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Meat N’…Apples

February 19, 2010

So here we come to the end of the impromptu “Asian Week” here at the Mouse House Kitchen, and we’re going out with a bang.  This recipe comes from Ruth Reichel’s “Gourmet Cookbook,” and is essentially a Vietnamese-style beef salad.  The traditional salad would be made with green mango instead of apples, but since those are hard to find in the U.S., Reichel says the Granny Smiths are a viable substitute.  This is a crowd-pleaser for certain – I love making it in the summer time, but it’s good any time.  The tangy lime, the spicy peppers and the salty peanuts combine perfectly in taste and texture.  Enjoy!

Grilled Beef with Green Apple Salad

(serves 4)

For beef and marinade:

1 lb. flank steak (about ½ inch thick)

3 stalks lemongrass, roots trimmed and tough outer leaves discarded

1 tbsp. minced shallot

4 tsp. Asian fish sauce (nuac mam)

2 tsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

For chili lime dressing:

3 tbsp. lime juice

¼ lime, peeled and pith removed

3 tbsp. water

3 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. fish sauce

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp. chopped chili (including seeds), serrano or jalapeno

For salad:

4 Granny Smith apples

½ cup loosely packed basil leaves

¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro

¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat grill on med-high heat.  Pat steak dry and cut across the grain into ¼-inch thick slices.  Mince enough lemongrass from lower 6 inches of stalks for ¼ cup; discard the rest.  Mix beef, lemongrass and remaining marinade ingredients in a bowl.  Marinate, covered at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Make the dressing:  combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Grill the beef:  lightly oil the grill rack when hot.  Grill beef slices until charred on both sides, about a minute or so per side.  Transfer to a plate.

Make the salad:  cut apples into thin matchsticks, about 1/8-inch thick.  Toss apples with basil, cilantro, peanuts and dressing.  Mound salad on to 4 plates, top with beef slices.  Drizzle any remaining dressing over beef.  Eat!

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