Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gin and Tonic Wilted Spinach Salad

I finally was able to get out of the house and go to a cooking class. Not that I don't love being home with my baby, but since I'm solo parenting it's tough leaving my girl without me not feeling guilty. I went to the Balboa Park Food and Wine school and this was a "cocktail cuisine" class; all our dishes had a cocktail theme to them and were even made with the hard liquor. A note about this recipe is to add the gin to the pan AWAY from the stove and open flame. The chef in our class did it right over the flame to give us a show, but he's a professional. This salad was so delicious, and you don't want to wilt the spinach too much. It's a great starter to any meal.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)
  • 4 cups fresh, cleaned spinach
  • 3 strips thick cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • 3 tablespoons tonic water

Cook the bacon in a large saute pan with high sides (3 to 4 inches). When bacon gets to your crispy likeness, remove from pan.  Cut bacon into 2" pieces. Leave bacon grease in the pan.

Heat bacon grease on high and add the mushrooms and sautee for 2 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper.  Add lime juice, gin (away from open flame)  and tonic water and reduce by half.

Finally, add the spinach and wilt. Spin the spinach around the sauce for a minute, then plate immediately and top with crispy bacon and serve.

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