Pear, Steak and Arugula Salad
My friend Sylvia showed up at my house to help me cook a few years ago. I had invited a number of friends over to make every single recipe in a spread from a magazine, but most people had to leave about four hours in. I had overreached what could be accomplished in my kitchen, and dinner wasn't served until 10 at night. When Sylvia arrived late I was still desperately cooking, every horizontal surface covered. With only twelve inches of space on the counter and a rolling pin, she put together a heavenly almond paste roulade. She works miracles.
Yesterday morning she surprised me and stopped over to share some apple fritters she had made. Never in my life have I had the drive or energy to deep fry before 5 PM, but on a random weekday with five children at home ranging in age from 9 to six months, she got up, chopped, diced, mixed, deep-fried and iced. Clearly she is ambitious.
While we were chatting I decided to pick some of the arugula in the garden and she suggested a salad with goat cheese, prosciutto, and melon. It sounded so good, but with my house an obscene mess, I wasn't able to leave and had to work with what I had. When I finally got to the mess in the refrigerator, I found sashimi I had forgotten to serve, a pile of pears on the brink of death, one last steak in the freezer, and some feta. I used up everything I could. The arugula salad will be a new family classic- we were all tempted to lick the plate.
thinly sliced pear
a small sirloin steak
1/4 cup cream (or beef stock if you can't have dairy)
Slice the steak and marinate it in red wine, soy sauce and black pepper. Toss the arugula with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the feta over it and lay on the sliced pear. Heat a couple tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and sear the meat on both sides. Lay the meat over the salad, and once the pan is empty, pour in about a quarter cup of cream to de-glaze the pan. Turn down the heat and taste it for salt, then drizzle the sauce over the meat. Dinner is served.
If you were worried about the fate of the red snapper sashimi fillets, they came to a good end after all. Those I pan fried in loads of butter and served over purple roasted potatoes.
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