Cool-off meal

Summer is here with a big bang. The temperature has been rising into the 90's and the humidity is so high we can probably just breathe in liquid water droplets. Combining these facts with a lousy AC, I just don't even want to turn on any heat in the kitchen. But I gotta eat! Tuna salad is only going to last me a few days. So I made up a salad meal with minimal heat generation -- broiled flank steak on a spinach and walnet salad followed by fluffy blackberry sorbet.

I usually keep a piece of flank steak in the freezer because it's the beef cut I normally use for stir fry. It's also very good grilled and then thinly sliced. In this case, I just used the broiler. I could just eat a spinach salad, but I need my daily protein consumption. To cool off the heat, and to kick start my ice cream maker for the season, I looked up this sorbet recipe that cannot possibly be simpler. But the real reason for using blackberries was that I knew it was on sale -- I do try to be to frugal sometimes. The high amount of sugar in the sorbet gets in the way of ice crystals and hence a fluffy sorbet!

Recipe: Broiled flank steak with spinach walnut salad

1 lb flank steak
1 bag pre-washed baby spinach
3 Tbsp chopped walnut
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic2
tsp of kosher salt
1 tsp of pepper
3 Tbsp of regular olive oil

1. Mince garlic and rosemary. Combine with regular olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2. Use a fork poke the steak on both sides many times. Spread garlic mixture over both sides of steak. Let it marinate for 30 minutes in room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, toast walnuts in a pan over medium-low heat.
4. Mix extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
5. Preheat broiler for 5 minutes and cook steak for 4-5 minutes on each side.
6. Let steak rest for at least 10 minutes before thinly slicing it.
7. Toss spinach and walnuts with the dressing. Plate with beef slices.

Recipe: Blackberry Sorbet
(from William-Sonoma Ice Cream book)

12 oz fresh blackberries (carefully and lightly rinsed)
1.5 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
3 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice (1 juicy lemon or 2 to be on the safe side)

1. Combine water and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat
2. Add berries and bring back to a boil. Let it simmer for at least 2 minutes or until berries are broken down. Help accelerate the process by crushing the berries with a spoon.
3. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Press on the pulp and seeds to extract out as much liquid as possible.
4. Cool the syrup at room temp, and then store in the fridge until cold. (Impatient like I am? Place syrup in a metal bowl and cool in a ice bath. This takes no more than 10 minutes before it is cool enough for the fridge)
5. It is ready for the ice cream maker. After 20-30 minutes it should be all fluffy and iced up. Scoop it out and freeze for at least 1-2 hours before serving.


Catherine said…
Albert!! I can't believe you made your own sorbet too! ah~~ you should move to LA... I miss your cooking, hum.. I mean I miss you.. :)
Albertitto said…
oh I don't always make my own. I eat store-bought ones too! But if you want to make your own flavors, add interesting ingredients, or just want really great ice cream made with good ingredients, it's really not that hard. You just need to invest in a ice cream maker ($40-$50). It's more of a fun item than practical. It doesn't make a lot, and you need to re-freeze the bowl before each batch. When I have my dream kitchen I might buy a professional one...that way I can make those disgusting ice creams (like duck liver!?) they often make on Iron chef.

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