Do you have go-to late night food?
We live in a neighborhood with a stretch of very busy nightlife. On weekend nights, there are lines of people snaking all up and down the street.
And there's an established post-bar ritual. After the kids (yes, we're calling them kids) leave the bars, they queue up for Jumbo Slice Pizza.
What, pray tell, is Jumbo Slice Pizza? It is, by most accounts, the biggest piece of pizza you will ever be served for five dollars. It's huge, greasy, and when you've overindulged, it is phenomenal. (Word of advice: never, ever eat the Jumbo Slice in daytime hours. It is not up to sober food standards. Believe us, we have tried.)
Our Jumbo Slice days are behind us. Mostly.
On a much classier note, Food & Wine's May issue has a beautiful, dark spread about late-night chef food. The chef is question is Paul Qui, the nicest-seeming Top Chef winner ever. The magazine features Paul and his fiancee cooking late-night dinners after they get home from his restaurant in Austin.
Needless to say, Paul's not returning home to fire up the oven and make a Jumbo Slice. Instead, he makes thingd like this Baby Kale and Steak Salad.
The best thing about this steak salad (and there are many great things about it) is the Nuoc Cham dressing. It's a potent, sharp dressing, with flavors of fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, shallot and jalapeño. We love the dressing because it has so much flavor.
The rest of the steak salad is, well, a steak salad. Cook the steak briefly in a cast iron skillet. Slice it, then toss it with kale, onion, cucumber and tomato, and then add the Nuoc Cham dressing. Scratch that. Add LOADS of the Nuoc Cham dressing. Its flavors turn an otherwise standard steak salad into something special, and something that, at midnight after a long day, would no doubt seem transcendent. As an easy normal hours dinner, we think you'd love it.
Perhaps we'll run into Paul sometime, late at night, in a D.C. bar. Instead of dragging him to Jumbo Slice, we'll beg him to run to the supermarket with us, then swing by our apartment and get to cooking, because we're itching to try another recipe from this feature, his Late Night Japanese Noodles ....
On a programming note: This will likely be the only post on the blog this week. We're heading out of town on Wednesday morning for a little adventure. We'll snap a lot of photos and tell you all about it when we're back.
Other Steak Salads You Might Like:
- Grilled Steak and Arugula Salad with White Beans and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Steak with Parmesan Butter, Balsamic Glaze, and Arugula
- Spicy Basil-Beef Salad
Notes from Zach and Clay of The Bitten Word:
Our supermarket did not have Maggi liquid seasoning. We substituted Bragg Liquid Aminos, which our supermarket always has near the vinegars.
If you can't find "Baby Kale" you can substitute regular kale.
Total Time: 25 minutes
NUOC CHAM DRESSING1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably Red Boat
1/4 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 jalapeño, minced with seeds
One 12-ounce, trimmed, boneless rib eye steak, cut 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon canola oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
1 thyme sprig
1 tablespoon Maggi liquid seasoning (a vegetable-based seasoning sauce)
5 ounces baby kale
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small Japanese cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tomato, cut into wedges
MAKE THE NUOC CHAM DRESSING Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.
MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SALAD Rub the steak all over with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a small cast-iron skillet until very hot. Add the steak and cook over moderately high heat for 2 minutes, until browned and crusty. Add the butter, garlic and thyme to the skillet and spoon the melted butter over the steak. Flip the steak and cook for 2 minutes longer, spooning the butter on top. Add the Maggi seasoning, cover and let stand off the heat for 2 minutes. Transfer the steak to a paper towel–lined work surface, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Thinly slice the steak and place in a large serving bowl. Add the baby kale, sliced onion, cucumber, tomato and nuoc cham dressing, toss the salad well and serve.
The nuoc cham dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.