Dinner in 20 minutes: Shake 'n' steak, or how to pull off a lean meal where less seems like more
24 Sep 2016 - 19:55
Bonnie S. Benwick / The Washington Post
Of all the steak-and-greens recipes I've come across, this one deserves props for being a bit of an oddball. Why coat sirloin with anything besides salt and pepper, you might wonder? To help keep it moist and tender, for one thing. In such a quick-cooking recipe, the lean meat might become tough, or it might not brown properly.
Here, a single frothy egg white is enough to help a mix of pulverized cashews and panko to stick. (Could you substitute other nuts? Sure.) Even if some of the crumbs fall off in the skillet, scoop and save them as a garnish for each plate. The seared strips get parked in the oven while you use the same skillet to toss in fresh spinach, grapes and a bit of balsamic vinegar. The result is savory, chewy, a little sweet and tangy.
Folks who are eating less red meat these days will appreciate that this works out to a less-than-4-ounce portion of meat per person (once the fat is trimmed off) that seems like you're eating twice that amount.
Nut-Crusted Sirloin Strips With Grapes
3 or 4 servings
Serve with mashed sweet potatoes.
Adapted from a recipe on the Laura's Lean Beef website.
1 1/2 ounces roasted, unsalted cashews (may substitute dry-roasted peanuts or another unsalted type of nut)
2 tablespoons plain panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 pound lean boneless sirloin steak
1 large egg white
20 red seedless grapes
2 scallions (optional)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
Coarsely ground black pepper
10 ounces fresh spinach
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Combine the nuts and panko in a mini food processor; pulse to the consistency of coarse crumbs. Transfer to a quart-size zip-top bag. (Alternatively, combine the cashews and panko in the bag, seal with the air pressed out and whack with a rolling pin to achieve the desired coating consistency.)
Trim off and discard any visible fat from the edges of the meat. Cut the steak into 1/2-inch-wide strips, as long as you'd like.
Whisk the egg white in a medium bowl until quite frothy, with no clear liquid at the bottom. Cut each grape in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice the white and light-green parts of the scallions, if using.
Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven; preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, drop the steak strips into the frothy egg white, then season lightly with salt and pepper; once all the meat is well coated, use tongs to transfer half of them to the bag of crumbs. Shake until evenly coated, then lay them in a single layer on one side of the hot skillet. Immediately reduce the heat to medium; quickly repeat with the remaining steak strips so they're all coated and all in the skillet. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning the strips often so they brown nicely all over but are not quite cooked through (medium-rare). As smaller pieces are done sooner, transfer them to the oven, arranging them in a single layer (if piled atop each other, their coating will lose its crunch). Discard any remaining egg white and crumbs.
As soon as the steak is all done, toss the spinach, grapes and scallions into the same skillet. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook just until the greens have wilted and the grapes are heated through, tossing the mixture as needed. Remove from the heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Divide the spinach mixture among individual plates; top with equal portions of the steak and any stray toasted nuts/crumbs.
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 4, using grapeseed oil): 310 calories, 29 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar