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Steak Salad with Crispy Shallots, Dried Cherries, Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese is a gluten-free, restaurant-quality entree salad!

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Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? We ended up traveling to eastern Iowa to see family that was in town from out of town (you follow?!) on Saturday, then I worked all day Sunday. Holy uneventful weekend, dear readers! : )

One exciting thing to happen was that strip steaks went on sale at my grocery store. What can I say, cheap meat really does it for me.Anyway, that being said, I thought it’d be the perfect time to bring you the next post in myBack to Basics” series – How to Cook Steak on a Stove Top.

I was blown away by how many people requested instructions on how to cook meat, specifically steak, indoors. I totally get it though. Steak is often associated with grilling season, so how’s a girl/guy gonna enjoy a thick and juicy steak in the dead of winter, or if they don’t own a grill in the first place? Fear not, I have the answer!

This weekend Ben and I stocked up on steak and cooked…well…a whole lot of them in order to give you the easiest way to cook steak on the stove top, and in some cases on the stove top + in the oven. It’s not difficult, and the instructions aren’t elaborate. You can do it, and I suggest you enjoy your inaugural stove top steak in Steak Salad with Crispy Shallots, Dried Cherries, Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese. 

This salad nearly put me out of my mind it is so good.

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Juicy steak tops a bed of cold lettuce dotted with creamy goat cheese, chewy dried cherries, crunchy candied pecans – all drizzled with a homemade honey-lime-soy-ginger salad dressing and topped with easy, crispy shallots. Trust me, the combo of all these ingredients will send you straight to culinary Heaven. This recipe is restaurant-worthy!

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I’m thinking this salad would be a hit for Valentine’s Day. It’s got lettuce for her, steak for him…ok and her. I LOVE steak. Anyway, this salad is really something special and is much more inexpensive to make and enjoy at home vs going out to a restaurant where you know they jack the prices up just because it’s a holiday. Dislike!

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Start with the salad dressing – this stuff is liquid gold, people.

Combine extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce or gluten-free tamari, fresh garlic and ginger, honey, salt, and pepper in a mason jar or bowl, then shake or whisk to combine. Set it aside while you build the rest of the salad so the flavors can meld. Mmm, mmm, mm – love this dressing. It’s actually based off a steak marinade recipe a reader sent me years ago, and is so delicious.

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Next, slice 2 large shallots into thin rings. If you’ve never had fried shallots, you’re in for a treat! They’re way lighter than onion rings since there’s no batter/breading involved, plus they’re pan fried vs deep dried so they’re much more convenient to make.

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Separate the shallots into rings then you’re off to the races.

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Heat 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, or another oil with a high smoke point, in a large, cast iron or heavy bottomed, oven-safe skillet (whew!) over medium-high heat. Add the shallots then fry, stirring often, until they’re golden brown – 3-5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then sprinkle with salt.

It’s important to make sure the heat is right at medium-high. If it’s too high, the shallots will burn. Too low, and they’ll saute. We’re after a 7 out of 10 on the heat scale.

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Now let’s turn our attention to the main event – the steak! I used two 8oz strip steaks (aka New York Strips) about 3/4″ thick for this entree salad. I feel like strip steak is a good “salad” steak, versus a filet mignon which I would consider a good “dinner” steak. Strip steaks are also great for dinner with a side, but they work particularly well on top of salads.

If strip steaks aren’t calling your name, I’d recommend using ribeye or flank steak for this salad instead. The cooking instructions are the same.

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Strip steak is one side of a T-bone – the other side is the filet. It’s very tender and doesn’t require a lot of fussing to make it taste great. Love it (especially when it’s on sale for $5/steak!)

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Start by trimming the steaks of excess fat. I’d leave it on if I were grilling the steaks or serving them with a side for dinner, but since we’re serving them on top of a beautiful salad I just lop it off at the beginning.

Rub 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil over both sides of the steak then season LIBERALLY on both sides with salt and pepper. Use more than you think you should. Trust me!

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Place the steaks in the hot, 7/10 skillet then sear for 3 minutes. Do not move the steaks during this time – they’re forming a yummy, delectable crust! Flip then sear for 2 minutes on the other side for a medium-rare steak.

Now, since there is high heat and fat involved here, there will be smoke and splatter. Smoke does not always mean something is going wrong. Just make sure you have your hood fan on high, and a splatter screen nearby!

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I had fairly thin steaks so I was able to cook them through on the stove top. If yours are thicker than 1″ AND/OR you want your steak cooked to medium – well done, slide the whole skillet into a 400 degree oven for 2-8 minutes to finish cooking through. Remember that the steak will continue to cook a bit after you remove it from the oven!

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Regardless of if you finish on the stove or in the oven, remove the steaks to a cutting board immediately then let them rest for 7-10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain (generally this is horizontally down the length of the steak.) If you cut into the steaks too soon, all the juices will run out and you’ll have a hard, grey steak. Don’t let this happen to you!

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Slide the steak slices over two beds of lettuce then add a plethora of sweet, savory, creamy, and crunchy toppings including dried cherries, candied pecans, goat cheese. and our crispy shallots on top. Drizzle on the homemade salad dressing then dig in!

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Steak Salad with Crispy Shallots, Dried Cherries, Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese

Description

Steak Salad with Crispy Shallots, Dried Cherries, Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese is a gluten-free, restaurant-quality entree salad!

Ingredients

serves 2

  • 3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other oil with high heat cooking oil,) divided
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2-8oz strip steaks, trimmed of excess fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 7-9oz mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 2oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • For the salad dressing:
    • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
    • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
    • 1 garlic clove, microplaned or finely minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, microplaned or finely minced (or a pinch of dried ginger)
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees if steak is thicker than 1" and/or you like your steak medium - well done. Combine all ingredients for salad dressing in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid or bowl. Shake or whisk to combine then set aside.
  2. Rub steaks on both sides with 1 Tablespoon oil then season each side liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in a large, oven-safe cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat (7/10 on the heat scale.) Add shallots then fry for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then sprinkle with salt and set aside.
  4. For 3/4" steaks done to medium-rare: Add steaks to hot skillet then sear for 3 minutes on one side. Flip then sear for 2 minutes on second side. Remove steaks to a cutting board then let rest for 7-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  5. For 1" or thicker steaks done to medium - well done: Add steaks to hot skillet then sear for 3 minutes on one side. Flip then sear for 2 minutes on second side and then place into oven. Roast for 2-8 minutes or until desired level of doneness is reached (remember that steaks will continue cooking a bit after removing from oven.) Remove steaks to a cutting board then let rest for 7-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  6. Divide lettuce between two plates then top with half of the sliced steak, candied pecans, dried cherries, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle salad dressing on top then serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

 

So to review – trim, season, sear, roast (if necessary,) rest, slice, serve!

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Oh, I have to show you the candied pecans I used. You can absolutely make homemade but I found these guys at Trader Joe’s and they are IT! They’ve got a slightly spicy warmth and not too sweet crunch. Totally recommend.

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You will love this salad and method for cooking steak indoors. Enjoy!

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