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Skinny Kitchen: Alex’s Thai Beef Salad

Hello all! I’m very sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday.

I was at Chessington World of Adventures regressing to my childhood, having my face painted like a bat, and literally falling out of my seat in excitement for Kat Brown’s birthday.

Ahem.

So, to make up for it, i’m giving you Alex’s recipe for Thai Beef Salad. This salad is nothing short of legendary, and that is not an exaggeration.

Alex and I eat this for supper every single Monday night pretty much without fail; I actually get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t. It’s jam-packed full of goodness, light and healthy, and incredibly delicious – just what you need after a heavy weekend and a Sunday roast!

This recipe serves two – please note that we were making extra when we took the photo’s, so don’t worry if the quantities look a little large!

Also, this recipe is how we make it, and can be easily adapted to suit what you have. If you have little gem lettuces in the fridge, use them; likewise with the mangetout and sugersnap peas. Make it your own!

What you’ll need:      

For the salad:

2 steaks, or 1 approximately 500g cut of beef – use a chewy and flavoursome cut, such as Rump or Onglet. The texture in this salad is all about the chewy steak and the contrasting crispy vegetables, so don’t worry about spending money on expensive fillet. Do not worry about the fat; you’ll trim this off before eating.

1 small iceberg lettuce

1 small bag mangetout

1 small bag sugersnap peas

2 spring onions

3 vine tomatoes

1/4 of a cucumber

1 handful each of fresh Coriander, Basil and Mint

For the dressing:

2 Birdseye Chillis (optional)

1 tablespoon Palm Sugar (available from most supermarkets or Oriental food shops)

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon fish sauce

Equipment:

Two chopping boards and sharp knives (one for the meat, one for the vegetables)

A large mixing bowl

A small heatproof bowl or pan, for blanching the vegetables.

A griddle pan

A pestle and mortar for your dressing

Step One:

First of all, we need to griddle the steak.

If your meat is in one piece, cut it into equal-sized steaks.

Season your steak well with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Massage it into the steak until well covered.

Heat a griddle pan on a high heat until it is smoking. Do not put any oil in the pan; you have already oiled your steaks.

Sear your steak until it is to your liking. In my opinion, this recipe is best with rare steak, and for this 1-2 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the steak) is perfect.

Once you have griddled your steaks, take them off the heat, put on a  chopping board and leave to rest.

Step Two:

Using a sharp knife, shred your lettuce. We have also added ½ a bag of mixed salad here, as we had it in the fridge and needed to use it. Remember, this recipe is versatile and can be easily adapted to suit what you have in your fridge!

Put your lettuce into the large mixing bowl.

Cut your tomatoes in half and, using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds.

 Then slice them into thin strips and put into the bowl with your lettuce.

Chop your spring onions and cucumber, discarding the cucumber seeds, and put into the bowl with your lettuce and tomatoes.

Tear off a handful each of the Coriander, Basil and Mint, and add to your salad ingredients.

Step Three:

Boil a kettle. Trim the mangetout and sugar snap peas, and place them into your small bowl or pan. When the kettle has boiled, pour over the boiling water, and blanch the vegetables until just softened.

Sieve the vegetables out and run under the cold tap to prevent them from cooking any further.

Place into the mixing bowl with the rest of your salad ingredients.

Step Four:

By now your beef ought to be well-rested. Trim the beef into thin strips, cutting of any pieces of fat as you go.

Pop the beef into the salad bowl.

Step Five:

Now to make your dressing!

Chop your Birdseye chillis finely, if using.

Place the palm sugar into the pestle and mortar, and grind a little to loosen the paste. Then add your lime juice, chillis and fish sauce. Try not to get any lime pips into the dressing.

Taste a little on the end of a teaspoon; the dressing ought to be equally sweet, sharp and salty. If more salt is required, add a little more fish sauce, if  it’s not sweet enough, add a little more palm sugar, and if it’s not fresh and sharp enough, add a little more lime.

Adjust the dressing until it is to your liking, and once it’s perfect, drizzle it all over your salad ingredients and give it all a good mix around.

Serve into individual bowls and eat immediately.

Perfect!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

Note: We usually use the Ginger Pig when buying our meat in Borough market. However, on this occasion, we bought this beautiful piece of beef from the Northfield Farm stall, and it was exceptional. The butcher on the stall was also very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

No prior connection, etc etc – just wanted to give them a mention as it was such good meat!

You can find Northfield Farm’s website here.

Tel: 01664 474271

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Recipe: How To Make Basic, Foolproof Chewy Cookie Dough!

I love cookies.

“But, sweetie!” I hear you cry, “that’s blasphemy! You are English! Surely you must mean biscuits?”

No, I do not mean biscuits!  I mean thick, soft, ridiculously chewy American-style cookies.

This is my favourite, tried and tested cookie dough.

It makes gorgeously soft, thick, chewy cookies – yummy!  It can be customised however you like, by adding chocolate chunks, peanut butter, marshmallows – anything at all.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make gorgeous strawberry-covered cookies using this recipe!

What you’ll need:

200 grams of caster sugar

80 grams of soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg, and 1 egg yolk

250 grams of plain flour, sifted

80 grams of ground almonds

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of baking powder

A pinch of salt

 

Equipment:

A greased, lined baking tray

Two mixing bowls

A wooden spoon

 

Step One:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Melt your butter in a pan or in the microwave. When it is fully melted, pour it into a mixing bowl and add your caster and brown sugar. Keep beating until it forms a smooth thick caramel!

Step Two:

Beat in the vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk until the mixture is smoothly combined.

Step Two:

In another bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt.

Give them a good mix together until they are also thoroughly combined.

Step Three:

A little at a time, beat the combined dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mix,  until it is all thoroughly mixed together and has formed a thick, stiff mixture.

Then chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour. Have a glass of wine (or cup of tea, if it is not yet six o’clock).

Step Four:

Take out of the fridge. Your dough will now be really thick and stiff – if you stick a spoon in the top, it ought to stay upright on its own.

You are now ready to shape your cookies! Using your hands, scoop some dough out of the bowl and roll it into a ball in your hands.

Place it on the baking tray, and repeat with the rest, making sure to leave a good gap between each ball of dough.

Remember – the bigger your lump of dough, the bigger and chewier the cookie!

Step Five:

Now, put them in the oven.

For large cookies that are very squidgy, leave them in for about 10 minutes – for a crunchier cookie, leave them in for 15. Take them out of the oven, and leave them on the surface to cool for a few minutes. Then carefully lift them with a cake slice and place them on a wire rack to cool fully.

NOTE: when you take your cookies out of the oven, they will seem much too squidgy. However, resist the temptation to put them in for longer; I promise, they harden up a lot when they cool.

Now, eat and enjoy!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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