Recipes

Leftover Challenge: Creamy Pasta Steak Salad

We have this agreement in our house that I cook dinner all week long, and my husband cooks dinner on the weekends. One of his most recent dinners featured grilled moose steaks. I asked if he wanted them for supper the next night. We were beginning to have a backlog of leftovers, and we try our best not to let any go to waste. So, my husband challenged me to make steak salad.

When we go to Hoss’s Steak and Sea House to eat, my husband always hopes they have steak salad on the salad bar. I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried it. So I do not know what it tastes like, and what goes in it!  He told me it had more of a creamy base, instead of the normal Italian dressing style pasta salad.

Challenge accepted! The first thing I did was searched Google! There were some recipes, but I could not find exactly what I was envisioning.

Finally, I stumbled across this recipe. I used it as my base, and made the rest up as I went along.

I started by cooking 8 ounces of bowtie pasta. You can use other types of pasta, like penne or rigatoni, but bowtie pasta is what I had enough of in the pantry.

While the water was beginning to boil and the pasta was cooking, I started chopping some vegetables. I found the smallest yellow onion I had available, and finely chopped it. I also finely chopped a clove of garlic, and a jalapeño pepper from our garden.

Hot peppers are always tricky for me. My skin is sensitive to their oils, and even if bowls, knives, or spatulas used on the peppers touch my hands, it burns like crazy! I have two tricks in my bag. First, I wear double vinyl gloves to prevent the oils from getting on my hands in the first place. But, if for some reason I do come in contact with the oils, I wash my hands with lots of Dawn dish detergent and cold water. I tried hot water before, and it just opened up my pores and the oil seeped into my skin. It burned for hours! Also, if Dawn is good enough to get oil off of ducklings, it should work for jalapeño juice on my hands!

The pasta finished cooking before I had the sauce mixed up. So, I drained the pasta and let it cool, just slightly. For the sauce, I measured out ½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.

Once the sauce was mixed together, I stirred in the pasta while it was still slightly warm. The warm noodles soak up the flavors of the sauce.

Of course, some landed on the floor.  It wouldn’t be my kitchen if I weren’t making a mess in it!

The only thing left to do was slice up the steak. I cut the steaks into slices about ¼ to ½ inch thick, and then cut them into pieces about an inch long or so. It is not super important how big the pieces of steak are. You could cut them to whatever size you choose!

I stirred in the steak. I had to add an extra dollop or two of mayonnaise because there was not enough sauce to adequately cover everything.

To finish it off, I squeezed the juice of one lemon into the salad and mixing it up.

My husband came home, and I was a little apprehensive about what he would think. After all, I really didn’t have much direction!

Thankfully, he thought it was delicious! It was a little different from the steak salad at Hoss’s, but he said it was still very good! His only critique was that it could still use more sauce.

I actually really enjoyed taking on this challenge! Have you ever taken leftovers and made a new recipe out of them by experimenting? I would love to hear about it!

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