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Spicy Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Chef Way David Burke makes this playful take on a chef's salad with quail eggs and shrimp as well as the usual meat and cheese. Sometimes he even serves it layered in a water glass and has the waiters pour the dressing tableside.

Easy Way In his wonderfully casual version of a chef's salad, Burke skips the shrimp and substitutes regular chicken eggs for the tiny quail ones.


slideshow  More Main-Course Salads


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup mild olive oil
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds center-cut beef tenderloin, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 small shallot, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 pound crumbled Roquefort or Maytag blue cheese
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, quartered
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into thin rings
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, halved


  1. In a mini food processor, combine the olive oil, serrano chile, dill, chile powder and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and puree. Transfer the marinade to a bowl and add the sliced meat, turning to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse out the food processor. Add the garlic, shallot, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and process until the garlic and shallot are finely chopped. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream and milk and process until smooth. Add the blue cheese and pulse once or twice to combine. Transfer the dressing to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat a grill pan. Grill the beef tenderloin slices over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, turning once, for medium-rare meat.
  4. Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and hard-cooked eggs on plates and drizzle with the dressing. Arrange the beef tenderloin slices on the plates and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Intense, blueberry-packed Malbec.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published July 2006

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