A pretty classic restaurant meal is steak frites, which is just a fancy French term for steak and fries. That sounds like a pretty perfect meal to me…gloriously medium rare steak and perfectly golden French fries. They are two of my very favorite things, but a steak dinner doesn’t seem complete to me without a great salad. Imagine, then, my delight when I perused the menu at The Terminal and discovered the West by God salad, which I have dubbed, for Chattavore purposes, the steak & fries salad.
Terminal Brewhouse’s menu describes the West by God salad this way: “Grilled steak and french fries over house greens, candied pecans, tomatoes, onions, and bleu cheese crumbles. We climbed the mountain and brought down this West Virginia classic (then we hitched a ride out with Rich Rodriguez.)” My first glance at this menu item caused one of those cartoon reactions where my eyes bulged out of my head. Fries on a salad? Um, yes please.
I’ve gotten some strange looks when I describe this salad to people. I just think a lot of people don’t know what to do with fries on a salad. Steak on a salad, that’s crazy enough. Fries? What? I tell you, it’s perfection. I mean, like I implied in the first paragraph, it’s a steakhouse dinner in one dish.
The Terminal’s version of this salad has onions (and you guys know how I feel about raw onions, which I always forget to ask them to leave off and therefore spend half of dinner picking around them) so I leave those off when I make them at home. Additionally, their version doesn’t have dried cranberries, but to me they just go here. I know a lot of people don’t like blue cheese and personally I don’t understand….but if you fit into that category, just shred up some cheddar and throw it in.
As for dressing? I like a good homemade ranch. However, I think that this salad has enough different flavors going on that it would be good with just about any dressing that you like, so just use your favorite. And don’t skimp on the fries. You won’t be sorry.
Steak & Fries Salad
Makes 4 salads
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
- 1-1 ½ pounds flank, skirt, or flat iron steak, allowed to come to room temperature for about an hour
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- salt & pepper
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 4 cups prepared fries (your favorite recipe or use frozen if you must-of course, I use these. Just double the recipe.)
- 1 cup candied pecans (see note)
- 1 large tomato, seeded & diced
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Salad dressing, whatever kind you like
1. Prepare the fries according to the recipe or package. Meanwhile, preheat a large pan or griddle over high heat. Rub the butter on both sides of the steak then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the steak on each side for 2-3 minutes, until a crust forms, then remove the pan from the heat. Leave the steak in the hot pan for ten minutes longer, then remove to a plate and tent with foil to rest for ten minutes.
2. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Divide the greens between four plates, then top with the steak and the fries. Divide the rest of the ingredients among the plates. Serve immediately with the dressing of your choice.
Note: To make the candied pecans, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt two tablespoons of butter and pour over two cups of pecans (I used pecan pieces) in a bowl. Toss with ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Roast, stirring once or twice, for twenty minutes. Cool completely before using. You won’t need all of these for the salads but you won’t be sorry that you made extra.