As Summer is slowly nosing it’s way in, the sizzling warning shots vigorously announcing its arrival usually send me into some sort of a panicky rush, reminding me of all those yummy things I should definitely cook once more before it gets too hot to even think about turning on the stove. This year though, blissfully moderate temperatures and cool nights actually made it possible for me to go about the whole thing with a bit more brainpower and prepare.
For the first time in years, I remembered a handful of recipe perfectly fitting that special moment during the hottest days of the year, when one of those Serious Food cravings along the lines of “It’s gotta be a steak, and pronto, 40°C be damned!” comes crashing though your door and there’s no BBQ available or delivery service fast enough. Recipes of the “Least effort/stove time for max effect/satisfaction” variety that don’t fall into the usual summery meal categories of salads, cold soups and other things you can eat right out of the fridge if need be.
After assembling a sizeable stack of recipes fitting that description, there was just one thing to do: decide on the first one to share with you guys. And, you might have guessed already, a short break from all the kitchen-works led me into the wilds of Tyria, which lead to the re-discovery of the origins of todays winning recipe:
So there you have it~ On that note… There’s a little something I realized sifting through the 12-15 top recipes: All of them, in their zingy, spicy glory, hail from countries with a hot/tropical climate, at least on this world. Now, whether setting your insides on a deliciously slow smoldering burn sounds like a fantastic idea to make the outside feel cooler or if the “outside” has gotten a bit too small for you during the last one and a half year and a serving dish sounds like a great way of traveling into distant lands – gear up, something wickedly summery, spicy and delicious this way comes~! Starting with this lot right here:
Just a quick warning: Once the pan is hot, this is a in-one-go-show, so make sure you’ve got everything sliced, diced, prepared and in arm-flailing reach. Apart from the steaks, of course, you’ll want to marinade them for 8-12 hours before the gig. So let’s get started with those!
The Spicy Lime Steaks
2 Rib Eye Steaks, each about 250-300g
4 Very Generous Pinches of Salt and Togarashi Pepper Blend
4 Limes, Zest – hold on to the naked limes, you’ll need their juice later~
2 Stalks of Lemongrass, white parts finely grated – bash the green stems with the backside of a heavy knife and use them as “brushes” once it’s pan’o’clock.
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely grated
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves, crumpled up
2 Tbsp Peanut Oi
l2 Drops of Roasted Sesame Oil
2 Tsp Sesame Seeds
2 Tsp Sambal Oelek
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
1) Pop all of these ingredients into a small bowl and whisk them together until they’re well combined.
2) Have a look at the rib eyes – if your butcher left a bit of fat around the edges of the steaks, don’t cut it off. Instead, pick up a very sharp knife and slice a diamond pattern into the layer, about ¾ of the way down to the meat.
3) Rub a pinch of salt into the cuts before proceeding to the marinade massage, this will help render off and turn the protective layer of fat into a crispy dot on the I later on.
4) Grab a zip-lock bag or an airtight container large enough to accommodate your steaks and snap on a pair of CSI gloves.
5) Distribute the marinade onto your steaks and ever so gently massage it all around and into the steaks.
6) Once you’re done, pop them into the baggie or container, seal them up and place them in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
Make sure to have all of the veggies cleaned and bite-sized before turning on the stove, the herbs chopped and, together with the rest of the toppings, waiting in a separate bowl sitting right next to the bowl holding all the liquids.
250g Long Stemmed or normal Broccoli, sliced into bite-sized bits
100g Thin Thai Asparagus or more Broccoli, sliced into bite-sized bits
100g Sugar Snap Peas, diagonally sliced into bite-sized bits
4 Small Pak Choi, quartered
2 Nasci Pears, cored and sliced into comfortably biteable wedges
The Spicy, Saucy “Dressing”
4-5 Bird’s Eye Chillies, finely chopped
1 Generous Pinch of Salt
100ml Beef Stock
100ml Tbsp Plum Wine
1 Tbsp Mirin
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
4 Limes, Juice – the ones we zested earlier
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
The Herby Toppings
½ Bunch Coriander
½ Bunch Thai Basil
4 Tbsp Peanuts, roasted and lightly salted
Alt: Sesame Seeds
4 Spring Onions, finely sliced into rings
4 Tbsp Edamame Beans, shelled
1 Clove of Garlic, bashed
2 Tbsp Ghee
1) Place the veggies in a colander and set a water cooker up to a boil. Once it’s done its job, pop the colander in a sink and douse the veg with the boiling water, blanching them within the blink of an eye.
2) Allow them to sit in the residual heat for 3-4 mins, then douse them with ice cold water to stop the cooking process for the time being and to retain their vibrant colors.
3) Set a heavy-based large pan onto medium-high heat and place the lid on top.
4) Retrieve the steaks and brush every bit of excess marinade off into the bowl holding your liquids.
5) If you’re in for an extra juicy melts-in-your-mouth experience, get a grip onto the defining part of the rib eye with your fingertips and squeeze-wriggle it a little to loosen and soften it up a bit. Grab a pinch of salt and massage it in.
6) Pop the ghee into the pan, allow it to melt and tilt the pan to gloss over the entire inner surface.
7) Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt into the pan and add the garlic.
8) Gently slide in the steaks and fry them up into deliciously golden crispness for 3-4 mins per side, flipping them over every 30 seconds for an even sear on the outside and a beautifully light pink interior.
9) Transfer the steaks to a warmed plate and cover them with a sheet of tinfoil.
10) Allow them to R&R for 5-6 mins while you finish up the rest.
11) Deglaze the pan with the contents of your “Spicy, Saucy Dressing” Bowl, swirling up every last bit of steak juices sticking to the pan into the sauce with a spatula.
12) Add the veggies and close the lid for 2-3 mins.
13) Time to plate up! Distribute the veg onto your plates.
14) Nestle the steaks onto these delicious beds and cover them with heaps of the herby toppings and nuts.
15) Sauce on, knives out!