When you have an obscure CSA vegetable, for instance, mizuna, and you find a recipe for it that looks delicious, somehow you feel like less of a bad person for eating steak for the second time in five days.
We learned all sorts of things from this Food 52 recipe. For instance, mizuna probably came from China, but now people think of it as a Japanese green. Mizuna means “water greens,” because it’s grown in fields that are flooded with water. Food 52 recommends using this tidbit of information at cocktail partys. It tastes a little like arugula, though it’s not quite as bitter. I was most excited to discover that you can leave them in the refrigerator for a week and they won’t even begin to wilt.
A few years ago, we discovered hanging tenders. At the time they were $7.99 a pound and had a really excellent, robust, slightly livery flavor. A butcher once explained to us that they were so inexpensive because they were slightly challenging to cook, and not particularly pretty to look at, which is sort of true. We think we may have been singlehandedly responsible for the rising demand, since now we can’t find them for less than $12.99/lb.
All of this is to say that they’re still less expensive than flank steak, which the recipe calls for, and equally delicious.
Spicy Thai Beef Salad with Mizuna
The salad is made with 1/4 cup of mint leaves and 1/4 cup of cilantro (I wasn’t watching, but I think Andrew used about 2 cups total), 1 shallot, 1/2 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, and 3-5 oz of mizuna.
To make the dressing, you mix 2 garlic cloves (I used CSA garlic which I grated, since it doesn’t have cloves, per say), 2 teaspoons Sriracha, 1/2 teaspoon chile powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 5 tablespoons fish sauce, 5 tablespoons lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.
Hanger steaks vary a lot in size and shape, which is why they are so challenging to cook. The thin strips can cook in as little as 2 minutes a side in a hot pan or grill. The thicker steaks are three sided, and need a slow oven or low-heat side to the grill to finish cooking. After I finished firing the coals in a chimney starter, Andrew put all the coals on one half of the grill. He cooked the steaks until they were lusciously seared over the hot side of the grill (about 2-3 minutes per-side). Then he pushed them over to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. He pulled them when they hit about 125°F and let them rest for five minutes before we sliced them and nestled them into the salad.
CSA vegetables used: mizuna, cilantro, green garlic
Other ingredients used: steak, cherry tomatoes, mint, shallots, peanuts
Next: Week 3 field report