Made this for dinner a few months ago on a hot summer evening. The dressing was excellent, hitting all four of the taste senses. The flank steak was satisfying to cook and ended up being very tender. I’m on the lookout for more Thai (and Thai-inspired) recipes to experiment with.
Thai-style Beef Salad
From America’s Test Kitchen‘s The New Best Recipe
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds flank steak, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 medium cucmber, peeled, seeded, and sliced thin
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon packed torn fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon packed torn fresh mint leaves
1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and torn into pieces (4 cups lightly packed)
1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped coarse
1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper, lay it in the pan, and saute, not moving it until it is well-browned, 4-5 minutes. Turn the steak over with tongs and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook until the steak is browned on the second side, about 5 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Whisk the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes together in a medium bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Remove half of the dressing from the bowl and set it aside in a large bowl. Cut the steak across the grain on the diagonal into 1/8-inch thick slices. Halve the longer slices into roughly 3-inch lenghts. Add the steak to the smaller bowl with the dressing, toss to coat, and let marinate for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the steak from the dressing and discard the marinade. Toss the steak, cucumber, onion, cilantro, and mint with the reserved dressing in the larger bowl. Arrange the Bibb lettuce on a large serving platter or individual plates. Spoon the steak and vegetables over the lettuce. Drizzle the salad with any dressing left in the bowl and sprinkle it with peanuts. Serve immediately.
While Jen was up here this past weekend, we took a trip to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Our friend Brian had a few works on display in a small origami exhibition. (Coincidentally, Ceida posted an origami video starring Brian a few days ago.) Snapped a few photos while I was there. The Kraken and katydid were done by Brian. Incredible to see in person.
I made this a few months ago, when we had Jen’s core team over for dinner. The seared exterior and deep red interior are quite beautiful, but I’ve finally realized that I am not a huge tuna fan – I much prefer salmon. This was served with sauce consisting of soy sauce, ginger and scallions.
Gas-Grilled Tuna Steaks
From Cooks’ Illustrated‘s Grilling book
2 tuna steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
Vegetable oil fro the cooking grate
1. Turn on all the burners to high, close the lid, and heat the grill until very hot, about 15 minutes. Use a grill brush to scrape the cooking grate clean. Leave the burners on high.
2. Cut the tuna steaks in half to make four equal pieces. Brush the tuna with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
3. Lightly dip a small wad of of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding the wad with long-handled tongs, wipe the cooking grate.
4. Grill the tuna, covered and turning once (using a metal spatula), to the desired doneness, 5-6 minutes for rare or 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Serve immediately.
The past month has been quite busy. In addition to starting the new job, I went out to CA twice (once to celebrate my sister’s college graduation, once to visit Jen) and Montreal (to attend Matt & Amy’s beautiful wedding). Brian & Tina, Caroline & Brandon, and John all came to Boston to visit. Meanwhile, our refrigerator broke so I had to throw out all the food (including lots of ice cream) and get that taken care of as well.
My new laptop arrived several weeks ago, and I’ll be getting back to posting photos once I get my monitor calibrated. The photo-processing backlog has grown to several months, and I’m eager to get back to them.