Bloody Mary Steak Salad

I've been thinking lately about ordinary things and extraordinary things. I had a baby in July. And he is extraordinary.

Bright-eyed, bald-headed, gappy-smiley-mouth boy. He makes my heart catch. He makes my head spin. I love when people pay attention to him even more than when they pay attention to me.

If that's not love...

But then I look around me and, hey, look. Babies are EVERYWHERE. Just about everyone has them. Heck, everyone WAS them. Bums, nerds, cheerleaders, presidents.

Babies are utterly ordinary.

It makes me think about other things that are ordinary.

Flowers. Seasons. Friends. Good food. A beautiful autumn day.

It makes me think that maybe the secret to really being good at life is realizing that ordinary things...are extraordinary.

That is all.

Bloody Mary Steak Salad (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Look a salad! Sometimes I make healthy things! Granted, it has a ton of steak in it. SO???? HEALTHY!!!

2 1.5 lb steaks (I used sirloin, but you could use skirt or flank if you like)
Kosher salt
4 teaspoons (packed) brown sugar, light or dark
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil (for brushing)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, divided
2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (from about 3 pints or 10 ounce containers)
1 cup chopped celery hearts (inner stalks and leaves; from 1 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped brined green olives plus 2 tablespoons olive brine
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange steaks on large rimmed sheet or cutting board. Mix 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, dark brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and freshly ground black pepper together in a dish. Rub all over steaks and let them marinate in this rub for 1 to 3 hours, covered in the refrigerator. Remove steaks from fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook them, to bring them to room temperature.

Meanwhile, pour 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar over onions in the bottom of a large bowl and let them sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will temper the onions' bite. Add tomatoes, celery and olives. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, reserved olive brine, horseradish, Worcestershire, pepper sauce and celery seeds in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly until combined. Add to tomato salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed, and up to 4 hours in advance, if covered and refrigerated.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet on medium-high to high and coat bottom with oil. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet and do not move it for 5 minutes. Turn it once, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. Repeat with second steak. If your steaks are too large to cook in one piece, you may halve them to fit. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick slices, against the grain.

Alternatively, steaks may be grilled.


Cakebrain said...

I love steak and salad! The ingredients look so colourful and yummy together!
Your cutie patootie indeed is extraordinary!

jeannesioux said...

That was awesome, Anna. I know this is a foodie blog, but you need to write a book or something.

libby said...

can you give me the recipe sans-steak and steak-related ingredients/instructions? thaaaaanks

a. maren said...

@cakebrain - aww thanks! i sure love him.

@jeanne - a book eh?? well I don't know about that! (would so, so love to write a book)

@libby - would you just like the salad, or maybe just a bloody mary? ahaha. but it's very easy to make this vegetarian - just don't cook any steak or put any steak in it :) the steak part is done separately and really goes in at the end so just ignore it! the salad IS really good on its own too

libby said...

just the salad, please. I had to read the instructions to figure out what ingredients went on the steak and what went in the salad and it was too much work. Time to go eat more curry.

a. maren said...

lol libby! ok fine. the salad ingredients start at 1 cup finely chopped red onion and down from there. chop em all up and put them in a bowl. if i could come and do it for you, i would (for the cost of some curry mm).