A trip of food firsts had to be in Egypt a few years ago. While I had versions of their food in the US like ful, that trip to North Africa proved to be really memorable versions of food I thought was previously just ok. Harissa was also one of them. The fiery red paste that jostles the taste buds with fiery flavors was at its finest in Egypt.
As soon as I returned home, try as I might to create my own here in the US was futile–I think chilies just don’t like me. I’ve tried for several years to get something that tasted as close; maybe I needed the hot desert in the background to make this one happen. Practically giving up, I just found the answer to my hot chile needs–Shiloh’s Harissa Spicy Sauce. Two weeks ago I reviewed another one of their bottled sauces which I really adored, so when this showed up in the market this week, I was certainly game to try.
Happy to report, this Harissa is like Egypt in a bottle for me. This thick puree is so incredibly versatile you will find yourself making it into a permanent condiment bowl. So I’m content to leave these master creations to someone else; after all, I enjoyed the pyramids without having to build them myself!
SPICY BEEF SALAD
1 pound lean flank steak
½ cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp or more Shiloh’s Harissa Spicy Sauce
1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/3 cup chopped scallions
romaine lettuce leaves
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1. Place the flank steak onto a flat surface. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes across the surface of the steak, do not cut all the way through. Add the steak to a shallow baking pan.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic cloves, and Shiloh’s Harissa sauce. Pour half of the mixture over the steak. Save the remaining marinade. Cover the steak and marinate overnight.
3. When ready to cook the flank steak, remove it from the refrigerator and let the steak stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Prepare an outdoor grill with the heat set to high. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray or well oil the grates. Or, prepare an oven broiler tray lined with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray. Add the steak to the cooking surface and grill for about 8-10 minutes on one side, turn the steak over and continue to cook until desired doneness. Remove the steak from the grill/broiler and place on a cutting board. Let the steak stand for 10 minutes for the juices to settle. Slice the steak into thin strips on a diagonal.
4. Add the steak to a bowl and add the red onion, red pepper, cucumber and scallions. Add the remaining reserved marinade and toss well.
5. Serve the salad over romaine lettuce and garnish with peanuts.