Monday, June 05, 2017

Thai Beef Salad

It's not even Summer yet and we've already had some sizzling weather on the East Coast. When the weather is warm and I don't want to spend a lot of time fussing with dinner, I resort to gazpacho and salads so I can stay out of a hot kitchen. When I got word of the Keystone Beef recipe contest in honor of National Beef Month, I knew a quick salad was the way to go. It helped that the rules require the dish be made in 30 minutes or less, but that was going to happen anyway because the main ingredient was pre-cooked meat. Yeah yeah, I see you wrinkling your nose at the thought of canned, pre-cooked, beef. I felt the same way, but then I tasted Mr Minx's Emergency Chili made with the same product, and realized that canned beef isn't all that different from canned tuna. It's convenient and tasty and cuts down on cooking time in a big way.

This dish cooks for about 12 minutes, and chopping takes maybe another 10, but the flavor payoff makes it seem like it took much longer. I served the salad over a pile of baby spinach and arugula, but you can scoop it into cups of lettuce, if you'd like, or even eat it over rice or pasta.

Thai Beef Salad

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 can Keystone beef, drained
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved, quartered if large
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 scallions, chopped
Salt to taste
Handful of torn mint leaves
Handful of cilantro
French fried onions
Fresh greens of your choice

Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and sambal in a bowl. Place the beef in a sauce pan and warm over medium heat. Stir in the sauce. Cook for ten minutes. Add the tomatoes, carrot, and scallions and stir. Cook an additional minute or two. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if necessary. Stir in most of the mint and cilantro, leaving a few pieces for garnish.

Serve the beef warm or at room temperature over a pile of greens. Garnish with leftover mint and cilantro and some of the french fried onions.

Serves 3-4 as an appetizer or two as a main dish.

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