Wednesday, July 11, 2007

How I met Kerri ....

I met Kerri on the soccer field (the ol' ladies soccer field, that is). It didn't take me long to realize (ok, maybe 1 lap around White Rock Lake) that we had a lot in common ... we were both newly married 20-somethings, we both drove Volkswagens, and we both had an insane passion for health and cooking. While other team members were heading off to the bar after a soccer game, we were usually headed to each other's house for some home cookin' and Mark's latest home brew. It also didn't take me long to find out that one of Kerri's absolute favorite dishes is Thai Lime Beef Salad. I think maybe it took the first match in Arlington for me to find this out .... as this is the location of Kerri's favorite Dallas Thai spot. Now, I've never experienced this pure salad ecstasy because the one time we tried ... the restaraunt happened to be closed and at my favorite Dallas Thai spot (that's Toy's Cafe on Lemmon Ave) I could never get past the Eggplant and Tofu green curry to ever realize they had more on their menu. So, you can imagine the excitement I had today when I was leafing through some old cutout magazine recipes and stumbled upon a recipe for Thai Lime Beef Salad. I have to admit, I saved the page for another recipe, Goat Cheese Turnovers, but Thai Lime Beef Salad happened to be on the same page. This recipe is from Bon Apetit May 2001 when I didn't even know Kerri. So, I used this as a sign that I had cut out this page back then, unknowingly, for a Monthly Challenge that my good friend, Kerri, would host six years later. So, I present Bon Apetit's 2001 Thai Lime Beef Salad from The Blue Elephant Restaraunt in Paris ( How's that for a culinary trip around the world!

Thai Lime Beef Salad

For the dressing:
7 T. fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
7 T. fish sauce (nam pla)
3 T. minced, seeded jalapeno chilies
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. sugar

For the salad:
1 lb. flank steak
1 head romaine lettuce, torn in pieces
4 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tomatoes, quartered
3/4 c. chopped shallots
1/4 c. matchstick-size strips peeled cucumber
1/4 c. diced celery
1 T. chopped fresh mint
1 T. minced fresh lemongrass, or 1 t. grated lemon peel
1/4 c. thinly sliced radishes

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temp. before continuing).

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Broil to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer meat to cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat across grain into 2.5 inch wide strips. Cut strips crosswise into thin slices. Combine meat slices, lettuce, cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through lemongrass) in large bowl. Add enough dressing to taste (may not need all) and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with radishes.

I have no idea why I waited this long to try Thai Lime Beef Salad. This is an incredibly delicious salad. There may be a temptation to forgo some of the herbs, but resist. This combination of herbs and lime is exactly what gives the salad it's wonderful flavor. My only complaint is that if you don't have your own fresh herb garden growing this dish is a little expensive because you need just a little bit of a lot of ingredients. Bon apetit!


wirrek said...

Ahhh, that is so sweet. I never understood how those people could stay out all night drinking, then come to a noon soccer game in 100 degree heat with no subs. Good times! I am so excited about your recipe, but Mark hates Thai Lime Beef Salad. Maybe if I called it something else...lettuce and steak pie maybe?

Robin said...

I was eating this salad thinking there is no way I could get Alex to eat this (he's in the States right now) ... it's because of the cilantro. I've run into more guys that hate the taste of cilantro ... maybe it's genetic ... because I love cilantro. There is no way you can leave it out ... it totally makes the whole salad ... so basically this will be our bachelorette dinner when the guys are out. You have to try it some time and tell me if it compares at all to the Thai place.

wirrek said...

That's crazy, who doesn't like cilantro?!?!?