It is summer-time in New England, and that means outside bar-b-ques, red meat, and tons of farm fresh produce. It also means most of us don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen when we could be outside. We especially don’t want to create complicated meals that demand a lot of sweating over stove burners. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat well, though. It doesn’t have to be all hotdogs and hamburgers or cold chef salad. There is a world of good recipes that will make your summer come alive. This recipe is about bringing some simple summer eloquence to your next dinner on the porch. The salty, savory, sweet, spicy and bitter flavors will combine to give you a great taste experience. Enjoy.
Citrus Steak Salad
1 1/2 pounds of steak
6 ounces of goat cheese
1 fennel bulb
1/2 pound of arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Over a medium size bowl, segment both the orange and the grapefruit. Set the bowl of segmented organs and grapefruit aside.
Juice the remaining unsegmented citrus into a separate bowl. Add the juice of one lime. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the olive oil slowly, whisking the entire time to create and emulsion.
Dice the jalapeño. Add half of the diced jalapeño to the citrus vinaigrette. Keep the rest of the diced jalapeño for garnish.
Salt and pepper the steak. Rub each side with some olive oil. Grill your steak over medium high to high heat, four minutes on each side. The high heat will seal in the juices of the meat. Do not touch the steak once it hits the grill. You will be tempted to. Its going to make funny noises. You are going to think you will burn the steak. As much as you want to touch the steak before four minutes DON’T DO IT! You want the outside of your steak to be crispy and caramelized. That only happens when heat is left to its own devices. After four minutes flip the steak and wait four more minutes. At the end of four minutes remove the steak and let it rest for at least five minutes.
Once the steak has rested, cut it into slices for plating.
(Note: if you don’t have a grill, or simply don’t want to cook on it, a frying pan will work just fine. It wont taste quite as delicious, but it will still be good. Follow the same principles and make sure your pan is hot before you cook the steak)
Cut the Fennel bulb into thin slices.
Crumble the goat cheese.
Place some arugula on a plate. Add the fennel slices, the segmented orange and grapefruit, goat cheese, and three to four pieces of steak. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Garnish with the remaining diced jalapeño and pomegranate seeds.
Beer: A light Lager or a Belgium White would pair best with some of the more delicate elements of this dish, and compliment some of the bolder ones.
Wine: Although usually red wines are paired with red meat, this dish is to delicate for most of them. In keeping with the summer theme I would go for a sweeter Rose´ or a Sauvignon Blanc. A sweeter wine will compliment the spice of the jalapeños.
Cocktail: A margarita or tequila sunrise would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish. They will bring out the citrus and compliment the spice.