We went camping two weeks ago over Memorial Day weekend. We have a gorgeous State park about 25 minutes away filled with fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more. We packed up the camper and headed up on Saturday, returning on Monday, and the little escape into the Great Outdoors was just what the doctor ordered. Work has been really stressful lately, and it felt incredible and freeing to just get away and unwind. We ate typical camping food while we were up there, of course including hamburgers and hot dogs. I have been going crazy on Pinterest lately with camping pins... I look forward to putting them to good use throughout the remainder of the summer!
When Monday rolled around and we were back home, getting unpacked and relaxing, I wanted to switch up our grilling routine and mix it up a little bit. I perused the latest Food Network magazine, which had a Memorial Day grilling feature, and found some inspiration. I ended up creating a Chili Lime Flank Steak with Cold Asian Pasta Salad, and it really delivered. It was different, refreshing, and full of flavor. It came together really quickly, too, which is always a bonus. I really enjoyed the fact that this was a "cooler" dish and that we didn't eat it while it was piping hot, plus it was full of fresh ingredients. We let the steak rest before cutting and serving it, and the pasta salad was refrigerated for an hour before we ate. The flavor pallet was all-encompassing; acidity cuts sweetness with a hint of savory spice.
Asian Lime Flank Steak with Cold Asian Pasta Salad
For the steak:
2-3 lb flank steak
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Dash or two of ground ginger
1-2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta salad:
1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente according to package instructions
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente according to package instructions
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup julienned bell peppers (red, yellow, and green)
1. Combine lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, sea salt, ground ginger, garlic paste, and olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Place flank steak in a large, resealable zip bag, and pour marinade over steak. Seal bag and shake well to coat steak. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge, removing 15-30 minutes prior to grill time.
2. Make the salad "dressing." Combine olive oil, reduced-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic paste, ground ginger, red chili flakes, Thai sweet chili sauce, and sesame oil in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl with a lid, toss together both kinds of cooked spaghetti noodles, the carrots, the red cabbage, and the bell peppers. Pour the salad dressing over the noodles and vegetables. Place the lid on the bowl and shake salad until the noodles and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Grill the prepared flank steak, low and slow, over direct heat, to your desired level of done. (You can also start grilling on a higher temp to get a nice sear, then reduce to low to finish cooking.) Let meat rest for 10-15 minutes, then slice.
5. Serve steak slices alongside the cold pasta salad and enjoy!
My husband and I both loved this dish, and it was great for leftovers, too- no need to reheat!
What are your favorite summer grilling recipes? Do you enjoy sticking to the tried and true or do you like to mix it up a bit and go on culinary adventures?