Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kenyan Style Beef Salad (with strawberries and peppers)

It's Summertime in Atlanta and that translates to, "It's hot as hell!" LOL! On these hot, lazy Summer days I tend to crave for lighter meals as I don't feel like sweating over a hot stove or peeking into a hot oven. I came up with his salad a few days ago that was quick to put together, healthy,packed with flavor and easy on the eyes. And guess what? When it seems like this salad has delivered every possible advantage...it tastes even better the next day! Here's what you'll need to make it.

SERVING SIZE: Feeds 5-6 people sufficiently.

-Heavy-bottomed pan (I used a cast-iron skillet).
-Kitchen tongs.
-Wooden spoon or silicone spatula (for mixing)
-Serving platter.
-Mixing bowl.
-Zester (you need it to zest the lemon).

-1 1/2 Lb. of stewing beef (cubed to bite-size pieces).
-1 head of lettuce (I used an assorted pack that I got from the grocery store for variety and color).
-1 cup candied pecans (sold in grocery stores) or any roasted nuts of your choice (optional)
-Fresh, ripe strawberries (washed, hulled and sliced). This is also optional. But the flavor it adds is exceptional!
-2 peppers (capsicums), seeds removed and julienned (cut into long, thin strips). I used an orange and a red one for color and sweetness.
-1/2 a bunch (1/4 cup)cilantro (coriander leaves), finely chopped.
-1 tablespoon ginger/garlic paste (1 teaspoon ginger paste + 1 teaspoon garlic paste).
-2 teaspoons browning caramel (optional). This is found in the Caribbean section of the ethnic aisle at the grocery store.
-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional).
-1 teaspoon dry basil.
-1 small beef bullion (I used Royco brand. You can use Maggi or Knorr brand).
-1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher salt).
-1 teaspoon dry Rosemary leaves (rub between the palm of your hands to grind).
-2 teaspoons Herbs Provence (optional).
-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
-1 small beef bullion of your choice, crumbled (I used Royco, a Kenyan brand). You can find these in the Hispanic section of the ethnic aisle at the grocery store.
-1 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking the meat).
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter (for cooking the meat).



-1/4 cup olive oil.
-1/8 cup water.
-1/2 teaspoon salt.
  -1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  -1 tablespoon finely chopped chives.
  -2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.

-Place your cubes of beef in a mixing bowl and add the browning caramel,  Worcestershire sauce, ginger-garlic paste, basil, Herbs Provence, rosemary and salt. Mix well using your wooden spoon or spatula to coat all the beef cubes well. Set aside.
-Heat your cast-iron skillet or pan on medium heat then add the tablespoon of olive oil and the tablespoon of butter.
-Add the coated beef to the pan and let the beef cook for around 8 minutes before you turn the beef cubes over in the pan. Cook until all sides of the beef cubes are well browned, but not burnt. The juices from the beef should appear in the pan.                                                         

-After about 16 minutes of cooking (total), the beef should be done. Add the chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) to the beef and give it a stir. Let the meat cook for an additional 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Let it cool.

-Meanwhile, in your serving platter, pinch your lettuce into bite-size pieces.
-Sprinkle your lettuce with about 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
-Add the julienned peppers, sliced strawberries, candies pecans (or any other nut of your choice) and cooled, cooked beef cubes to the lettuce. You can toss the salad at this point if you like.

-In a mason jar with a lid (as seen in the video), combine all the ingredients for the dressing (in any order). Cover the jar with the lid and vigorously shake to combine. Your dressing is done.

Serve your salad in an individual plate and drizzle the dressing over it and dig in! I served this up for dinner. It was quick, filling and delicious!! Enjoy!!