Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Usually, the idea of salad for dinner turns the husband's stomach because, quote, "I'm not a rabbit." But sometimes, a cold, crunchy salad is all I want for dinner, so compromises must be made and this is one of those things. The salad has the cold, airy crisp of butter lettuce, creaminess of ripe avocado and tons of protein. Did I mention it's spicy? Horseradish is one of many staples in our house, and its versatility in this dressing is excellent.

For the steak: This weekend, Costco had filet mignon on sale and I grilled them up on Monday night. We had enough for two meals, meaning this is the perfect left-over meal. It doesn't have to be filets, this recipe is versatile with most forms of cooked beef; I think roast beef would be equally lovely. I sprinkled some NY Steak seasoning on them (it's basically garlic, kosher salt, and tons of black pepper) and cooked them to a nice medium-rare because I like my beef nearly mooing, but you can cook to your desired doneness. If you're going to grill the night of salad, be sure to let the meat rest for at least 20-30 minutes to minimize drippings on your salad -- the heat will cause it to wilt. Personally, I think cold steak is a gift from the gods, so I recommend going cold.

Dressing Ingredients:
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • 3T. prepared horseradish*
  • 1 T. finely chopped chives
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar 
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a mason jar, liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine ingredients and whisk until smooth. If too thick, add a splash or two of milk to thin, whisking after each addition.

*This makes a very spicy dressing. If you wish for less spice, use less horseradish, but you may need to add some milk to make a smooth pouring consistency.

Salad Ingredients:
  • 6-8 oz. Butter leaf lettuce (I purchased a salad mix of butter lead and Romaine)
  • 8-10 oz. cold steak, roast beef, or beef cut of your choice
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced thin
  • 6-7 grape tomatoes
  • ¼ oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  •  Horseradish dressing, above
First, some notes on preparation. When I walk in from work I put the eggs on to boil. Once the water boils, set a timer for 12 minutes if you like them cooked all the way through. If you like them a smidge softer, set for 8 min. This gives me time to set my stuff down, get in some comfortable clothes and open a beer. Also, this is usually the time the 5 year-old tells me all about her day.

While the eggs are boiling, roughly chop your lettuce. I like mine pretty close to shredded. Set in a large salad bowl. Wash your grape tomatoes and throw 'em in. I don't eat these, they are entirely a treat for the husband. Ick. Take your blue cheese block and crumble coarsely over the salad. Try not to eat all of it while crumbling. Mmmmmmm... blue cheese. Next, halve your avocado, remove the seed, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Slice thinly and add to the salad bowl. About this time, your eggs should be done boiling. Remove from heat and plop into a bowl of ice water to cool.

Slice your steak very thin. Remember you're going to want to eat with just a fork here, so try to cut as thinly as possible. I cut the strips into thirds to make it more convenient. Reserve a few slices to garnish.

Pour your dressing over the salad. My husband is a salad dressing fiend, so I have a lot of dressing in this picture. Oh well, he's eating salad, dammit. Toss well (kudos if you, too, have $1.99 Ikea salad tongs) until all ingredients are mixed and your dressing is distributed evenly.

Peel your eggs and slice into eights or quarters or slices, or however you like to eat eggs. Add them to the salad and toss gently until the eggs are just coated in dressing.

Plate your salad and add some of the reserved steak slices to garnish. That's right, meat's a garnish! Serve and wow your friends and family. If anyone utters the phrase "I think it would be good with ranch dressing," show them the door.


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