Friday, August 07, 2009

Korean Barbecued Beef in Lettuce Cups (Page 57)

RECIPE #1006

  • Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 -- 1pm
  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Kitchen: My Mom's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Teri, Mel, Melissa, Donna, etc...
  • Recipe Rating: A-

A few days before Melanie's wedding, she had a girls-only luncheon for some of her family and friends. I made the food for this event. Because I wanted to be sure the food would good (it was part of her wedding festivities after all!) I made mostly things I had made before. But I wanted to try one new recipe from The Book, and this was it. Despite not being allowed at this girls-only event, my special gentleman helped me prepare this hors d'oeuvre (Side note: I forgot to bring one of these back for him, so he didn't even get to taste his handiwork! He was not happy!). We started by marinading skirt steak in a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, scallions, sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and chili sauce. I reserved some of the marinade mixture before adding the steak. We made a salad of sticks of Gala apple and mango, and tossed the fruit in a mixture of lime juice, chili sauce, and salt. I cooked the steak under the broiler, then sliced it into strips. I tossed the steak with the unused marinade, then divided the meat amongst leaves of Bibb lettuce. I topped the steak with the apple mango salad. I had concerns about this dish when I tasted the apple mango salad by itself. It was quite spicy! The steak, too, had quite a kick to it. The components were spicy enough that I wondered if The Book had meant sweet chili sauce rather than spicy chili sauce. But, amazingly enough, when the dish was assembled it wasn't too spicy at all. The lettuce really mellowed out the spice of the dish beautifully, so it was a touch spicy, but certainly not overpowering. I thought this dish was very tasty. The beef was delicious -- the marinade and sauce on it had tons of flavor, and the quick cooking under the broiler gave the marinade a nice bit of carmelized crunch to it. The apple mango salad was tasty, and provided good textural contrast. And the lettuce brought it all together with a lovely crunch and a handy way to wrap everything up before eating it. It was a tasty dish that people seemed to enjoy -- I would make it again.

Here is the recipe.

Hello from Norway! I am at a math conference which is taking place in the Nordfjord region of Norway. Often our conferences are held at universities, but this one is being held in a resort hotel surrounded by mountains and fjords -- it's pretty awesome! Plus my special gentleman came with me to enjoy the beautiful surroundings (the math happening here is not so similar to the math that he does!), and it is fun to have him here with me! Here is the view from the balcony of our hotel room:

I gave a talk at the conference on Tuesday. It's always nice to speak near the beginning of the week because I find it hard to relax until my talk is done! I think it went pretty well though. A typical summer conference will run from Monday to Friday with an excursion on Wednesday afternoon. I don't know how this tradition started, but it is very common. So on Wednesday afternoon we had no talks, and instead we took a boat ride out to a glacier, and then went for a short hike. Here's a picture from the boat of the glacier we were headed towards. You can see it in the background, wedged between the mountains:

And here's a picture of the boat we took, which I am adding simply because it captures the incredible color of the water here. It is so brightly aqua colored that it looks fake!

This is definitely a special location for a conference. I wasn't too excited about the last leg of the trip here, when we had to ride a little propeller plane and experience some glacier winds before landing at an airport with just one (short little) runway! But it was worth it. The conference has been interesting, the scenery is incredible, and our hotel has 2 pools, 2 jacuzzis, and 2 waterslides! I can't complain.

We have one more talk this afternoon, then tomorrow we are going for a long hike up a big mountain! On Sunday we are headed back to the States for a few days at home before we head to California. What a crazy, crazy summer!


Melanie said...

Just throwing in my two cents about the lettuce cups: I loved them! They had just the right amount of kick and were easy to eat in their lettuce wrapper.

Thanks again Teena for doing the lunch - it was the highlight of the wedding week!

Teena said...

I am very glad that you liked them!