Fennel and Kale Salad with Grainy Mustard Dressing

Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 fennel, sliced thin
  • 2 kale leafs, destalked and sliced thin
  • 4 small potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vineger
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Emmentaler cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and place on preheated bbq or oven for 10 minutes on medium high heat. Place the kale and fennel in a bowl. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, juice, and shredded garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the potatoes have cooled enough to touch, cut into 3-4mm slices and add to the bowl. Toss the veggies with the dressing. Serve.

And now for the details…

Okay, so this dish was totally another one of those “what do I have in the fridge” moments to bring something together at the last minute. I was having a friend over for dinner, already had steak on the roster, but needed a veggie to go with it. The result? A garlicky, creamy salad that has a freshness hit from the fennel, the added bite of the potatoes and earthiness of Emmentaler cheese.

If you have no Emmentaler, fret not, readily available “Swiss cheese”, as we know it in North America, is actually based on Emmentaler cheese. Because, yep, you guessed it, Emmental is a region in Switzerland. (Fun fact: did you know that the holes in Swiss cheese are known as “eyes” and if the cheese has no eyes, it is considered “blind”?)

Let’s get to the cooking.

Before starting to assemble the salad, we need to cook the potatoes. I used the barbecue, since it was already on to cook the steaks for our meal. But you could always cook them in the oven, or even boil them, as alternatives. I cleaned the potatoes well, since I wanted to keep the skins on, and placed them in tin foil, then cooked them for about 10 minutes. They were just wee, so they didn’t need much time to cook through. Adjust your cooking time as you need, depending on what size of potatoes you are using.

Now prepare the rest of your veggies. Slice the fennel thinly, and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. Allow the potatoes to cool after they have been cooked; if you add them hot to the salad, they will melt or cook the other ingredients and the results will be quite different.

Slice the potatoes into little medallions, and add all the veggies to your salad bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. I used my handy-dandy garlic grating plate to get a nice garlic paste going. If you do not have a garlic plate, grate the garlic with a fine grater right into the dressing bowl, trying to allow any garlic “juice” to make its way into the dressing. Next, grate the cheese, adding it to the bowl with the salad dressing.

Toss everything together gently, trying to avoid breaking the potatoes up into little pieces. Serve, and enjoy!

Happy eating.

Tacos with Chimichurri Flank Steak and Buttermilk Cole Slaw

Tacos with Chimichurri Flank Steak and Cole Slaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Green and Garlicky Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 recipe Creamy Buttermilk Cole Slaw
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) flank steak
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp chipotle oil, like Huipi Chil Salsa Mango Chipotle
  • 8-12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup canola (or other vegetable) oil

Directions

Place the flank steak in a ziplock bag with 3/4 of the chimichurri sauce, reserving 1/4 of the sauce, set aside. Ensure the steak is fully covered with the sauce, release any air from the bag, seal, and marinate in a refrigerator overnight. Remove from the bag, and dispose of the bag and any leftover sauce. Barbecue the flank steak at medium-high heat until desired level of doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Mix the crème fraîche with the chipotle oil until evenly mixed, set aside. Heat the canola oil at medium-high heat in a shallow pan until hot. Add the tortillas, one at a time, turning after 10-30 seconds on each side, and place to the side on a towel. Cut the flank steak across the grain into strips. Serve all items, and assemble tacos, with steak, Cole slaw, chimichurri sauce, chipotle sauce, and fresh cilantro.

And now for the details…

Yep, I’m pulling a buttload of previous recipes into this one. The Garlicky Chimichurri sauce and Creamy Buttermilk Cole slaw find new meaning in these delicious tacos that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. And is that the Ratatouille recipe in the background as an optional side to this meal? Oh you bet your sweet ass…ets it is.

I had actually made all these elements separately earlier and realized how complementary they would all be together as one. And so… these tacos were born!

Flank steak, although flavourful and meaty, is a fairly tough cut of meat. Luckily, that also means that it is usually quite affordable, although the trendiness has boosted its market value of late. Flank steak needs the chimichurri marinade to help break it down to provide its juicy, tender grilled perfection for this dish. In addition to marinating, we will be cutting the steak across the grain, which will help give the impression of tenderness.

We will start by marinading our steak in the chimichurri sauce. Add the steak and about 3/4 of the chimichurri sauce into a ziploc bag. Reserve the rest of the chimichurri in the fridge to serve with the tacos. If you are environmentally conscious and do not want to waste a bag, feel free to use a container that you can seal. Just makes sure the steak is evenly coated by the marinade, and try to turn it over partway through its marinading process. Let the steak sit in all that savoury scrumptiousness in the fridge overnight. Think of it as treating you steak to a spa-like body treatment. Everything needs to fully sink in.

You can prepare the cole slaw the night before when you are getting the steak ready for its body wrap, or just before you are ready to serve the rest of your meal. I would recommend the day before, though, since I feel cole slaw tastes better the next day. You won’t need to whole recipe of slaw for the tacos, and since it keeps so well in the fridge, you will be stocked with a side dish for a couple of days afterward!

Remove the flank steak from it marinade, and throw away the leftover marinade. Barbecue the steak on medium-high heat, until your preferred level of doneness. This site has a great chart for the different temperatures to aim for, and estimated cooking times.

Once the steak is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it rest for at least 10 minutes prior to cutting. When you are ready, cut it against the grain. Cutting it against the grain will make the bite feel less stringy, since you have already cut the muscle fibre short, giving it the feel of tenderness when you are eating.

While you are waiting for the steak to rest, you can prepare your crème fraîche and tortillas. The crème fraîche is the easiest, stirring it together with the oil until they have mixed completely. Once you are done, heat the canola oil to medium-high heat, then place the tortillas in the hot oil, one at a time, flipping after only about 20 seconds. You have to watch this quite closely, cooking too long will result in crunchy edges and the tacos will fall apart when you try to bend them to eat. Transfer them from the heat to a paper towel-lined plate.

When the tacos are ready, serve them with the steak, reserved chimichurri, chipotle crème fraîche, cilantro, and cole slaw. Assemble your tacos at the table, and enjoy!

Happy eating.

Creamy Buttermilk Cole Slaw

Creamy Cole Slaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 small cabbage, sliced finely
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp dijon
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions


Mix together the cabbage and carrots. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in the dressing, then pour over the vegetables and toss until evenly coated.

And now for the details…

Well, this recipe is not terrible pretty, but it sure is yummy. I feel as though the Netflix show ‘Ugly Delicious’ could take its title and attach it to this side. Cole slaw’s are not usually overly pretty and do not offer the same presentation possibilities as many other dishes, but are tasty and very versatile in their use. I mean, really, what other salad do you know that you can put together completely, dress, and have it not only taste great the next day, but often even better than it did the first!

And man, does this salad have lasting power. I will make it at the beginning of the week, and we often have it multiple times throughout the week, minimizing the evening meal prep, and it holds well when taking it to work as a side.

Prep on this salad is relatively easy, but is definitely easier with the use of a very sharp knife. I use my Japanese knife to cut the cabbage quite fine, since this is my preference. If a super sharp knife is not available to you, feel free to use a food processor to shred your cabbage, carrots, and onions. They will not be as fine, but will still be fresh and crunchy and will soak up the dressing.

A quick note on cabbage: I have used green cabbage, pretty standard, in this recipe. You can use Napa or savoy instead, but the salad will not last quite as long. My grandma used to grow cabbage that would form earlier than the green cabbage. It was sweeter and more tender than its later-blooming cousin, but either work well for cole slaws.

After your veggies have been shredded and mixed, whisk together the dressing ingredients. To get a better consistency to the mix, stir the garlic and onions in with the dressing ingredients, not with the veggies.

Finally, pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss vigorously, until everything has mixed well together. Serve the cole slaw on its own as a side, or as a topping (hint: it goes really well on tacos… future post? Highly likely.)

Happy eating.