Friday, May 21, 2010

Couple of Recipes

Here you go Mom...two of my favorite lunch recipes (well, one is a recipe, and the other is more of a technique).

Wilted Spinach Salad

This recipe makes enough for one big serving or two smaller ones. Sometimes I like to throw some pieces of cooked chicken on top for a more filling meal. You can easily double or triple this recipe for more people.

2-3 strips of bacon (I like 3)
6 to 8 oz fresh spinach
1/4 of a yellow onion, sliced very thin (original recipe calls for red onion, but I never have that around)
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 cup cider or red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

Fry bacon in a large pot that you have a lid for. If you don't want to fry up some bacon you can use leftover bacon drippings, but you won't have any bacon pieces for the salad. This can be either a good or a bad thing depending on your dietary needs. When bacon is crisp and most of the fat is rendered out, remove bacon pieces to some paper towels to drain. Pour out any extra drippings, you'll need about 2-3 tablespoons in the pot.

Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Working quickly add the vinegar and mustard to the pot and scrape with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits in the bottom of the pot.

Remove pot from heat, add spinach to the pot and quickly cover, allowing spinach to steam until just starting to wilt. This will take about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Remove lid from pot and toss the spinach lightly with tongs to distribute the dressing. Garnish with reserved bacon pieces and serve. Yum!

Boiled Artichokes

Prep artichokes by cutting off the top 1/4 and the stem right at the base of the artichoke. Peel the stem to remove the woody outer layer. If the tips of the leaves are sharp, you can trim them with scissors, but this part isn't necessary.

Place the artichokes upside down (and the stems) in the bottom of a pot with a big pinch of salt and fill with cold water, enough to cover the artichokes. The artichokes will float, so put something heavy, like a heavy pot lid on top of them to keep them submerged.

Bring pot to a boil uncovered and turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a paring knife inserted into the stem end. The artichoke should be tender but not mushy.

Serve with lemon butter and enjoy!

For more on how to eat an artichoke or for a couple more yummy recipes go to and search for Alton Brown and artichoke.