Thursday, October 9, 2014

Taking a break from steak and potatoes

Good ol' steak and potatoes. Truly an all American, stick to your ribs, man-pleasing classic and something I get a craving for every so often. I love a good steakhouse and classic steakhouse food, but there are days when it's just "too much" and I'm looking for something a little different. I also love a good, hearty salad for dinner and with garden season in full swing, salad veggies are everywhere, fresh and plentiful. Might as well combine the best of both worlds and make it a new classic!

Steak doesn't always fit in the budget these days. Meat prices are going through the roof in many parts of the country so you really have to watch the stores and get the best steaks when they are on sale. For this recipe I chose a sirloin steak which is a fairly tender steak and not too pricey. I was able to get a nice steak that weighed in at just under a pound and was the right size for this recipe. It's boneless, not fatty and a good thickness also, which will help prevent overcooking and drying out the meat. 

For the salad I went with a mix of baby spinach and romaine lettuce. The baby spinach gives a nod to the steakhouse classic, creamed spinach, and the romaine, of course, represents Caesar salad. Dressed up with salad veggies and a creamy Dijon vinaigrette, salty bleu cheese crumbles and a crunchy topper, it really comes together perfectly for a one-dish at-home steakhouse New Classic. So let's get cooking and get this on the table.

Lake House Steak House Salad
  • 1 good sized steak- I used a sirloin just under a pound
  • 3 tb vegetable oil
  • 2 tb soy sauce
  • 1 tb balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning/meat rub
  • 4-6 cups mixed salad greens (I used baby spinach and romaine lettuce) 
  • desired salad vegetables- tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, radish, etc. Use what you have and what you like
  • 3 oz. package bleu cheese, crumbled
  • Dijon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • fried onions or croutons (recipe follows)
Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag. Add oil, soy sauce, balsamic, garlic and meat rub. Seal the bag and rub the marinade into the meat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for an hour (or longer in the refrigerator).

Prepare the vinaigrette dressing and chill. Prep salad veggies and hold in fridge.

Make the fried onions or croutons, allow to drain on paper towel until time to assemble.

When ready to start dinner, preheat a grill or broiler. Remove steak from marinade and place on hot grill (I use a grill pan on my stove top). Discard the bag with marinade. Cook steak to desired doneness. Around here we like it medium rare. Remove to a plate and allow to rest for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the salad vegetables. Add about half the dressing, toss. 

Add half the bleu cheese crumbles to taste and toss again. Arrange salad on plates. Using a carving knife, slice the steak into bite sized strips, arrange over salad. Sprinkle with more bleu cheese, drizzle with dressing and top with fried onions or croutons and serve!

French-style Dijon Vinaigrette

6 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 tb balsamic vinegar
2 tb Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a jar. Cover and shake to blend and thicken. Chill until you need it, shake again before using. This is my favorite of all salad dressing recipes- so simple, classic and delicious. This is a basic recipe everyone should have in their repertoire.

French Fried Onions

thinly sliced onions
milk or buttermilk
all purpose flour
salt and pepper

Thinly slice as many onions as you need. For my salad I just need a small onion for two servings. Place in a bowl and cover with milk. Mix a cup or so of flour with salt and pepper in a bowl, stir to combine. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Remove onions from milk, dip in flour.

Fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Allow to drain before serving. Pile on top of the salads.

If you don't feel like frying onions, you CAN go with croutons. If you want to make homemade croutons, click HERE for the quick directions.

Needless to say, the salad was a hit with the Chef. He cleaned his plate completely, even loved the dressing even though he says he doesn't like balsamic vinegar. This will definitely be on the menu again. Not only was it delicious but it was a great way to stretch a steak and seemed like a very decadent treat with the bleu cheese, Dijon dressing and fried onions.

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