bet they smell awesome with the rosemary!

  62. Cristie says:

    You are very clever. Can’t wait to hear the outcome of date number 3. I hope it turns out just the way you planned it. The food couldn’t be better. The sauce is very interesting, raisins? I have to try it! And yes, no frying the fries!

  63. grace says:

    i can definitely follow your logic. heck, i’d follow you anywhere if you were toting around a plate like that. it’s the type of food i like to call boy bait, and added bonus–i love it too! 🙂

  64. tigerfish says:

    I like your slender lola fries 😀

  65. Debinhawaii says:

    I think this meal should have you walking down the aisle. it looks amazing. i love that you baked the fries. 😉

  66. I hate dating. Hate it. Hate the process. That’s why I’m single. Sigh. But I know what I’m making if ever I change my mind. This is definitely a way to a man’s heart! It almost makes me want to reconsider dating so I can test it…

  67. Momgateway says:

    Fantastic dishes…wishing you the best with dating

  68. bonnielu says:

    I’m not a steak person but this looks so awesome I had to comment. I tried making steak in the oven once. It caught on fire. Wish I was kidding.

  69. saveur says:

    Hey Joanne,
    Your post is too cute! I hope date #3 went well! 😀 It has to be someone real special to whip out steak. 🙂

  70. Danielle says:

    Oh man….i really really wanted this. and then i saw anchovies 🙁 and I know when there’s a recipe that includes anchovies…its for a good reason. Now…if I could find a non-fish sub for those guys…I’d be soooo in!

  71. Muneeba says:

    I’d be a nervous wreck on the third date .. especially if I really liked the guy! Thank goodness I snagged DH early on, when I still had it together! But yeah, this meal is a reward meal … an in-your-face invitation to all kinds of pleasures, tee hee. 😉

  72. Thanks Joanne- I really loved this cozy green pub n restaurant called shay’s. Perfect place to chill out and they even welcome dogs n other pets…so sweet!

  73. msmeanie says:

    Yeah, I never understood the whole waiting three days before they call. WHAT is the deal with that? Anyways, this dish looks like something my BF would love. Looks like an awesome sauce and the fries sound like a great side!

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