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Pan Seared Beef with Avocado, Alfalfa Sprouts and Plum Vinaigrette

(You could also call it a California Steak Salad, but I hate branding a thing “Californian” just because it uses Avocado and Sprouts.)

It was all about a quick and healthy lunch.  I had a basic idea of combining a few Asian flavors with some darned good fruits and veggies I’d found at the market.  For the protein, some beautiful beef top chuck blade steaks.  For the fruit, a nice avocado. And for the veggies, some of the freshest alfalfa sprouts I’ve seen since moving to Texas.  The dressing was pretty simple to figure out as well, since stone fruit is to beef what apples are to pork and citrus is to chicken, I’d just use a little plum sauce to make a vinaigrette and call it fantastic.

Fantastic isn’t even close.  Not by a long shot.

I have a new go-to meal.  The flavors, the textures, the aromas…  All of them make me a bit woozy in their perfection and balance.  Just the right amount of sweetness from the dressing, tanginess from the vinegar and the succulence of the avocado and beef paired with the bitter crunch of the scallions and alfalfa sprouts sing a kind of symphony of wondrous voices.  It’s truly a thing of beauty, and one I highly recommend to anyone.  The fat lady has sung. This is perfection.

If you only ever make one of my more California inspired dishes, make this one!

Pan Seared Beef with Avocado, Alfalfa Sprouts and Plum Vinaigrette
(You could also call it a California Steak Salad, but I hate branding a thing "Californian" just because it uses Avocado and Sprouts.)
  • Approximately 1lb. Beef Top Chuck Blade Steaks
  • 1/2 of one ripe avocado, sliced thinly
  • Approximately 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts (or the sprouts of your choice.)
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 tbsp. Red Wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Plum Sauce (You may substitute plum preserves if desired.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil (for dressing).
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil (for cooking steak).
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl, whisk red wine vinegar, plum sauce, garlic, plum sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper until emulsified. (Until it looks just a bit creamy.) Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Salt and pepper both sides of steaks and brush with oil. Cook in hot skillet 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from heat and cover loosely with foil for at least 10 minutes.
  3. When steak is cool enough to handle, trim fat and cut into thin strips, discarding center cartilage. Arrange in halves on serving plate. Top with avocado slices and alfalfa sprouts. sprinkle scallions and carrots both over and around. Drizzle with dressing, add a bit more salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Share and enjoy!

What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

I really can’t say that i would have done anything differently.  perhaps a bit of heat would work, but I’m not sure where I’d add it in, unless the steak was sautéed with a bit of Chile oil or marinated in some chile flakes.  the rest of the ingredients were stellar and my wife has requested that it be made again, and soon. (I’m not arguing that point.  I’ll make this all the time!)

Feel free to use any plum preserve of your choice in place of the plum sauce, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own plum sauce. (note that I haven’t tried this recipe, I just looked it up!)

Links to other recipes like this:

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