There was fresh lemongrass at the farmer’s market again! This time I used it to flavor a batch of rice cooked with coconut milk and daun salam (recipe from Cradle of Flavor, very easy). I just tied the lemongrass into knots, combined it with washed basmati rice, a handful of dried daun salam (Indian bay) leaves, coconut milk, salt and water, brought it all to a boil and steamed it for 15 minutes, then let it sit while we did other things. Just before we ate I fished out all the aromatics and fluffed up the rice – it was dry, sweet and a little chewy. J thought it smelled a bit like Froot Loops, which I can’t say is a real recommendation, but there you go. It was tasty.
To go with the rice, J made some grilled beef skewers from a book I had out from the library, Grill It! by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby. It’s not my favorite grilling book – I probably won’t buy it – but it has some good ideas in it. This is really just a Thai beef salad: grilled lean beef tossed with a spicy tart-sweet dressing and eaten wrapped up in lettuce leaves. It was incredibly quick and easy – cutting up the beef and threading it on the skewers took up most of the prep time. The beef is meant to be an appetizer, but it made a fine main dish with the rice.
Sirloin skewers with herbs, lime and chiles
from Grill It! by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
- 1 lb beef sirloin, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- big whole lettuce leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp minced serrano chiles (we left the seeds in, which made the dressing pretty perky)
- 1 Tbsp chopped mint
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp chopped basil
Combine the dressing ingredients (lime juice through basil) in a large bowl. Set aside. Season the meat with salt and pepper and thread onto skewers. Grill to medium rare, and push the meat off the skewers into the bowl of dressing. Toss well and serve with lettuce leaves.