Monday, February 27, 2006

Sirloin Steak Salad

Closing night of the Olympics! Dinner in front of the TV. We started with Dungeness crab dipped in butter that had been melted in a pan with sliced fresh garlic and the juice and zest of 1/2 a Meyer lemon. Add a simple salad and that should have been enough. But nooooo. I had this steak salad in mind, adapted from a recipe in the March 2006 issue of Gourmet Magazine, that I had already prepped and had to make. Besides, all that sitting, watching TV makes a person hungry. Luckily, it was all low-carb, my eating life-style of choice. This recipe serves two generously. For lower calorie consumption, leave out the crab and butter.

1/2 pound boneless top sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain and tossed with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and a grinding of Tellicherry pepper
1/3 cup good olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (do not cut up)
1 4" long sprig fresh rosemary
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon really well aged balsamic vinegar. (Barring the expensive stuff, just use 1 1/2 tablespoons of regular balsamic or half balsamic and half red wine vinegar)
Kosher salt and freshly ground Tellicherry pepper to taste
Enough spring mix salad to mound on two large plates
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, broken into coarse pieces

Place the salad mix on the plates and set aside.

In a cast iron skillet over high heat, add olive oil, garlic and rosemary sprig and cook until garlic turns golden, turning often. Discard the garlic and rosemary and add the steak all at one time to the skillet. Using tongs, toss the strips of meat until browned all over and medium rare, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide the meat evenly on top of the salad mix, retaining the oil in the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove and add the shallot and vinegars and boil for 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with more salt and pepper if needed and pour over the salads, distributing evenly. Top with the toasted walnuts and dig in!

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