The Covered Dish - Italian Beef Salad

April 17, 2024

I’m asking myself if I’m out to prove something today! So far, I’ve checked off 2 ham and spinach quiches, trail cookies, 6 loaves of bread, sewing and hemming & spaghetti for supper! Yep, when I go to it, I do a pretty good job. Yesterday; however, was a washout on the projects. Met my cousin, Opal, yesterday for breakfast, (which was awesome), shopped at my favorite store, then home to catch up on rest. I feel guilty doing the chilling out, but it just has to happen sometimes. (I made up for the resting on Sunday!)

This week I’ve chosen a recipe that I truly enjoyed making in the very early days at the culinary school. You will notice I don’t give measurements on the main ingredients, that’s simply because I don’t know how many you are entertaining.

Not to mention, once you have grilled the meat, you could have this salad more than once in a week. It is very refreshing.

Skirt steak; I have found the cut on this varies according to where you reside. I like it as a thin steak like I might use, for example, in fajitas. When I go back to Lewis, County, Missouri, I find this steak to be totally different from my stores in southern Missouri. Must stop for a moment, remember those quiches I made? Oh, my goodness, they are delicious, and…. I can truly say I used pre-made crusts which were outstanding. (Marie Calendars, yummy) OK, now back to the salad!!! One thing you’ve heard me say multiple times is to reheat your meats in a steamer, it will taste like it just came from the grill. If you know you may be doing this, undercook the meat a little more than usual. Something else you might want to employ, which is not in the recipe, is to marinate the skirt steak for 24 hours in an Italian dressing. Oh yeah, that would be a great change out. Those who prefer a good rub, McCormick’s has several that would compliment the skirt steak or chicken.

Different types of meats? I would not mind grilled chicken with this, actually pork would not be my first choice, but thinly sliced tenderloin would not be bad. I also did not mention goat cheese for the top, this is a great choice too. Perhaps you don’t want to use the beef or chicken, you could present this with pieces of salami, just don’t put it on mine, ha!

I leave ‘early’ Friday for my presentation back in Lewistown on Saturday the 20th. I’m looking forward to the trip, and seeing lots of friends. I might even be going to a bonfire, and that makes it even better. Plus, I get to see my pop while I’m there!

I have to make a little extra of my demo dish, so dad can enjoy a nice dinner that evening. OH, I just thought of something he mentioned he was hungry for! I know what I’ll be making on Thursday night! I’m not telling, because he reads this column! I’ll tell you next week, and/or share the recipe in the next couple of weeks.

Next week I’ll have a brand-new recipe for you that will debut in Lewistown, on the 20th. Then; I’m working on a new trail cookie; we will see how that comes out.

I’ve got my fingers crossed on it. Oh dear, I just turned around and saw brown bananas, you know what’s next for the oven here, banana bread.

I used to do lots of classes out in McPherson, KS, however they have changed and are using an employee now to do most of their classes. If you want to do something unique and set up cooking sessions in your community, please reach out, I probably would say: yes, I miss the conversation and sharing that takes place in many of the cooking sessions. I’ve learned so much from this exchange in the past. My good cooking friend, Linda, here in Branson West, will attest to that one. I enjoy doing different series, bread making and baking is probably my top favorite, but I also love doing canning and preserving sessions. This could be something fun to do for showers, Mother’s Day events, any women’s gatherings etc. If the men are attending, I would suggest meats and breads! Ponder, life is short we need to keep having fun! In Lewistown I’m speaking and doing a demo, I’ll start with ‘Signs’ then move into a ‘Sampling’ closing with ‘Simplicity’. The style/format can be modified to fit the setting.

I’ve got to close, there’s plenty more to accomplish on this day. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Italian Beef Salad

Artichokes, drained

Red Onion rings, can’t eat fresh onion? Marinate in vinegar blend first.

Tomatoes of choice

Black Olives

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Skirt Steak, grilled & cut into thin strips

Italian Lettuce, blend

Options: Change out the cheese to Asiago, Feta, Bleu or Goat.

Fresh Basil or arugula to taste

Grill the steak and allow to cool slightly before slicing into thin strips for the top of the salad. Prepare the greens and then layer the remaining ingredients in an eye pleasing fashion: add the mozzarella or exchange cheese slightly before the skirt steak is placed on top. This salad is great as a one-dish meal for a warm summer night. Certainly, different cuts of meat may be used.

Creamy Italian Dressing

3/4 cup cholesterol free mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1-2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon minced sweet basil, dry

Mix all ingredients with a whisk and chill before serving. Yields about one cup.