Here's a way to serve rib-eye without breaking the bank. The recipe for Caesar steak salad is from Sara Moulton, host of public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals." She was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years. Her latest cookbook is "HomeCooking 101." Photo by: Sara Moulton via AP
June 27, 2018 10:46:15 AM
Let's say you wanted to land a luxurious rib-eye steak at the center of your Fourth of July picnic, but worried about being able to afford it. Here's a simple way to make it happen: Instead of serving every guest a huge slab of steak, slice up a smaller portion, fan it out on the plate to make it look more substantial, then pair the steak with a hearty dressing and some salad topping so that it is actually more substantial. It's all in the presentation. At the end of the day, nobody is going to notice a 12-ounce brick of meat.
In this case, we're teaming up the steak with all the elements of a Caesar salad. The creamy dressing boasts the usual all-star cast: lemon, garlic, oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano and anchovies. (Yes, anchovies. Please do not leave them out. Anchovies add powerfully to the savory flavor of this dish in a way that no one's going to identify as "fishy." In fact, my fish-hating daughter scarfed down a whole plate of it without even suspecting there was an "enemy" lurking within.) I've used low-fat buttermilk to make the classic recipe slightly less rich, but if you don't want to buy buttermilk for this recipe alone, you're welcome to swap in plain yogurt.
The recipe calls for grilling not just the steak, but also the romaine lettuce. Doing so gives the greens a tasty char around the edges, adding even more depth of flavor to the dish. Afterward, the romaine is chopped and tossed with the dressing and topped with sliced cherry tomatoes. (By then, we've enhanced the sauce by whisking in the juices from the resting steaks, which marries the meat to the sauce.) Finally, we've replaced the crunchy croutons that are standard in a Caesar salad with grilled bread -- the perfect tool with which to soak up all the yummy dressing on the plate.
Are you convinced this presentation is worth a whirl? Try it and see if your guests don't tell you that the fireworks on this great day weren't confined to what they saw in the sky.
GRILLED CAESAR SALAD STEAK
Start to finish: 1 hour, 45 minutes (30 minutes active)
1 1/2 pounds 1 1/2-inch-thick boneless rib-eye steak
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/4 cup if grated on a microplane)
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Olive oil for oiling the steak and romaine
3 hearts of romaine, cut in half lengthwise, leaving the leaves attached to the stem
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Grilled sliced rustic bread for garnish.
Nutrition information per serving: 391 calories; 214 calories from fat; 24 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 121 mg cholesterol; 590 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 41 g protein.