Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli

Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli 

My husband recently went out of town for business for the day, and went with coworkers to a restaurant where he got a steak sandwich. He couldn’t stop talking about it. He really was inspired to make something similar at home. I love a good sandwich, so I got behind that. Plus, it gave us an opportunity to experiment and try to create something without a recipe at all. Here is the sandwich assembly station:p1000768

And, yeah, here is the final product. It’s kind of embarrassing to look at, actually. As you can probably guess, this might not be the best option to eat if you care at all about eating like a lady. But it was delicious. Chris said that if this sandwich were on the menu at our favorite local burger joint, he would order it instead of the classic cheeseburger (grain-free bun and all!). That is a big deal, you guys. p1000770

Steak Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli Ingredients

  • 4 grain-free hamburger buns (I used Danielle Walker’s recipe, of course)
  • 1/2 cup grated mild white cheese (I used a raw white cheddar)

Steak

  • 1 ribeye steak
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced very thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Spicy Aioli

  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg (pasteurized if possible)
  • juice of one large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other hot sauce of choice

Method

  • Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions. Turn heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden (but not brown) and the mushrooms are tender. The longer and slower you can cook your onions, the better!
  • Meanwhile, season your steaks with a generous shake of salt and pepper on both sides, and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Make the aioli. Place the egg, lemon juice, and dijon mustard together in a blender or food processor. Slowly, drop by drop, add the oil until it emulsifies. Then add in all remaining ingredients and blend until well incorporated. Place in the refrigerator until it’s time to assemble sandwiches.
  • Sear the steaks over medium-high flame for about 5-7 minutes on each side depending on thickness, until a thermometer reads 135-140 degrees (if you like your meat medium). Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Slice the meat thinly. Layer the meat, then cheese, then onions, then mayonnaise on a bun. Make sure you have plenty of napkins handy and dig in!
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Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette

The blog posts have been slowing down. In part that’s because WE FINALLY GOT A GRILL! I know, I know, we’re like the last adult human beings on earth to acquire a grill.

Here is a very blurry picture of my handsome husband grilling. This is why you should use real cameras, folks, instead of your smudged phone camera.

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So, since we are newbies when it comes to grilling, we have spent the last few weeks grilling a lot, but most of the stuff we have made has either been too simple to warrant a post, or has been pretty much an exact replica of somebody else’s recipe. Also, I’ve been working my usual research job, teaching, and returning to yoga (which is a really big deal since I’ve basically lived on the couch for the last year!) so I’ve been a little busier than usual. I’ll post some recipe reviews of our more successful grilling sessions later (including a post about those kebabs in the picture above), but today I will post my very first grill-involved personal invention.

I’m really excited about this recipe, you guys. For one thing, it doesn’t require me to cook anything at all inside. That’s a big deal in the desert in the summer, when the last thing you want to do is turn on an oven inside the precious cool oasis of your house. Secondly, it involves crunchy, fresh raw veggies that I actually seem to tolerate really well! And, of course, it tastes so good. The salad dressing is really light and just adds a hint of tangy-sweet flavor to the salad without overpowering the taste of the veggies.

The inspiration for this dish was one of my husband’s summer favorites: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mexican-shrimp-cocktail/. It’s really good, but I mean, every variation of the recipe includes stuff like clamato juice (hello, MSG and HFCS), ketchup, and even orange soda, so I wanted to find something that would be just as refreshing and flavorful but a little better for us.

Here are the basics. Not everything would fit on the cutting board, but you get the idea, right?p1000726

The shrimpies get a quick toss in the marinade/salad dressing. p1000728

Then you chop up all the veggies.p1000729

Finish off your salad dressing.p1000730

Toss it with the veggies. p1000731

And serve. Yum. It looks like a tropical vacation on a plate!p1000732

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on or off (your preference)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced*
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 3/4 cup)
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix (optional)

*If you are planning on eating the whole salad right away, mix the avocados in with the rest of the veggies. Otherwise, chop up one just before eating and serve separately.

Method

  • First mix up your marinade/salad dressing by combining the lime juice, avocado oil, honey, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Reserve half and set aside for later. Pour the other half over your shrimp.
  • If you are using the Arizona Dreaming seasoning, sprinkle generously over the shrimp (as in the picture) and toss the shrimp with the seasoning and marinade to coat. If you are skipping the seasoning, you may want to sprinkle a little paprika and cayenne on the shrimp for a bit of color and heat.
  • Send your sweet husband outside with the shrimp. Grill over medium heat until curled, white, and opaque throughout.
  • Meanwhile, toss all the chopped veggies except for the cilantro together in a bowl. I chop my veggies in the food processor so they are more uniform.
  • Place the reserved dressing in a food processor and add the cilantro. Pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. Toss salad dressing with veggies. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • That’s it. Serve with grilled shrimp and fresh fruit, if desired.