Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kitchen Sink Steak Salad and French Onion Soup

My salad is packed to-go with all the goodies, including a Pomegranete vinaigrete, because I have to work tonight. Taking some French onion soup, too, because its a 12-hour shift. Ciao!
I think a good steak salad is like a "kitchen sink" type of dish. I can literally use almost everything we got in our SLO Veg vegetable box this week in this steak salad. I like to start with fresh, crisp lettuce, and we got a beautiful head of red-and-green butter lettuce in the box to make the foundation. I build on that by adding some red onion, carrot curls, sliced celery, and then chop up a few of those crunchy sugar snap peas into bite-size morsels. Maybe some mini-red and yellow sweet peppers. Oh, and tomatoes--I like diced Roma tomatoes! What the heck, some florets of broccoli can go on there, too, or roasted corn-off-the-cob--oh yeah! I would've also used some roasted red beets, too, but we ate them already.

Top round steak is just the icing on the cake, so to speak, but when you add it to the salad just off the grill, thinly sliced and warm, and then drizzle the whole thing with a tangy, scrumptious vinaigrette, that is heaven on a plate! Add a sprinkle of Parmesan or crumbled Feta cheese, and it is a gourmet dish. 

Today I picked out a pomegranete vinaigrette to try. If I like it, I may try to recreate it myself when those pomegranetes on my brother's tree mature into fruit. By reading the ingredients listed on the jar, I suppose I could mash up the pomegranete seeds, using just the juice, add some orange juice and white vinegar and a good-quality olive oil, season it with salt and pepper and have my own sauce, minus the xanthum gum. (Had to look that up. I knew it was some type of thickener. Its made with sugar and wheat). Hmmm, wonder what "spice" they used in this vinaigrete? Only about a million options there...

I prepared the steak by sprinkling it with a seasoned salt blend, then added some fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of basil-infused olive oil, a splash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. I topped it with sliced red onion, minced garlic, and cilantro leaves. That will marinate in the refrigerator all day until it is time to grill. The steak is thin, about a half-inch thick, so it will cook in just minutes. Then I just let it rest, slice it into thin strips and lay it on top of the salad I built. A generous drizzling of Pomegranete vinaigrete and I am ready to chow down.

Meanwhile, I made some French Onion soup in the crock pot. First I carmelized the onions in butter, then let them cook on high in the crock pot for two hours. I added some red wine (1/2 cup), chicken broth and beef broth (about 2 cups each), salt, pepper, a bay leaf, a teaspoon each of dried thyme and marjoram, and a generous splash of Worchestershire sauce. Top it with toast and a slice of cheese, then popped into the microwave to melt the cheese and there is your gourmet soup!