Saturday, April 28, 2012

Panera Bread Grilled Steak Salad with Giant Croutons

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds 1" thick beef tenderloin steaks
1 Panera Sourdough baguette
extra-virgin olive oil
blue cheese sprinkles (optional)
1 10oz bag baby spinach leaves
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 16oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup sliced almonds (about 3 ounces)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
Your favorite Poppy-seed salad dressing

For the grilled steak, rub both sides of each steak lightly with vegetable oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Grill steaks on one side, turn and finish grilling to desired doneness. (About 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.) Transfer steaks to platter to stand until cool, about 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Just before serving, slice each steak diagonally into thin pieces.

If you prefer, coat the bottom of a large, heavy skillet with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the steaks and cook on both
sides to desired doneness. (About 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.) Prepare the steaks for serving as above.

For the giant croutons, cut bread into slices 3/4" to 1" thick. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake slowly in a 300° F oven until they are lightly browned and crisp (approximately 25-30 minutes). For extra flavor, lightly brush each slice with olive oil after they have baked for 15 minutes. If you wish, sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over the slices for the last
minute or so of baking, just until the cheese softens.

For the salad, mix all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad equally and arrange on six plates. Top with slices of grilled beef. Add a giant crouton to
the side of each plate and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings

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