Chipotle Glazed Steak Salad. A nice crunchy sear on the steak from a chipotle glaze and a zesty flavor from pickled onions. Add creamy avocado, mixed greens and you’ve got a wonderful steak salad. An entree salad recipe that you’ll want to add to your database.
I love a good steak salad. It must be something about the contrast in texture and variations in the temperature of the ingredients. The best steak salads give you meat that is juicy and flavorful with a charred exterior crust on the steak complimenting fresh, crisp lettuce. The glaze is the key to this salad because the sugars in it caramelize and create that crunchy exterior.
Friends don’t let friends eat Mexican food without pickled onions. If you’ve never pickled an onion, or had them at Mexican restaurant, you’re in for a treat. All you need is some vinegar and a red onion. The first time I had them was at an upscale Mexican restaurant in Denver. So exciting with flavor, that as soon as I got home I scoured the internet for a recipe that seemed to mirror what I had just had. I was very pleased with my choice and made my first pickled onions. That recipe has more ingredients along with a cooking time. This recipe for quick pickled onions is a great find and wonderful for this salad. A thirty minute bath in red wine vinegar and voila! You’ve got a a ring of zesty bliss. Pickled onions make just about anything better; Tacos, tostadas, grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, and grilled meats.
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about this photography challenge. This week’s Dogwood Photography challenge was to photograph a traditional landscape. “Shoot a beautiful landscape and share it with the world. Find a nice foreground and don’t forget the sky,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said.
When I first read that I thought to myself “piece of cake.” After all I’m so fortunate to live in Highlands Ranch where we have some of the best vistas of the Front Range in town. I mean really, they didn’t film the mini-series Centennial here for no good reason. Turns out, it was a very difficult assignment. I’ve learned that you need more than scenery, you need “mood” to make a good landscape, not to mention perfect lighting. Let’s take a look:
Snore. One of my favorite vistas in Highlands Ranch. My walking trail with a breathtaking view of Mt. Evans. All bundled up, camera in hand, for two evenings I got nothing. No clouds to reflect color. not even a coyote to add some excitement. This is the same location of the photo I have on my About page.
Becoming discouraged, the famous Highlands Ranch windmill sits directly behind and to the East where I’m standing. Ah-ha that’s where color and clouds are hiding. Not bad, but I wasn’t pleased with the “find a nice foreground” part of my assignment. Plus that “interesting” cloud is just a contrail.
The next two mornings I spent bundled up at the top of the hill just a couple of block the other direction from our house. Feeling very clever with the Colorado Flag as my foreground, I might as well have stayed in bed with my coffee. Again, nothing interesting to make this photo pop. Flat…blah…yawn.
Back at it the next morning and about 15 minutes earlier, and finally some clouds to illuminate Mt. Evans. I made sure the flag was closer to the edge of the photo as to not distract, and clicked away. Being down to the wire, this is the photo I chose. Even though this is looking West, we do have some spectacular sunrise effects over the mountains. When the sun comes up, those mountains just glow with some even more spectacular cloud formations than you’re seeing in this photo.
What I learned: A beautiful panorama does not automatically make a spectacular photo. One needs to find the beauty in closer and more everyday natural settings. If you look, it’s everywhere.
Next week the challenge is Red. “Shoot whatever inspires you. Red should be the focus of the image. Don’t be afraid to be creative.”
A South of the Border entree steak salad recipe.
- ¼ red onion sliced
- 1 cup Red-wine vinegar
- 1 pieces large head butter lettuce torn into bite-size, or 2 small
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 avocado pitted and chopped
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 canned chipotle chiles seeded
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
- 1 pound skirt steak or flank steak
- ¼ cup Mexican queso fresco or feta cheese crumbled
Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red-wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Combine the lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado in a serving bowl or platter. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the red-wine vinegar from the marinating onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until you are ready to dress the salad.
Combine the ketchup, honey, chipotles, adobo sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender and purée. Set aside.
Preheat a grill to medium-high for 10 minutes or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates or grill pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Season the beef on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the meat for 4 minutes, turn over, and brush the glaze over the steak. Grill for another 4 minutes, turn over, and glaze the other side. Allow the meat to cook for another 2 minutes on each side to caramelize the glaze.
Remove from heat and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into ½-inch-wide strips. (This is for medium-rare beef. If you want your meat cooked longer, increase the time you grill the beef before adding the glaze.)
Pour the dressing over the lettuce mixture and toss well. Place the sliced beef over the salad and top with cheese crumbles and marinated red onions.
Chipotle Glazed Steak Salad …It’s what’s for Dinner.