Never one to procrastinate (ha!) I went ahead and made the Salad of Pain from 2 Tasty Ladies. I did have to modify the recipe slightly, to accommodate for availability of ingredients — not that any of them are hard to find. I had some chipotles in adobo and canned jalapeños in the fridge already, which I subbed in for the dry chipotles and serranos. My neighborhood is too white for tamarind paste, and I didn’t feel like schlepping into the Mission, so I just subbed in the juice of one lime to tart things up a bit.
At first, I thought that the spice level may not have been high enough. Paul and I both have pretty high threshholds for capsaic burn, so the first several bites were not so much Salad of Pain as Salad of Mild Discomfort. But by the time we got through seconds, our cheeks were flushed and my eyes were watering slightly. Mmmm … pain.
The recipe is overall very balanced and extremely addictive. It’s also an excellent use of flank or skirt steak, as the sweet-sour-hot combo really offsets the strong beefy flavor nicely. It’s also a great study in textures: crunchy cabbage, silky noodles and chewy beef. It will definitely make a reappearance at our table.
Sorry no picture, but you can get a nice shot of it on the ladies’ site.