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Warm Steak House Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

steak_house_saladMakes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 30 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients
1 pound russet Potatoes (2 medium)
5 T extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound beef sirloin steak (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 large onion
Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe follows) or store bought dressing
5 oz baby spinach (about 8 cups packed)

Directions
1. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Grate using the shredding disc of a food processor. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12- inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the potatoes and press down to make one big potato pancake. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes on the first side, pressing down frequently with a spatula, or until golden. Invert the pancake onto a baking sheet, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, and slide the pancake back into the skillet, uncooked side down. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Season both sides of the pancake with salt and pepper to taste once they have been cooked.

2. At the same time, in a separate medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat until hot. Season the steak with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the steak to the skillet, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steak to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside. Set aside the skillet.

3. While the steak is cooking, halve and thinly slice the onion (about 2 cups). Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion to the steak drippings in the pan; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Stir the steak juices from the steak plate into the onion.

4. While the onion is cooking, prepare the Blue Cheese Dressing. To serve, cut the potato pancake into 4 wedges and place each on a dinner plate. Top each wedge with sliced steak, onion, spinach, and Blue Cheese Dressing.

Blue Cheese Dressing
Combine 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard in a blender; press in 1/2 garlic clove (about 1/2 teaspoon). With the blender running, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil in a stream until the mixture has emulsified. Add 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese (about 3/4 cup) and 1/3 cup sour cream; blend until the mixture is well mixed. Add water, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in extra blue cheese to taste, if desired.

Cook’s Notes
For many recipes what kind of potato you use makes a huge difference. There are two basic kinds: baking and boiling. Baking potatoes, aka russets (the most famous being Idaho), are high in starch, and when cooked they come out soft and fluffy. Boiling potatoes, of which there are many varieties (the most famous being red bliss), are waxy and remain firm when cooked. Baking potatoes have a thick skin that is tough but very edible and full of nutrition (it is my favorite part of the baked potato); boiling potatoes have a thin skin that is so tender you can leave it on when you cook them. Baking potatoes are the candidate for any recipe where you want a lot of starch, such as shredded potato pancakes, mashed potatoes, or gnocchi; boiling potatoes are perfect for a recipe where you want the potato to hold its shape, such as potato salad. Just to confuse the matter, some potatoes are called “all purpose,” such Yukon Golds; they can be used in any recipe.

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