My husband and I just ate a steak salad last week with balsamic vinaigrette and bleu cheese, so I considered skipping this week in favor of trying something new. We both enjoyed the first salad, however, and I don’t want to get into the habit of skipping weeks in the cooking club since I’m enjoying it so much. So, I decided to make it anyway, hoping that Scott wouldn’t ask “Didn’t we just eat this a few days ago?” (Which he did, by the way.)
I think the best thing about a steak salad is that they provide a great way to incorporate beef into a dinner that is otherwise light and low in fat. We had our salad served with a baked potato (one that Scott and I split in half) and it made a very filling meal.
I also love Thai food and this was a good way to recreate and enjoy the flavors at home while still having a healthful meal. I have to admit, though, that I usually steer away from Thai dishes that are extremely heavy on basil, so the amount called for in this recipe (1 cup) seemed like too much to me. I cut it down to less than half and still found the flavor a little overwhelming.
This recipe requires you to make a dressing (using lime juice, oil, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar and garlic) that is divided to both marinate the meat and dress the salad. I thought the marinade was quite good on the beef, but I did not enjoy it uncooked as a salad dressing – I think the flavors needed to be heated on the grill to really come together. I also believe this would be a good marinade for other protein as well and I will probably try it on chicken or shrimp in the future.
I did make two changes to the dressing – first, I used crushed garlic and grated ginger rather than mincing the two ingredients. I personally hate biting down on a piece of either of these items raw, and I found that crushing them helped to emulsify the dressing rather than having these ingredients sink to the bottom. I also used sriracha instead of curry paste just because I enjoy the flavor more.
Finally, I used thinly sliced onions on top of the salad instead of shallots. Unfortunately my grocery budget for the week did not allow me to pay $4.00 for three shallots when I already had an onion at home.
Overall, I enjoyed the flavors of this recipe but not the final product. If I make this again, I will marinate and grill the meat and possibly serve it with a side salad, but I do not plan on combining all of these ingredients into one composed dish again.