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Salade Lyonnaise

Ask for a recipe to prepare meatloaf from 100 different people, they can't look at their phone or another device. It must be given now from the memory and on the spot. Now look at each one and I'd bet you that they are all different. Well when it comes to recipes of any kind they are a reflection of who you are, what you grew up with and what you learned. Unless you copy a recipe from the Internet or a cookbook the chance of duplication of exact measures and ingredients is slim.

Is this good or bad? Probably not for a home cook and probably yeas for a restaurant chef who is seeking consistency. In a restaurant kitchen food needs to be prepare the same way day after day. At home one might not even measure ingredients, leave something out or put something else in...who cares, you and maybe your family are eating it and variations are okay.
In the modern world of cooking, since the food channel are least and reality TV, chef most often experiment with commonly known dishes in hopes of discovering the next most popular thing to be credited with. Good for them but don't experiment on me! I can't see the venerable Spanish Gazpacho being made with anything other than tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, peppers and cucumbers. Mango Gazpacho anyone...get my point?

However, sometimes variations are good! Curly Endive Salad, aka. Salad Frisee or Salade Lyonnaise in French, particularly when served in a little Bouchon in Lyon France can be a good thing. But is there really a et recipe or as with other dishes like meatloaf measly an opinion of what goes in it? The consuls is pretty clear in French Cuisine, Ask any chef from Lyon how to make it and you're bound to get...there is no other way than his or her way.

It's a delicious salad with fried bacon, crispy crouton, a poached egg and a garlic shallot vinaigrette most often over a bed of Frizzy lettuce. A new approach is to use lettuces tab at grow in season, such as limestone, Bibb, baby romaine and or a mix with escarole! Touché, I say, yum...it hits the spot. For additional mph, top with foie gras, smoked duck or sauccison sec...aka. Dry salami!

Here is goodcooking.com's recipe for this classic and yes we stray a bit using the lettuce in season approach with only a few strands of Frisee lettuce and none of the fancy stuff added to make it adorable! Serves 2 people.

salade lyonnaise

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil, regular French or Italian olive oil
6-7 ounces of thick sliced ¼ inch, smoked bacon, diced (ask for slab bacon at the butcher or deli)
1 garlic clove, smashed once, about the size of a thumb nail
4 slices crustless white bread about ½ inch thick, cubed (use a hearty white, not American sandwich bread)
6 cups baby lettuce heads and 3-4 frisee lettuce leaves
¼ cup fresh tomatoes, peeled seeded and diced ¼ inch
1 tsp. chives, chopped
For the dressing:
1 tbsp shallot, finely chopped
¼ tsp garlic, very finely chopped---don't use more or you will spoil the flavor and enjoyment
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp. water
1 tbsp Dijon mustard, real French not Grey Poupon
3 tbsp olive oil, best quality French Nicoise Olive Oil or one like Colavita from Italy
¼ tsp. sea salt
For the eggs and poaching of exactly 3 minutes for xl eggs---2 minutes 40 seconds for large
1 quart water
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 extra-large eggs

Preparation:
Make the dressing. Whisk the chopped shallot, vinegar, mustard and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl, add the oil gradually to make a thick dressing, season, then set aside. Cut away and keep the lighter lettuce leaves and wash if needed, discarding any of the tough outer leaves. (Do this prior to starting the entire process and use a salad spinner to dry the lettuce.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, then add the bacon. Fry for about 10+ minutes until the bacon is crisp and brown, then scoop it out with a slotted spoon into a bowl lined with a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Add the garlic clove and the bread into the pan and toss in the bacon fat, making garlic croutons. Fry the croutons for 4-5 minutes on a low heat, tossing occasionally until golden and crisp, then remove pan from heat.

When all of your ingredients are ready, bring a pan of water to a gentle boil and add the vinegar---no salt. Crack the eggs into small bowls then gently lower into the water and poach for 3 minutes exactly. Line a plate with kitchen paper and use a slotted spoon to lift the eggs onto the plate.

Tip most of the croutons, lardons, all the leaves, diced tomatoes and two-thirds of the dressing into a salad bowl and toss well. Pile the salad high into the middle of two plates and arrange the remaining croutons and lardons around the plates.  Just before serving, top each plate of salad with an egg, drizzle the rest of the dressing over it ans sprikle with chives, then season it fresh ground pepper.