Thursday, July 14, 2011
For the 4th of July we grilled a huge London broil (I know that's a method of cooking and not a cut of meat, but that's how the package was labeled so I can't be sure what it was). With the leftover cooked and sliced beef, we made this Thai beef salad. We marinated it as the directed, but instead of broiling or grilling it we just stir-fried it in a skillet until it was warmed though. The marinade/dressing was excellent. Such a flavorful combination of ingredients - fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, chili paste, brown sugar and cilantro...mmm!
CSA Week 6:
In the box: 1 head lettuce, 1 bunch radishes, 1 bunch salad turnips, 1 head garlic, 1 cucumber, 1 red onion, 2 pounds German butterball potatoes, sweet girl tomatoes, 3/4 pound zucchini, 1 basket strawberries, 1 basket gold raspberries
Last week is fading fast, so I'll try my best to remember how we used everything.
The fruit was just eaten for snacks and dessert with yogurt and granola - the usual.
The tomatoes, some of the cucumber (and some from last week too), and most of the red onion were used for the Thai beef salad.
I made a salad for lunch with the lettuce and tried adding a little sliced raw turnip - but I didn't really like it. So I roasted the rest of the turnips, along with the radishes, just cut in quarters and tossed with oil, salt and pepper. I kept all the radish and turnip greens and chopped and roasted them on the same pan. We ate all the roasted veggies with store-bought gnocchi and quick homemade tomato sauce.
We sliced and sauteed the zucchini and put it in an omelette with some herbs and cheese.
I made a gratin with the potatoes (all but two of them), and Gruyere. It was delicious, as most things made with milk and cheese are. To go with that I made this cantaloupe and cucumber salad to use up the cucumber in an interesting way (I omitted the celery). It was pretty tasty but would have been better if the cantaloupe we purchased had been more ripe.
The garlic just got added to our stash of garlic for general use.
When preparing vegetarian meals, sometimes I feel like I'm just serving a series of side dishes, though each one might be very flavorful and well thought out. Does anyone else feel that way when cooking vegetarian meals? I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, it's just a different feel than the more typical meal involving a piece of meat at the center. I always try to make sure I include a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and produce. But sometimes, as in the meal with the gratin, the protein was just the cheese sprinkled over the potatoes and the chopped almonds on the fruit salad.
Thai Beef Salad with Coconut Rice
adapted from The Best of Cooking Light - Simple Summer Suppers
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 1/2 pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray or olive oil
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced red onion
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges (or an equivalent amount of a different variety)
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced cucumber (preferably English cucumber, because it's seedless, but regular is fine)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
6 cups torn romaine lettuce
Preheat the broiler.
Combine the lime juice, cilantro, brown sugar, fish sauce, chili paste, and garlic, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reserve half of this mixture for dressing the salad later. Put the meat into a large ziplock bag and add the rest of the lime mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, turning once (honestly, I let it sit on the counter while it marinated).
Grill or broil the steak however you like it. If you broil it, about 6 minutes on each side is probably about right. Let stand for about 5 minutes, then thinly slice diagonally across the grain.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray or add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion, saute 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, saute another 2 minutes. Put the contents of this skillet, plus the cucumber, mint, and lettuce into a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Divide the salad among your plates. Top with slices of steak. Drizzle with the reserved lime juice mixture.
To make the coconut rice: bring 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and one 15-ounce can of light coconut milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add one cup jasmine rice, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.