mandag den 23. april 2012

Secret Recipe Club April: Crunchy Oriental Beef Salad

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I got Mommy's Menu by Toni, a stay at home mom of 7 children in Utah.
7 children!! OMG, I don't even have one of my own (only Hubby's son every other weekend), so I could never imagine how it is like with that many children in the house. It must be a real challenge to feed that many people some good food on a reasonable budget, but it seems that is what Toni is trying to do. And based on the recipes I looked through, I'd say she does a great job. Way to go Toni - you have my respect :-)

And now for the recipe I chose. I wanted to make some kind of appetizer or snack for when we had some friends over for dinner, and so I chose the Cheasy Ranch Bread Sticks
I followed the recipe, more or less, but didn't use the full amount of ranch dressing mix (which I recently made myself - maybe a store-bought version would have been better, but we don't have that where I live) and cheese, and that turned out to be a mistake. There is nothing wrong with the recipe, but my result turned out a little bland and without too much taste. And that left me with a problem - should I blog about this recipe without being able to be really positive about it, or should I make something else?
I choose the latter. 
Then why write about it in the first place, you might ask.
Because I think it is important to mention a failure as well as a success. Even if it is for SRC.
So Toni, please know that I liked your recipe and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it - I just didn't add enough taste to it, and that was the only problem.

Looking for another recipe to try, I found the Crunchy Oriental Beef Salad - this was perfect, since I had some leftover sous vide flank steak in the freezer.
I know that Toni uses raw meat in her recipe, but I often find that good quality tender meat that has already been prepared, takes on a lot of flavour when sitting in a marinade, and if you don't heat it too much the second time, you practically won't be able to taste that it has been prepared twice.

Besides using prepared meat, I added a little peanut butter to the dressing - just because I could. 
And because I thought it would complement the other ingredients well.
I only made half the portion since we were only Hubby and me for dinner that night.
Apart from that, I think I followed the recipe and the instructions.
As much as is humanly possible for me anyway.

Crunchy Oriental Beef Salad:
adapted from Mommy's Menu
2 persons

3/4 lb. / 375 g grilled/sous vide flank steak


1/4 cup / 4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp instant beef bouillon
½ tsp garlic powder
1 bag of beef flavoured noodle soup mix from a 3 oz. pkg.

Ginger/peanut butter dressing:

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground black pepper


½ iceberg lettuce in bite size pieces
2 green/spring onions, sliced
1/4 cup / 0,6 dl toasted cashew nuts, chopped
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk all ingredients for the marinade together. Cut out the steak in thin slices and then smaller pieces (remember to cut across the grain, as this will make the flank steak more tender) - mix the steak and marinade in a bowl or Ziploc bag, and let marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours. If you are using raw meat, let it sit overnight, if possible.

Whisk everything for the dressing together.

Boil the noodles from the noodle soup package according to directions on the package. Drain well and mix in a little sesame oil so they won't stick together.

Heat up a little oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain the steak well so it won't boil in the juices from the marinade. Fry the steak in small portions until everything is browned and move each portion to a plate with kitchen towel.

Arrange iceberg, onions, toasted nuts/seeds and steak on 2 large plates - drizzle the ginger dressing on top and mix gently so everything gets covered by the dressing.
Serve immediately (as Toni writes, this is not a salad that keeps well when mixed, so wait until serving time before you mix in the steak and dressing!)


This was a really delicious salad - even Hubby, who normally likes his food hot, seemed to enjoy it.
The iceberg salad remain crunchy in spite of the dressing and the warm meat (if you eat it straight away, that is), and the flavours really complement each other.
I especially liked the ginger/peanut butter dressing - this could be used for so many different salads. It was sweet and sour and creamy at the same time, and I could have eaten it with a spoon.
Maybe I did.
No one will ever know.

Thank you Toni for sharing this wonderful recipe! And finally, just to prove that I actually made them, here is a picture of the bread sticks that were supposed to be the subject of this post. I really hope you don't mind that I included my failure...