BLT salad (makes two large entree salads)
• 6 strips thick-cut maple bacon
• 1 package fresh baby spinach, stems removed, chopped finely
• 1 package romaine heart lettuce
• 1-pint package baby mix heirloom tomatoes or grape tomatoes, cut in half
FOR THE CROUTONS:
• 3 large slices thick sourdough bread, (slightly stale OK, cubed)
• 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
• 1 T and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
• 1 tsp garlic-infused EVOO
• 1.5 T grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning mix
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
FOR THE DRESSING:
• 3 T mayo
• 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 tsp EVOO
• small pinch lemon zest
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all crouton ingredients and stir-in the cubed bread, coating well.
2. On a foil-lined baking sheet with rims, arrange bacon slices for baking in oven.
3. On a second baking sheet, evenly spread coated bread cubes for baking. Place both pans in oven to bake simultaneously. Bake the bacon until crispy/ browned (thicker slices will take longer — ranges from 20-35 min).
4. Remove cooked bacon and blot with paper towels, cool on wire rack preferably, set aside.
5. Bake croutons until crisp and browned, but not overly hardened (anywhere from 10-20 min), stir once during.
6. In small mixing bowl, whisk salad dressing ingredients, adding more mayo and/or balsamic to taste (this will be very thick). Chop spinach and romaine well and add to salad bowl. Add halved baby heirloom tomatoes.
7. Toss salad mix with dressing to coat well. Add the crumbled bacon and croutons. Drizzle additional dressing on top and serve!
Sweet white corn chowder
• 7 ears fresh white corn, kernels cut off
• 1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
• 1/2 large sweet white onion, chopped finely
• 4 ribs celery, chopped finely
• 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
• 1-32 oz carton low-sodium chicken stock
• 3 T butter
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 3/4 cup fat free Half-and-Half
• 7.5 oz sharp 4 cheese blend, shredded (or less if preferred)
• 5 strips low-sodium bacon, for crisping, topping and reserving drippings
• 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped smaller
• fresh thyme sprigs for garnish & sautéing
• 1-2 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
• 1-2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
1. Preheat a large dutch oven or enameled cast-iron soup pot, melt 1T of butter and crisp bacon, chopped. Once bacon is crisp, remove from pot and drain on paper towels, setting aside for garnish.
2. Reserving bacon drippings, add chopped potato to pot and sauté on medium for about six minutes, stirring often.
3. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, salt, pepper and remaining 2 T butter.
4. Sauté while adding 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and a few thyme sprigs for about 10-15 minutes. Once mixture is tender, remove thyme sprigs, add corn kernels, chopped thyme, paprika, remainder of chicken stock and bring to a slow boil with lid on.
5. Once the mixture begins to boil, remove lid and reduce heat to low, continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, then add white wine. Remove the bay leaf.
6. Remove pot from heat and allow to cool, then slowly add some of the half-and-half and some cheese, return pot to low heat, stirring well (soup will begin to thicken).
7. Gradually add more half-and-half, cheese, salt and pepper as desired.
8. Add the red wine vinegar if you feel a little acid is necessary. Continue to simmer on very low until ready to serve. Garnish with bacon and fresh thyme sprig.
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