Cook: Steak & Aioli Sandwich with Mediterranean Salad

This is a great weekend lunch for two, with 2 servings of salad leftover for Monday's lunch.  The sandwich consists of pan-fried skirt steak with aioli and spinach on a baguette.  The salad uses Israeli couscous, the larger cousin of traditional couscous, with a texture similar to orzo.

Steak & Aioli Sandwich with Mediterranean Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 sandwiches; 4 servings of salad

2 cups Israeli couscous
2 tbsp red onion, diced
15 kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp feta, crumbled
1 lemon
0.25 c peanut oil, plus 1 tbsp
0.75 lb skirt steak, sliced into 4 even pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 egg yolk
1 baguette
1 cup baby spinach
kosher salt

(1) Boil couscous in 2 cups unsalted water until al dente (about 6 minutes); drain and rinse with cold water

(2) In a medium bowl, mix together onion, olives, capers, mint, and parsley

(3) Add couscous, feta, and juice from half of the lemon; toss to combine; set aside

(4) Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat for about 1 minute

(5) Pat steak dry and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper

(6) Add steak to pan; flip once every minute until medium rare (about 4-5 minutes total, depending on the thickness of your steak)

(7) Remove to a plate to let rest for 5 minutes

(8) In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together garlic, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, egg yolk and 2 tbsp lemon juice until yolk is light and frothy (about 1 minute)

(9) While whisking, slowly add 0.25 cups oil - first a few drops at a time, then in a steady stream; whisk for about 3-4 minutes until the aioli holds its shape when the whisk is lifted

(10) Cut ends off of baguette; cut into two pieces and slice down the center of each

(11) Coat each side of the bread with 1 tbsp aioli

(12) Spread spinach across the bottom half of the bread

(13) Slice steak into thin pieces, slicing across the grain

(14) Place steak slices on top of spinach

(15) Slice in half and serve

Notes: The couscous is boiled in unsalted water because the rest of the ingredients are very salty.  The Mediterranean salad can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.  For the aioli, you can also just toss everything in a blender and blend for a minute, but it's not really that hard to do by hand.  Place a paper towel under the bowl while whisking to keep it from sliding around.  When grilling steak, you want to only flip each piece once, so it comes out with perfect grill marks.  However, according to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, when grill marks aren't important, you should flip a steak every minute: 
"Frequent turns mean that neither side has the time either to absorb or to release large amounts of heat.  The meat cooks faster, and its outer layers end up less overdone." 
I followed this advice and the steak cooked to a perfect medium rare.


Mom said...

Looks good

plasterer bristol said...

Wow that looks so tasty, thanks for sharing this recipe.


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