Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette Candles
Recipe adapted from Chef Rick Gresh
The next time I am in Chicago I am absolutely stopping by The James Hotel and eating at David Burkes Primehouse. This recipe from Chef Rick Gesh popped up in a recent bacon related search. I love seared spinach salad. Nummy! What a fun way to serve it at a dinner party or impress your beau with culinary verve! In fact I am most certainly adding this one on top of the Date Night Dinners list!
Makes 2 servings
For the bacon candles
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 gelatin sheets (or 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin)
3/4 pound bacon
2 teaspoons minced thyme
2 teaspoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
Two 4-inch lengths of twine, dipped in vegetable oil
Two 2-ounce votive candle containers
For the spinach salad
1/2 pound spinach, washed, torn into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1/2 inch rings
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled and coarsely chopped
Chipotle powder (optional)
2 ounces feta cheese, diced
1. Make the vinegar gelatin in a small pot, bring the vinegar to a boil and add the gelatin. Pour the gelatin into a small pan or bowl and chill until solid (about 2 hours). When set, chop the vinegar gelatin into small cubes.
2. Render the bacon: Cook the bacon over low heat until the fat is completely rendered (about 30 minutes). Pour the fat through a strainer, discard the solids, and chill. When fat is semi-solid (soft enough to stir easily but not too warm, or it will melt the gelatin), stir in the thyme, parsley and pepper.
3. Make the candles: Hold the twine in the candle container and spoon in a layer of the bacon fat. Top with a sprinkle of gelatin cubes, and repeat layers until the top of the container is reached. Repeat with the other candle. Chill until the fat is solid.
4. Make the salad: Toss the spinach with salt and pepper. Broil or grill the onion until soft. Dust the egg with chipotle powder, if using, and layer on a plate with onion, feta cheese and spinach. Light bacon candles, and after the fat melts (about 10 minutes), slowly pour over salads at the table.