Saturday, November 13, 2010

Big Steak Salad

I was in the mood for a big 'ole salad last night but I knew there was only one way my husband would eat a salad for dinner and not be disappointed - if there was a big juicy steak on top! He's never been a fan of vegetarian meals and insists that all meals must have some sort of meat in them. :)

This salad was amazing!!! Something you would order at a fancy restaurant. I followed The Pioneer Woman's recipe step by step except for when it came to the candied pecan bits. I tried that step twice and failed both times! The first time my thermometer never got past 250 degrees so I kept cooking and stirring the sugar until it became as hard as a rock (literally)!!! Not sure if my thermometer is broken or what so the second time I just cooked it using the time estimate that PW gives. Strike 2! First of all it never turned dark and clear amber in color (I wonder if she used brown sugar) and when I poured the mixture on top of the pecans it was just a huge clump of sugar on top. It was pretty disgusting so I threw that attempt out and served our salad with plain pecans. Oh well! It was still delicious! The onion straws and juicy steak put this salad over the edge and I would definitely rate it 10 out of 10 with or without the candied pecans.

Big Steak Salad
Source: The Pioneer Woman

2 whole Rib-eye Or Strip Steaks, Extra Fat Trimmed
¾ c. Canola Oil
3 T. Red Wine Vinegar
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
2 T. Soy Sauce
1 t. (additional) Soy Sauce
2 T. Lime Juice
2 T. Sugar
3 cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 T. Minced Fresh Ginger
½ t. Hot Chili Oil
1 t. Kosher Salt
Lots Of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 whole Onions, Sliced As Thin As Possible
2 c. Buttermilk
2 c. Flour
1 T. Salt
½ t. Cayenne Pepper
1 quart Canola Oil
Black Pepper To Taste
½ c. Pecans, Chopped
1 c. Sugar
2 T. Water
Lettuce Mix: Romaine, Arugula, Watercress, Raddiccio, Etc.
Small Grape Tomatoes
¾ c. Crumbled Blue Cheese

To make the dressing/marinade, combine all ingredients in a mason jar with the lid. Shake vigorously to combine; taste and adjust seasonings to taste.

Place steak in a plastic zipper bag. Pour in half the marinade and seal. Refrigerate and marinate for at least two hours.

Prepare the onion strings: Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.

Make the candied pecans: Spread pecans on a baking mat or sheet of waxed paper. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Cook to 280 degrees, or until dark and clear amber in color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Pour mixture over pecans (may not need all of mixture) and quickly stir/poke with a fork to evenly distribute mixture all over pecans. Allow to cool completely.

Make the onion strings: Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove to a paper towel-lined plate as soon as they are golden brown. Repeat until onions are gone.

Grill (or sautee) the steak over medium-high heat until medium rare, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and allow to rest. Slice steak against the grain in thin slices.

In a large bowl, add lettuce mix, blue cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Add a little dressing and toss to combine. Add more if needed. Add candied pecans at the end and toss to combine.

Heap salad on a plate, making sure to get plenty of blue cheese, tomatoes, and pecans on each plate. Add half a steak to the top of each plate, then top the steak with onion strings.

Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kathie,

    I've made candied pecans/bits before...but never the method used in this recipe.

    I put the white sugar in a saute pan. I begin to heat it up over medium heat...stirring all the time, so it doesn't burn. When it starts melting, it doesn't take long for it to turn amber. Remove from heat and add the pecans, stirring to coat. Pour out onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Let cool. You may have to break them apart, the little critters like to stick together!

    This salad really sounds delicious!!

    Jan ♥