Now, she's a sharp one, plays a mean game of dominoes (with an evil gleam in her eye when she beats me, which is more often than not), reads the entire newspaper every day, and is, sadly, more informed on current events than I am. But, like I said she's 84 and she's showing signs of her age, repeating stories, forgetting things, and such. She complains about the food at the facility often, getting all het up when her excitement over something that promised to be good, like say tacos, turns out to be disappointingly bland, or mysteriously, incredulously, without salsa – egads! – relishing when they have comment cards to give to the kitchen and she can tell the chef that "If you don't know how to cook Mexican and Chinese food, just don't do it!" (Not to be outdone, her friend in the dining room was said to have suggested: "Fire the chef!" on at least one occasion.) They can be a feisty bunch of octogenarians!
She's a country girl at heart, growing up on a farm in California during the depression, then on to Southwestern Washington and a meat-and-potatoes lifestyle, and I've had to interpret certain culinary terms for her before, like, well... du jour. You can imagine her perplexity over Weeping Tiger Steak! “You don’t think….” I explained it was probably some type of thin-sliced beef in a Thai-spiced marinade, and that she'd most likely enjoy it. She promised me she'd roll down to dinner that night, and see for herself to give me a report. I could see she was excited, that fire sparking in her eyes, at the prospect of the whole dining hall abuzz about what the heck a Tiger Steak was going to be. I hope for the chef's sake it was good.
Crying Tiger Salad
½ cup lime juice
¼ cup Thai fish sauce
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½-1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
¼ tsp. sugar
2 cups Thai basil, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
green leaf lettuce leaves, whole
1 ½ pounds of steak*, thickly sliced
Salt & pepper
Green cabbage cut into wedges
Tomatoes sliced into wedges
2 cucumbers, sliced thick
Whisk dressing ingredients together.
Salt & pepper the steak. Heat a little vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat & brown the steak, 2-3 minutes a side.
Combine steak with basil, cilantro, onion & dressing.
Serve on a leaf of green lettuce with cabbage, tomatoes & cucumber.
Serves 8-10 as a side salad, or 4-5 as an entrée.
Can be served hot or room temperature.
*Tenderloin, sirloin, top loin work best.