From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It was really warm today. I used that as an excuse to scrap my preplanned menu and make a really simple supper for the Silver Fox tonight. It consisted of two courses, one of which was a Tomato Bread Soup that I'll share with you next week, and the other was the Cobb Salad that is tonight's featured recipe. These days, air conditioning moots the argument that it is too hot to cook, but I do think appetites wane when the thermostat soars, so lighter food become the order of the day. I had most of the elements for a classic Cobb Salad in the refrigerator and I knew it would be perfect for our main course tonight. The salad, originally designed to use up leftovers, was created in the kitchen of the Brown Derby. It quickly became the restaurants most popular dish and you can still find their original recipe using your computer search facility. This is a composed salad, meaning the ingredients are separately arranged on a bed of lettuce rather than being tossed together. While I've made this salad for years, it is different every time I make it. I use the recipe below as a rough guide, but the final iteration always depends on what is in my refrigerator. Years ago, when the world and the Silver Fox and I were young, I frequented a store called the High-Low in Chicago. It was one of the first large supermarkets in town and they sold the "heels" of cold cuts and cheese. They were kept in a bargain bin, the contents of which determined what would go into my Chef and Cobb salads. I no longer have need of those bargain bins, but the thought of them still makes me smile. I do hope you'll give this version of the salad a try this summer. Here is how it's made.
Cobb Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by the Brown Derby Restaurant
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
8 slices bacon
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups diced cooked chicken
2 avocados, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1) Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, and when cool enough to handle, crumble and set aside.
2) Arrange a bed of lettuce on serving plates. Arrange eggs, bacon, chicken, avocados, tomatoes, and Roquefort cheese in straight rows on top of lettuce, covering surface completely.
3) In a bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil whisking constantly to form dressing. Drizzle the dressing evenly over salad, and serve immediately. Yield: 4 large salads.
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