8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin

Looking for something different to do with a cut of beef sirloin? 8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin is a pretty quick and easy way to prepare beef, and also comes with a bonus cucumber salad recipe as an accompaniment/garnish. The cucumber salad and yogurt topping give this dish almost a Middle Eastern feel–they’re used to cut the heat from the paprika, curry, and cayenne pepper used to season the meat.

I’ve yet to visit Louisiana myself in person, but Simply Delicious has a few different Cajun and Creole recipes to try that can take you there culinarily, at least. There’s even some non-Simply Delicious versions of this recipe out there, if you’re looking for variations. I’m still intrigued by the addition of the cucumber salad and yogurt topping for this version–that seems very avant garde for 1980s home cooking.

The level of spice is up to you on this one, according to the TIPS–some people just aren’t into spicy stuff. I happen to LOVE it, but I realize it’s not for everyone. I think as described it’s not especially spicy, but my definition of “spicy” probably differs from most. If you’re not a spice person, consider dialing down the cayenne pepper or omitting it completely.

Ingredients. My cucumber looks a little worse for the wear, but it should be okay–I think it hung out in the fridge for too long. I’m using dairy-free yogurt and meatless meat, so like usual, there’s a few swaps. I’m down with heat though (you could call me a bit of a heat-seeker), so we’re going full force with the cayenne and other spices.

Draining my yogurt (even though per the TIPS, it’s an optional step).

They suggest doing the cucumber in slices, but I like all my salad pieces to be uniform in shape and size. Therefore, I’m calling an audible and dicing/cubing all of it instead.

Combining with sugar, garlic, and the rest.

Mixed up my “cajun seasoning” and rubbed it onto my “steaks” (which are homemade from this book/author).

Draining the yogurt did yield some results, but I suppose I thought it would be more “watery” in the bowl.

Searing my seasoned “steaks”. Try not to stand directly in the path of the pan as the spices are cooking, or you’ll end up effectively macing yourself (which I have done several times by accident).

After flipping–they are getting some good color on them, even without being “real meat”.

After cooking. Looks pretty good to me!

Sliced the “meat” to mimic what the real thing–it’s clear it’s not real meat, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.

I prepared some rice to go with it–I think the yellow tint came from some “chicken” broth and other spices/seasoning.

Final plate. I used my salad as more of a topping than a side salad (with a little extra paprika and some dill sprinkled on top), but I think it still works. Made a great weeknight dinner, and it stands as proof that with some creativity, you can make almost any dish meatless/dairy free.

Grade: B+