chili lime dressing

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing

Okay so the holidays are fast approaching and we are all surrounded by sweets and cookies and cakes and rich hearty indulgences.

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

With all the temptations at your fingertips this time of year, it’s easy to go overboard, and as much as I love to indulge, after a while your body just craves something fresh and bright and healthy. Of course, it’s also important to maintain a balance in your diet, to keep your ticker ticking and all. The thing about writing a food blog though, is that you tend to want to write about beautiful foods that make your mouth water just looking at them. While a lot of healthy foods certainly can taste great, “health food” ain’t sexy.

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

We tend to eat a lot of salads at home, though from what I post here you might not know it. Most of our dinner salads are a kitchen sink of whatever produce we can find in the fridge, and while they’re usually delicious, they’re not all that photogenic or imaginative. For that reason, they don’t often make it to the pages of Brooklyn Homemaker.

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

This salad though, is different. This salad isn’t just sexy, it’s seductive.

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

To get those super long, super thin, super sexy julienned strips of carrot and mango, I used a julienne peeler. In a pinch you could also use a standard box grater, but the results won’t be nearly as long or thin, and if your mango isn’t super firm I fear that it might just turn to mush. I think that getting those perfect thin strands of vegetables makes salads look so much more delicious and interesting and makes you want to just dive right in. These peelers are also really really easy to use, so if you’re looking for a fun and affordable new tool for your kitchen, or a great stocking stuffer for the cook in your life, I’d highly recommend picking one up!

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

To finish the salad and make it feel even more substantial and filling, I added some seared London broil, sliced ultra thin. If you’re not a steak fan though you can use whatever protein you like. I think the steak works really well with the dressing, but sliced chicken breast would be great here too. You could even go for some fresh juicy shrimp, seared salmon fillets, or even some decadent confit duck leg. Or, for that matter, skip the protein altogether. There is such a wide variety of flavors and textures going on that this salad is pretty amazing all on it’s own.

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

While it certainly is good for you, the last word that comes to mind when you eat this salad is healthy. It’s bursting with so much flavor and offers such a variety of textures that you won’t be thinking about anything else. The carrots and mango are crunchy and fresh, and every bite is permeated with the sweet, bright, and spicy dressing. The crunchy cashews taste almost buttery against the sweet acidity of the rest of the salad, the cilantro is fresh and green and summery, and the sliced steak stands in soft and tender contrast to all that crispness and crunch.

steak topped carrot and mango salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

Steak Topped Carrot and Mango Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

Dressing:
zest and juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a dressing bottle or measuring cup and whisk or shake vigorously.

Salad:
6 medium carrots, julienned or grated (about 4 cups)
1 firm (or slightly under-ripe) mango, peeled and julienned or grated (about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup torn cilantro leaves
1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
12 to 16 oz London Broil (or other lean boneless steak), optional
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

Julienne carrots using a julienne peeler (I LOVE this one), or grate them with a box grater. Peel the mango and julienne it, stopping where you feel the pit beneath the flesh. You can also slice the mango off the pit and grate it with a box grater. Combine the carrots, mango, sliced shallot, and chili lime dressing in a large bowl and toss well to combine.

At this point you could finish the salad and eat it as is, but I think it really benefits from at least an hour’s rest covered in the refrigerator.
So, if you have time, cover and refrigerate from 1 to 24 hours to let the flavors mingle. Just before serving, add the cashews and cilantro and toss until well combined.

Generously season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet (not non-stick) over high heat. Once the pan is good and super hot, add butter or oil, and sear the steak for 3-6 minutes on either side, flipping only once. This will depend on the thickness of the steak, but 3 minutes per side should get you to about medium rare, and 6 should get you closer to medium well. Remove steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing against the grain of the meat, into super thin slices with a very sharp knife.

While steak is resting, toss the salad again to redistribute the dressing. Plate the salad and top with slices of steak.

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summery steak salad with chili lime dressing

OMG it’s actually summer now!

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

It’s already felt like summer for weeks, but according to the dates on the calendar, it’s official now. Summer, with it’s long days and sunshine, picnics and parties, and farm stands and markets filled with fresh produce. Bright, vibrant, sweet, crunchy, juicy, wonderful, delicious produce.

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

I know it’s not really corn season just yet here in New York, but real fresh sweet corn is starting to show up in the grocery store and that’s good enough for me. I seriously LOVE the first sweet corn of the season. It’s just so much sweeter and crunchier than the frozen bagged corn I’ve been eating all winter. I know the local stuff will be even fresher, sweeter, and more delicious, but it’s not time yet and I need my fix.

I’m not ashamed to admit that after slicing off the kernels, I was standing alone in the kitchen nibbling away at the ears to get at those last juicy little golden bits.

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

When corn is fresh and ripe, it’s sweet and crunchy enough to go straight into the salad raw, right off the ear. For an extra layer of flavor though, I tossed the corn into a screaming hot cast iron pan for a couple minutes to roast the kernels just a bit.

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

Along with the corn, I added crisp sweet slices of red bell pepper, romaine lettuce for body and crunch, red onion for bite, and big chunks of ripe avocados for their soft creamy texture. Then the cherry on top of it all was thinly sliced tender juicy steak.

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

I think London Broil is perfect for this salad. It’s not too fatty, with nice even marbling, and free of any gristle or nastiness. Flank steak would work really well too. Either way, it’s best if you slice it super thin with a very sharp knife. Russell likes his more cooked than I do, so I sliced the steak in half and put his on a few minutes before mine. If everyone likes it the same way though, there’s no need. Generously season your steak, get your pan screaming hot, and let it go for a few minutes on either side. It really just takes a few minutes. You can cook it as much as you like, but it’ll be more tender, and better for a salad, at about medium rare or medium.

Quick side note, don’t attempt searing your steak on a non-stick pan. The high heat will ruin the surface. It’s best to use a cast iron or stainless steel skillet, but if you don’t have one you can put your steak under the broiler or on the grill instead.

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

To pair with the sweet crisp veggies in the salad, I wanted a bright acidic dressing with a bit of spice. I chose to go for little more than a couple freshly squeezed limes with their zest, some good extra virgin olive oil, a touch of honey, and a bit of cayenne pepper and chili powder for spice. The dressing is really quick to throw together, and it really is the perfect compliment to all the other elements of this salad. Tangy, crisp, sweet, and acidic, with just a hint of heat.

summery steak salad with chili lime dressing | Brooklyn Homemaker

Summery Steak Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

Dressing:
zest and juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (if desired)

Combine all ingredients in a dressing bottle or measuring cup and whisk or shake vigorously.

Salad:
1 lb london broil
1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
1 large head romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 ears sweet corn
1/2 medium red onion, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 avocado, cut into large bite-sized chunks

Season steak on both sides with salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne, and set aside to rest. Shuck the corn and slice the kernels off the ear using a sharp knife. I hold the ear straight up and down with the butt end on a board, and shave down with my knife. Add 1/2 the tablespoon of olive oil to a preheated skillet and roast kernels over high heat for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring infrequently, until they just begin to brown. Set aside, wipe out the skillet, and add remaining olive oil. Sear your steak for 3-6 minutes on either side, flipping only once. Depending on the thickness of the steak, 3 minutes per side should get you to about medium rare, and 6 should get you closer to medium well. Remove steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. Chop, wash, and dry romaine and add to a large bowl with roasted corn, red onion, bell pepper, and avocado. Top with dressing and toss until well combined. Plate your tossed salad and top with steak sliced into super thin strips.