I think I might have been a little cruel this last week. See, I’ve been mercilessly teasing you with this Southwestern Steak Salad on some of my prior posts. At least, anyway, I hope you’ve been building up an appetite for this salad. 🙂 It’s seriously delish. Seriously noteworthy. You’ll need to make this one; it has something for everyone.
I actually stole the idea for this salad. I didn’t really try to copycat, but used a photo I saw of an Applebee’s salad as inspiration! It really has something for just about everybody – a banging Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing (I need to do something about those dressing photos, lol), a Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa that will stand on its own as a salad or a side or a condiment, crispy, crunchy Romaine, and just to gild the lily, a little avocado and a tangle of lovely fried tortilla strips finish this salad off. Oh, yeah. And steak! Nearly forgot to mention that…A bit of gorgeous Carne Asada.
About Southwestern Steak Salad:
I’d eat this salad just for a chance to indulge in those tortilla strips, btw. Did I just admit that in public, lol? Sometimes a little extra sumpin’ like that will help the salad go down…okay bad paraphrase of Mary Poppins. And that dressing…so good…and only minutes to make. Gotta love that!
But for most people, the star here is going to be the steak. I suppose you could sub in chicken if you’d rather but this steak is to die for. The steak is from my post on Carne Asada Steak Tacos. That Carne is not your Momma’s Carne or even your Mamás. Sorry to all you lovely Moms out there on both sides of the border – but it has to be said!!
That steak is kinda like Carne on steroids. But I hope if you made it, you made extra for this salad, although any great Mexican Style or Southwestern steak (or chicken) would still be fabulous in this Southwestern Style Salad.
Making Southwestern Steak Salad:
There are actually a lot of components for a salad, but honestly, the best way to make this salad is to make “planned leftovers.” Serve the Carne Asada Steak Tacos one night, maybe even with a side of the Roasted Black Bean and Corn salad, then you have a good leg up already on this salad.
All that will be left to do is to just whip up the dressing, put out the greens & avocado, and concentrate on those lovely little tortilla chips. And while sometimes, I’ve been known to sneak a little leftover steak off the platter at midnight, barefooted and in my nightie, standing in front of the fridge, I gotta admit this salad is a much better use for it!
Saving Money on Southwestern Steak Salad:
When steak is on the menu, it’s usually not one of the cheapest of meals but there are ways to get the most bang for your buck. First of all, watch for sales, especially around holidays and during the summer. The week prior to a big holiday, especially one when steak might be served, such as New Year’s, Valentines, Memorial Day, Father’s Day & the Fourth of July along with Memorial Day is a very competitive time for the grocer. They’re likely to have several steaks on sale, at various price points. Watch your buyer’s club, too. You never know when a fantastic deal will come up.
The other way to make steak more reasonable is to buy one larger steak (or two depending on your family) cook it and slice it across the grain and serve it yourself to the fam, a few slices each. Serve it with lots of sides, as I did with the Carne Asada to stretch it. And reserve a little for a second comeback like this Southwestern Steak Salad. It’s a great way to take a pricier item and average that cost between two meals.
I have a rule of thumb on steak. If you have a stellar steak, a rich, buttery, aged, delicious (and probably really pricey) steak, do as little as possible to it. A little salt, a little pepper, grill or broil it to perfection and you’re done. Mic drop. If you have a cheap cut or some old generic sale priced grocery store steak, give it as much help as you can, with marinades, rubs and so on.
Look for salad greens by the head, where you’ll find them a lot cheaper than bagged and watch for sales on avocados, too. If you use tortillas regularly you may always have a few drying in the fridge…making chips or strips like these to use up a few as a garnish is a great way to keep them from going to waste.
Southwestern Steak Salad
- Carne Asada, as much or as little as you’d like, from my recipe (or any other recipe)
- Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa, about 1/2 cup per serving
- Avocado and Cilantro Lime Dressing, as desired
- The rest of the Avocado from the dressing, sliced, more if you’d like
- Romaine as desired, 2 to 3 cups
- A good sprinkling of cilantro, roughly chopped
- Strips from corn tortillas, as many as you’d like
- A good cup and 1/2 oil for frying, depending on pan size
- salt to taste
To assemble the salad: Lay chopped Romaine in the center of a plate (4 plates) or a platter. Top with cilantro. Dollop with the salsa and dressing. Add the steak to one side, the avocado to another and top the whole thing off with the crunchy tortilla strips.
Here’s how to make the fried tortilla strips:
Cut tortillas into thin strips (try stacking them and using a pizza cutter for short work of it.)
Bring oil in a small saucepan with high sides up to 350 degrees F. Working in batches, if necessary, fry, stirring now and then until the strips are just golden brown. They will darken a bit more after being removed from the oil. Drain on paper towels or a paper bag. Salt as desired while still hot.
Inspired by a photo of an Applebee’s Salad.