Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Flank You Very Much!

Spiedini di Manzo con Miso, Tamarinde, Miele & Lime su Vermicelli di Riso Alla Menta
Beef Skewers with Miso, Tamarind, Honey & Lime on Minty Rice Noodles


Who ever would have thought, that the left-over slice of flank steak from the other night, would turn into something as wonderful as this? Well- obviously I did! because I was the one that did it!

With some nice, rich flavors to marinate the meat, lime juice to make it tender and honey to give it a nice glaze- there really wasn't any way I could go wrong! And with minty-lime juice infused brown rice noodles, that little slice of meat became a full and delicious meal!


As this was a spur of the moment decision, although it was really delicious, it was probably not as good as it could have been if the meat had been able to sit in the marinade for and hour or two longer- or for the rice-noodles to have soaked up more flavor for a while too...

So the bottom line is this- if you can plan ahead- do so! The result will be better! But if you can't- as I didn't... don't be too hard on yourself... it's going to taste pretty fantastic all the same!


So, along with my very thin slice of flank steak, I had a portion of brown rice noodles, 2-3 stalks of fresh mint, 1 fresh lime, 1 fresh chili, a teaspoon each of miso, tamarind paste and honey, a little fish sauce, a little sesame oil and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds to garnish at the end.


So very simple and so very good! Rich in flavor, with a little kick of heat from the chili, but basically light and healthy, this was a perfect evening meal in so many ways!


I can't wait for the Springtime to arrive, when this kind of refreshing meal will be better still... It's the freshness of the lime and the mint that make it so terrific and that give that excellent contrast to the spicy skewers... so actually, I thought to myself, why wait? Let's just start on this fun stuff right now!


For the marinade, I stirred together the miso and tamarind paste, with the honey, a tablespoon of sesame oil and the juice of half a lime, until they all blended together smoothly.


I then cut the meat into strips of around 2" wide, cutting across the grain and stirred them into the marinade. I let mine sit for just 20 minutes or so- but as I already mentioned- an hour or two would be better still.
After the meat had marinated nicely, I threaded it onto the skewers, which I also cropped a little in length, to make them easier to handle- especially if you are using a pan and not an outdoor grill, as I was.


In the meantime, I prepared the rice noodles, by simply pouring enough boiling water over them until they were covered and then letting them sit for 3-4 minutes. I then poured the hot water off and immediately rinsed them under cold water. I did this twice, which has the effect of a.) stopping the cooking process, which is really important, as these things are so easy to over-cook- and b.) it also prevents them from clumping and sticking together.


Once they are cold and dripped-dry, add plenty of finely shredded mint, the juice of the other half of lime, a good splash of Thai fish sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil. Simple! Oh- and yes... delicious!

Next, get your griddle pan or grill really hot and let the skewers sizzle for just a couple of minutes from each side- just enough for them to gain a nice color, but to be just tender and delicious and ready to eat!


Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, a few slivers of fresh chili pepper if you are that way inclined- and a little extra squeeze of lime juice to make everything extra light and fresh!


Of course, the miso and tamarind pastes are really packed with rich and complimentary flavors- you never had to do so little to make your food taste so good!

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