Giddy Up!

Summer is for salads, but sometimes life has a bit more in store for you than just veggies will fuel you for. That's no time to give up on salads though. Just beef 'em up a bit — literally! Adding steak, taters, and seared corn make a salad a stunning main dish meal. What's more, it can be put together in about a half hour, so there's no requirement to trim your evening plans.

If you'd like to make this salad even more hearty, toss some pinto beans into the mix. When corn is at the height of its season, I prefer to choose particularly generous cobs and make that a bigger star in this meal. But if you have a lot of tomatoes, make them shine. You could even add other items like peppers or even lightly sautéed eggplant. You get the picture!

Cornbread is an obvious accompaniment for this hearty salad, as is slices of the juiciest melon you can find. Then bottles of chilled beer or lemonade on ice can round it all out. Whether you're off to explore the wild blue wonder or out herding the kids for fun in the sun, now you're fueled for it all. Giddy up!

Cowboy Steak Salad

  • ¾ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2-3 medium red potatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cobs of corn
  • 2 T. cooking fat of your choice (I used bacon fat)
  • Generous handful of spinach leaves
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced breakfast steak - I used venison, but beef or lamb will also work
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ c. sliced green onion or garlic scapes
  • ¼ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. sliced radish
  • Ranch dressing, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the seasonings (smoked paprika through black pepper). Toss half of the seasoning mixture with the sliced potatoes. Remove the corn from the cobs by slicing it off with a sharp knife - the kernels do not need to be separated. Set aside.

Heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat. When the cooking fat is hot, add the potatoes and allow to fry without moving it for 3-5 minutes.Continue cooking using this method until the potatoes are fully cooked. About 5 minutes before the potatoes are done, add the corn kernels and toss to cook gently. Remove the corn and potatoes from the stove and add them to a medium-sized bowl. Add the spinach leaves and toss to combine.

Place the skillet back on the stove and, if needed, add more cooking fat. Toss the breakfast steak of your choice with the remaining seasoning mixture and sear until cooked through, stirring as needed.

To serve, split the potato-corn mixture in half onto serving plates. Arrange tomato, avocado, green onion or garlic scapes, and shredded cheese over the top of each serving plate. Add the hot steak and sprinkle with sliced radishes and ranch dressing before serving.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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