Love and Romance in the Kitchen: The First Dinner(part II)
Dec. 13, 2011 5:24 pm
Updated: Feb. 2, 2012 4:43 pm
Last time we set the table and made the appetizer, Bacon-wrapped scallops, or as my Tammy calls them, Bacon-wrapped orgasms. So now let's back up a bit and talk salad.
I know, I know, most gentlemen avoid salad but I tell you that salad offers an awesome opportunity for creativity that will blow your sweetheart's socks(or hose off). First, lets go back to prep. Do you have a salad spinner? No, well go get one. You can't
make a decent salad without one and they last forever. I have had mine for almost 30 years and spun countless salads and a few Auto parts as well! There are lots of places to get one and I would avoid the ones with a pull cord. Oxo makes a good one.
Lets talk greens, that's lettuce to the uninitiated. Lots of choices and I am going to commit sacrilege here, but buy the stuff in the bags. Otherwise, you are going to spend a lot of money on multiple different kinds of lettuce and I guarantee waste a lot
of it. It will end up rotting in the fridge. I like salad and so does Tammy but a little goes a looonnngg way. And gentlemen, lets avoid the iceberg and go for something more exciting like mixed spring greens. Look over what's available. You want a bag
with different textures and colors but no carrots or onions! Now, while you're in the produce department grab a small container of raspberries (the secret ingredient!) and a bag of either chopped walnuts or pecans. You have bacon at home, right? Of course
you do! Now meander over to the salad dressing aisle. Real men eat blue cheese dressing but this is a romantic dinner so you need something "different". I used a raspberry/pomegranate dressing. Anything like that will do and since we're using raspberries
we need something a little sweet with some sort of fruit.
OK back to the kitchen and time for prep. Soak the greens in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Generally, you can do that in the salad spinner. While the greens are soaking, fry up 3-4 slices of bacon nice and crisp but not burned and remove from the pan
and cool on paper towels and then crumble. Wipe out but don't wash the pan and toast about 1/8th to 1/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.
Toast you say? Yes toast. Why? Because they TASTE better this way. Put the nuts in the pan on medium high heat and start moving the pan so the nuts don't stay in one place. You have a small film of bacon grease in the pan and that will help. Keep moving the
pan till the nuts start to change color and your done. Don't leave the pan and do something else or you will burn the nuts and you will have to start over again. When done, pour them out on a paper plate and let them cool.
Now spin the greens several times and its time to assemble the salads. Get two plates not bowls and lets start. Remember its a salad not an entree so the salad should be small not large. Pick over the greens and lay out two nice mounds of perfect greens not
too large and not too small. You may have to tear(not cut them) into smaller bite size pieces. Make it pretty. Mix in a small number of the raspberries as you go. When done, sprinkle a small amount of bacon and nuts on top. Finally drizzle a SMALL amount
of dressing in a thin stream over the salad. Put one or two raspberries on the very top of the salads and your done! Now cover with saran or similar wrap and put in the fridge to get nice and cold. Notice, there are no onions in this salad. We're hoping
for a kiss or two at the end so lets not spoil the chance okay?
Well that's it for today. Next up is shrimp scampi and fresh homemade marinara over angel hair pasta. Enjoy the salads!
1 bag on mixed greens
1 bag chopped walnuts or pecans
1 small container of raspberries
3-4 slices of bacon
1 bottle of salad dressing (raspberry/pomegranate)