Or if you’re feeling fancy, call it buttermilk-shallot dressing. It seems obvious to say, but when you live abroad, you get cravings from time to time for a taste of home. Case in point: Nick came home last night with a gorgeous piece of paleron (known in English, I think, as top blade steak). He’d been looking for bavette (skirt steak) because he had a hankering for some carne asada. But he saw the paleron and it was so beautiful that he had to buy it instead. I was a little concerned, because I was pretty sure that paleron is more of a braising cut, we were planning on going to the movies, and I didn’t want it to be too late of a night, it being Sunday and all.
Upon inspection, the meat did indeed look like it would grill or sear up nicely, so I put my fears aside and covered it in a rub composed of salt and three kinds of chili powder (guajillo, pasilla, and california, for those who want to know). I suggested making sandwiches out of the steak once it was cooked, to which Nick was amenable. (Lest you think that he just brings things home and expects me to cook them, I feel that I should note that while I was preparing dinner, he was building and installing a medicine cabinet, so in the end, we both win.)
We definitely wanted salad with our beefy sandwiches, so I washed and tore some lettuce, thinking that I already had some vinaigrette in the fridge that I could use. But then it occurred to me that I also had a carton of buttermilk, and wouldn’t ranch dressing be so much more appropriate with our tortas than a French-y vinaigrette? I mentally went through the ingredients for ranch dressing, and the only thing I was missing was parsley. I decided it wasn’t totally necessary, and added a little shallot instead, because I like shallots, and because I have a bit of a surplus of them at the moment.
So, dressing, salad, ready. Cook steak to medium-rare (more practice with the induction stove). Meanwhile, stir some chipotle sauce into mayonnaise and jalapeno sauce into mustard. Slice meat, pile on bread slathered with condiments. Bring extra dressing to the table, you’ll probably need it. We had it on Sunday, but this would be an ideal weeknight dinner.
Also known as “pseudo-ranch,” this dressing is a nice change from typical vinaigrettes, and is particularly complimentary to American Southwestern-inspired meals. To turn it into “real” ranch dressing, omit the shallot and add a Tablespoon or so of chopped fresh parsley.
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
A couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
A dash of Tabasco (optional)
½ cup / 120 ml buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. This gets better as it sits, so if you can make it an hour ahead of time, so much the better. Serve over salad greens.
Makes enough for about 4 side salads or two big ones.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.