elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: meat

Here is a spin on an American classic. I started with Alton Brown’s recipe, and adapted it. Depending on your preference, you can use either regular bacon or soy bacon instead. 

The turkey bacon comes from Applegate Farms.  I highly recommend taking a few minutes to look around their website. We got the eggs at the Carroll Street farmer’s market, and they came from Bar None Ranch in Berlin, NY. 

I am writing the steps in the order that makes sense to share some pans and hopefully cut down on the cleaning time. You need to use at least three burners for this recipe, so be prepared. I know the several steps and multiple burners seems daunting, but the steps are mostly quick and easy. The whole thing should take 30 minutes or so. 

Do you have a spin on a classic American Salad? Maybe you do a cooler Cobb or a whimsical Wedge…Or maybe you have a classic that you are looking to spin but are not sure how. Send your ideas and I’d love to try them out!

Ingredients:

5 ounces baby spinach

Olive Oil (I lost count of how much)

2 Large Eggs

6 pieces of turkey bacon

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 large white mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup red onions, thinly sliced

1 small baguette, cubed

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1. Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl.

2. The Eggs

Hard boil the eggs. I did it this way: Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with water by one inch. Bring the water to a boil. Then, turn off heat and cover. Set timer for 15 minutes. When a few minutes are left, prepare a bowl of ice water.

Remove from heat and immediately place eggs in ice water. Chill for a few minutes. Carefully peel. Then, slice and set aside.

3. The Turkey Bacon

While the eggs are cooking, start to fry the turkey bacon. Fry until crispy, turning when you feel like it (Clearly, I am still a novice with meat…just cook it until it’s done.) Then, crumble it, tear it, or cut it into small pieces.

4. The Mushrooms

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a small saute pan, and heat it up over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir. Add the white wine. Stir occasionally until mushrooms cook down and are slightly browned.

5.  The Croutons

Once the turkey bacon is done, clean out the frying pan and put a few tablespoons of olive oil over low/medium heat. Spread the cubed bread onto a single layer on the frying pan. Cook bread for 10-15 minutes, turning every so often. Taste a few pieces as you go because there is not much better than baguette frying up in some olive oil. Plus, you thought you were just making a salad, so why is it taking longer than you expected?! (Don’t worry–you will soon be happy with the results.)

6. The Dressing

Once the eggs are ready, start making the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Putting it all together!

Add the mushrooms and onions to the spinach, and toss. Add the bacon and dressing, and toss to combine. Top the salad with sliced egg and croutons.


This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. He suggested using frisee or escarole, but we had baby spinach and romaine–so we used that. We also substituted the suggested queso anejo for cotija cheese.

Serves 4

1 medium-large head (8 ounces) frisee or escarole, root end cut off, the remainder cut into 2-inch sections

2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes

2 medium avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (divided use)

1 pound skirt steak

salt

ground black pepper

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press

1/4 cup beef broth or water

1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, seeds scraped out and finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

About 1/3 cup grated Mexican Queso anejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan

***

Scoop the greens into a large bowl. Spread the tomatoes and avocados over the top.

Set a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and measure in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle both sides of the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Lay it in the hot oil and cook until it’s about medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. remove to a cooking rack set over a large plate–this keeps the juices in the meat rather than running out onto the plate.

Turn the heat under the skillet to low. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, until very fragrant. Then pour in the broth (or water) and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet (the liquid will quickly come to a boil.) Turn off the heat and add the chile, along with the lime juice and the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt (usually 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon).

Cut the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Add to the bowl with the frisee. Pour the warm dressing over the frisee and toss to coat thoroughly–the greens will wilt slightly. Divide among four dinner plates or large salad bowls. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve right away.