Cooked a pound of bacon last Sunday for LBT's, boiled a half dozen eggs yesterday for Crab Louies and then DH came home tonight with fresh spinach - first of the year. I'm thinking Wilted Spinach Salad!
Only problem, I've never made it at home but have enjoyed it in high-end restaurants with table-side service. Seem to remember three choices for the dressings ranged from very sweet, normal to tart.
Ideas? Directions? Respond fast as I am hoping to make it tomarrow night but might need to make a grocery run if it takes any ingredients I don't have on hand. THANKS ALL!
May 17, 2012, 11:50 PM
I've not had it in restaurants so not sure if this is the same, but I did this this week and we thought it was delicious.
I fried bacon (perhaps 4 slices - which I cut into little pieces). I poured off some of the oil, then mixed vinegar and sugar (half as much vinegar as oil and then about the same amount (or perhaps a little more of sugar). I heated the oil and poured the vinegar sugar mixture in and cooked it until it was all mixed together. Then I poured it over the spinach and tossed and garnished with the bacon.
Idaho Resident - I call it hot bacon dressing and it's great on fresh arugula as well.
May 19, 2012, 11:32 PM
Thanks, Linderhof and Lurah, for the suggestions! I made it today and it turned out pretty good but it would have been better if I had cooked the bacon fresh and had more bacon grease available! I was experimenting to see if already cooked bacon could be used if microwaved to get some grease?
Answer - not really! Did get some, added some red wine vinegar plus sugar - and then a splash of water - and had enough to drizzle the fresh spinach served with 2 slices (1/4 each) of hard boiled egg per plate. Everyone thought it was good but PROBABLY because it was the first fresh spinach of the year!
In any event, every salad plate was scraped clean when I cleared the table so I guess it was alright. But, next time, I'll be sure to either make the bacon at the same time OR, an idea I had, save the bacon grease when cooking to a glass container and refrigerate. I'm thinking it should probably be good for at least 3-4 days so it would be easy to make the salad mid-week without the hassle of cooking bacon. Will let you know....
May 19, 2012, 11:39 PM
I always cook mine fresh for the salad. Bacon grease keeps forever -- I remember as a child relatives who had a "grease" jar on their stove (it even was part of cannister sets sometimes (the grease cannister). But, of course, they used it and added to it all the time. I would definitely refrigerate it if you weren't going to use it for a while.
Linderhof, I actually have one of those "grease jars" - one of the "later" models! Beautiful ceramic-cast sized for a standard 16 oz can inside that was given to me years ago by my beloved MIL - at whose house we had the Spinach Salad today! She's 90 plus and still going strong - I have been so blessed to have had her in my life! And she thought the salad was terrific!
But, I'm still going to make the bacon fresh or save the grease from now on for mid-week salads!
May 20, 2012, 11:38 AM
Florida Farm Girl
I grew up with a grease jar also, except ours was an aluminum coffee pot looking thing that had a strainer in the top to filter out the bigger bacon bits. We used that thing every day.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
May 20, 2012, 05:11 PM
Dear Linderhof, How wellI remember the "grease jar"! My mother had one, only she kept hers in the fridge! She used bacon grease for just about everything from frying stuff to using as the shorting in her homemade bread!( beleive me there is nothing better then homemade bread made with bacon grease,still warm from the oven,toasted and spread with butter! And potoes fried in bacon grease? Heaven! And my Dad loved bacon grease spread on his warm toast with just a sprinkle of salt on it ! I know, I know, not the most healthy thing,but oh so good, besides, it didn't seem to hurt him much as he lived to be 90 then died from cancer! I live alone so I seldom fry bacon anymore, but I really do miss haveing the "grease" to make bread or to fry just about anything! I almost "killed" my daughter a few weeks ago as I gave her my last precious jar of "grease" and she dropped and broke the jar before she got home! Long live bacon grease!!!! Mary
May 20, 2012, 05:58 PM
I'm another "greaser"! That's the ONLY thing my grandmother would cook her crab cakes in.
As for wilted spinach salad... spinach, THIN sliced onions, thing sliced raw mushrooms, sliced hard-cooked eggs. Could add more stuff... whatever you like and/or have on hand... sliced kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, etc.
I admit, I go heavy on bacon... maybe half a pound for a BIG salad... 6-8 servings. I cook till very crispy, crumble and set aside. In same pan that bacon cooked in... ALL of the bacon grease, generous amount of mustard, s&p, good glug of vinegar, and a touch of sugar. Let it bubble till all the good bacon bits come off pan. Pour over greens HOT and toss. I also like good amount of parm or pecarino cheese.
Have a feeliing that bacon grease isn't much worse for ya than butter??
May 20, 2012, 09:27 PM
Mine is the old fashioned wilted lettuce recipe that my Grandmother did....farm food!
1 bowl of clean lettuce of your choosing 4 slices of bacon cooked crisp & crumbled put the crumbled bacon back into the skillet w/the bacon grease & add equal amounts of vinegar & water depending on how much lettuce you have. Heat to boiling. Add sugar, salt/pepper to taste Pour over lettuce in bowl & toss until wilted. Serve!
We had a bacon grease jar and I still do! Mine is an old pickle jar & it's in the fridge! Sunny side up & scrambled eggs are pretty good in it too!This message has been edited. Last edited by: ga.karen,
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
May 20, 2012, 11:13 PM
I call bacon grease LIQUID GOLD, my Aunt and Grandmother made cookies with drippings. Yum