NY Strip Salad

Last night Thomas and I were both feeling a little lazy about cooking (maybe it was the gin and tonic…) and I just couldn’t get excited about the meal we had planned (grilled strip steaks with avocado corn salsa) but we had to cook the steaks and Thomas didn’t feel like grilling after working late, so I decided to do a steak salad.

And, oh man, was it good!  The key to this is fresh vegetables, good ranch dressing and cooking the steak properly. Getting that tasty char on a steak that you cook inside isn’t always easy, but here is my (almost) failproof method. The key to it is: let it be!

The first thing you need to do is take the steak out of the fridge at least an hour before you are ready to cook. Just let it sit on the counter and come to room temperature (let it be!). It is safe to do this as long as you don’t leave it out for too long and if you want your meat to brown it can’t be slapped on the hot skillet right out of the fridge.  When the steak (or any meat) is warmer, there is less temperature difference for it to “overcome” and so it browns better.

When you are ready to cook the steaks, heat the oven to 450 degrees and put a cast iron skillet (or just an oven safe pan) on the stove on high heat. I used a grill pan so that I still got tasty grill marks. While the pan is heating, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.  I use a lot more salt when doing this than normal–probably a tablespoon per steak.  Then give the meat a generous shake of garlic powder and a little cayenne pepper for some kick.

Seasoned and ready to go

Seasoned and ready to go

Wait until the pan is really hot–like actually steaming hot. Also open a window and turn the oven vent on high at this point.  Unless you enjoy the sound of the smoke detector.  Now put the steak on the pan, turn the heat down to medium high and walk away.  Don’t play with the meat (that just sounds dirty, but it’s a rule here).  Let the steak be for about 3 minutes, then flip it and let it be on the other side for 3 minutes (singing a certain Beatles song at this point is optional.)

After being flipped

After being flipped

Finally, remove the pan from the stove, throw a pat of butter on each steak, because… butter, and put it in the oven for about 4 minutes. After that time check the steak for doneness.  My steak was a little over an inch thick and this timing gave me medium rare. Remove the steaks to a plate and then…

Let ’em be!

The steaks need to rest for a minimum of 5 minutes for the juices to redistribute.  In order to control yourself, use this time to cut up the vegetables. I used romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, Spanish onion and manchego cheese for this salad.  Finally, thinly slice the steak against the grain and place it on top of the salad.

Delicious dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes!



Ingredients (4 servings):

  1. 2 heads of romaine lettuce, cut
  2. Thinly sliced sweet white onion
  3. 1 large tomato, cut into cubes or wedges–whatever shape you fancy
  4. Slices of cucumber
  5. Shavings of manchego cheese
  6. 2 NY strip steaks at least 1 inch thick
  7. 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  8. 2 teaspoons pepper
  9. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  10. a few shakes of cayenne


1. Combine the first 4 ingredients on 4 separate plates or salad bowls

2. Cook the steak using the method described above

3. After slicing, divide the 2 steaks among the 4 salads and top with shavings of manchego cheese

4. Top with a dressing of your choice (I like ranch on this salad.)


Tags: , , ,

Categories: Meat, Recipes, Techniques


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


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One Comment on “NY Strip Salad”

  1. Deborah
    January 9, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    that sounds wonderful-any suggestions for a good ranch dressing?

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