steak salad with mango dressing

Last week for girls’ night we inaugurated Robin’s grill – a pretty momentous occasion in the life a grill, at least from my experience. Robin had been talking about making a grill purchase for over a month and finally the weather was nice enough to merit it. We decided to make a steak salad. Robin strong-armed grilling the meat and I made the salad and the dressing.

For the steak
1 lb flank steak
Salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper the steak. Marinate the steak for about 15 minutes in some balsamic vingar. Heat your brand spankin’ new grill to high. Cook the steak 8 – 10 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature is 130 degrees for medium rare. Rest for about 10 minutes and slice against the grain.

For the salad
1/2 jicama, cut into batons
1 bell pepper, diced
mixed greens

Mango Dressing
1 mango, peeled and seeded
1 t red wine vinegar
1 t rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt, pepper

Puree the mango in a food processor. Add the vinegars and mix. In a slow stream, add the oil until the dressing has emulsified. You may need less or more oil depending on your mango’s juiciness. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with salad just before serving. Top with the steak.

While we overcooked our steak slightly, the grill’s maiden voyage was a success! (We need a bit more practice to master the grill’s temperature range). This salad is easy, quick and tasty. To be honest, I think I could skip the mango dressing. My mango was pretty mild and did not impart nearly enough tropical flavor into the dish for the amount of work it is to get the flesh off those suckers. Maybe if I knew how to pick a good mango, I’d try it again. I think next time we are going to make a strawberry-champange vinegar dressing!



crispy roasted potatoes

Last Sunday we enjoyed an awesomely American dinner of steak and potatoes. These potatoes are great – crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and salty – almost like french fries, but without the fry-o-lator.

Crispy Roasted Potatoes, adapted from the Spilled Milk podcast

3 – 4 mini red or yellow thin-skinned potatoes per person

olive oil


Boil potatoes until tender in a pot of salted water. Drain potatoes. Smoosh the potatoes in between clean dish towels (so you don’t burn your hands – hot potato!) until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with a little salt.

Now, I’ve tried crisping these two different ways and both work well. Either – coat a baking sheet with olive oil, lay the potatoes on the sheet, drizzle with a bit more olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. Or – heat some olive oil in a nonstick skillet and pan fry the potatoes over medium heat for 10 minutes or so per side, until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with a bit more salt to taste. Now, who doesn’t love a good crispy, salty potato!

To state the obvious, the steak (chateaubriand – a cheap, but decent cut offered at our local Whole Foods) was also very good.  Jordan slow cooked it at 200 degrees until the internal temperature reached 140 degrees (about 45 minutes) and then seared it quickly on each side in a skillet. This cooking method, which we stole from Jose Andres, is great for making less prime cuts of beef pretty darn tender and delicious.