I used to post recipes on here more often. But with the launch of a separate baking blog, there has not been much need. However, I do actually cook real food sometimes. And sometimes it's even good. Sometimes it is so amazingly outstanding, granted, rarely, but sometimes, that I make it over and over, take a picture, and post it.
If you're wondering what a new hungry nursing mom craves, it's fresh vegetables, red meat and lots of flavor. Which makes this salad my totally ideal meal. It's also nice that it's cool for the summer, quick to make (30-40 minutes), can be adapted for picky kids*, and does not even slightly resemble anything else in my usual rotation. And believe me, you do not need to be a fan of Thai food. I like Thai OK, but it's not my favorite; this salad has some Asian flavors for sure, but in my opinion it is in a category all its own. Love it!
And in case my endorsement isn't enough, this comes from America's Test Kitchen, so you know it is going to be fabulous. If you are making it, and taste the sauce in step 2 and think you don't like it, hold on. It is not until the final moment, when the onion, steak, vegetables, cilantro, mint, dressing and peanuts all come together that you have the masterpiece. I could eat the whole thing myself.Thai-Style Steak Salad
1 1/4 lbs flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice from 3 limes
4 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded (cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds with a spoon) and sliced thin - I just use the whole cucumber
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
2 T packed fresh cilantro leaves, torn
2 T packed fresh mint leaves, torn
1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces (4 cups lightly packed)
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped coarse (I use salted)
1. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the steak and cook until well browned on both sides, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the pan begins to scorch or smoke. Transfer the steak to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and pepper flakes together in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour half of the dressing into a large bowl and set aside.
3. Slice the steak crosswise on the bias into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Cut the longer slices in half, into roughly 3-inch lengths. Add the steak to the small bowl of dressing, toss to coat, and let marinate for 5 minutes.
4. Remove the steak from the dressing and discard the marinade. Toss the steak, cucumber, onion, cilantro and mint with the reserved dressing in the large bowl. Arrange the 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 with peanuts before serving.
*For picky kids who are anti-sauce or don't like their foods touching each other, I just leave some steak out of the marinade, and leave some lettuce and cucumbers without dressing. Plain steak and salad for them.
Recipe from The Best Light Recipe by America's Test Kitchen