I know it sounds crazy, but I love to wind down a busy week by having friends over. It is a great way to launch a fun weekend -- and a great way to forget about the workweek!

Last minute entertaining can be easy if you have the right recipe. This Soy-Marinated Flank Steak is my go-to, last-minute crowd pleaser. You can marinate the steak the night before to save time on the day of the event, or if you use an instant marinator (a vacuum-action marinating tool, which can be purchased at most kitchen stores), you can make it at the last minute.

My Cilantro, Scallion and Sesame Pesto is optional, but it adds nice flavor and color to the dish. I like to serve the steak with wasabi mashed potatoes, but it's also great with rice or quinoa. Find the recipe for the potatoes at www.partiesthatcook.com/wasabi-mashed-potatoes.

Don't expect leftovers!

Bibby Gignilliat is the founder of Parties That Cook, a San Francisco-based culinary event company.

Soy-Marinated Flank Steak with Cilantro-Scallion Pesto

Serves 10

Marinade

Two 2-pound flank steaks (or skirt steaks)

2 cups soy sauce

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon canola oil

Pesto

3 scallions (light green parts only), roughly chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves

1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1. Trim the silver skin and excess fat from flank steaks. Using a knife tip, score the steaks on each side; place them in a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Mix marinade ingredients; pour over the steaks and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, refrigerated, at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. In a food processor, pulse the scallions, cilantro and parsley a few times. Add garlic and pine nuts; pulse to combine. With motor running, slowly pour in the oils. Add salt; pulse for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, stir in sesame seeds and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove steaks from marinade; use a paper towel to pat them dry. Let them return to room temperature. Heat a ridged grill pan or an outdoor grill to high. Brush grill with a bit of canola oil, then sear the flank steaks on both sides until golden brown. Transfer the browned steaks to a sheet pan, and finish cooking in the oven to desired doneness, about 10 to 15 minutes. (For rare meat, cook steak to 125 degrees; for medium-rare, 135 to 140 degrees.) Slice across grain, and serve with the pesto.